Filming some people playing folk music in an attic
Working closely with Novo Amor over the past few years, we’ve shot a plethora of cinematic, story-driven content for his melancholic and moving folk tracks.
This time around, in a collaboration with artist Ed Tullett, they looked to us to create session videos for stripped-back versions of tracks from their upcoming album with a focus on raw, organic realism.
We were keen to explore ways to visually represent the dichotomy of the two full-band songs. To our ears, Terraform was an uplifting, ethereal track, whereas Vantablack had a moodier, almost sinister tone to it. We decided that the most effective way to represent this contrast was to create two very visually different session videos within the same physical space. The third track, Freehand, was to be a much more stripped down, intimate duet performance shot in Novo’s home studio.
Behind the scenes
After discussing the emotions and tones behind both Terraform and Vantablack, I designed a completely different lighting plan for each session. Terraform was lit in a scene-referred, motivated manor, with 2 x M18 HMI lamps shooting through double diffusion (4x4 half frost and 8x8 grid cloth frames) to counter the heavy backlight coming through the window behind Ali and Ed. Vantablack, inspiring a much darker theme, was lit using a skirted, ceiling mounted top light. Edison bulbs, both hanging and on stalks, were positioned around the band and set to glow dimly, creating a beautiful, almost candle-lit atmosphere.
While the RED Weapon CF Woven Dragon 6K isn’t necessarily synonymous with the terms “organic or raw”, its wide dynamic range and brilliant colour accuracy, paired with 6K resolution meant that every delicate detail could be captured. Lewis had RED’s new Skintone OLPF installed on the cameras to give a smoother, more filmic highlight response.
The lenses play a huge part in giving the two sessions their distinct look. Shooting on vintage anamorphic lenses really gives the sessions a tangible, authentic feel. Their imperfections were ideal for giving these films their character. The anamorphic effect of the lenses allowed us to shoot relatively wide in quite a confined space, while preserving a shallow depth of field.