Following on from our previous record of stressful-yet-successful™ Novo Amor shoots, the Gods smiled on us as, yet again, we executed another horrendously ambitious low-budget music video shoot, this time in the snowy highlands of Glencoe, Scotland.

Alps”, co-written and recorded by Novo Amor and Ed Tullett, portrays the idea of self-sabotage in a relationship, whereby in the attempt of loving someone you actually end up destroying what you set out to love.

After toying with some seemingly ‘simple’ initial concepts, the duo eventually settled on the idea of sending us up a snow-covered mountain in the pursuit of a Revenant-inspired epic, with an adapted cupid character, and an unexpecting protagonist. With winter coming to a drizzly end in Wales, we feared that heading to Brecon may have been an anti-climactic waste of efforts, so we began searching for a more solid alternative. Luckily, our northern neighbours, Scotland, were still very much in the grips of winter in highland areas, so we set our sights on the Glencoe ski resort.

Aside from the obvious “damn, it’s going to be cold” thoughts that plagued our minds throughout the project, we were faced with a number of challenges to consider. We had one day on that mountain, and we needed the weather on our side. We needed a camera capable of capturing 120fps slow motion, but one small enough to run around with and shoulder mount. We had two visual effects shots to manoeuvre, and we needed two actors dedicated enough to stay the course.

Despite our DoP having a small-scale panic attack as he tossed the Arri Alexa Mini and Zeiss Super Speeds onto a ski lift and watched them ascend up the mountain, we reached the shoot location with ease. Somehow (and we’re still yet to fully understand the extent of our luck) the weather was an absolute dream. We even managed to get sunburnt in minus 6-degree temperatures. Our actors Sarah and Luke were extremely dedicated—not a single complaint was heard as they battled on in less-than-weather-adequate costumes.

The Alexa Mini was the perfect tool for the job, however, we didn’t anticipate our lens’ oil freezing, and the viewfinder to go into full-psychedelic mode. Hot pockets aplenty, we taped up and soldiered on. While we’d ridden our luck this far, the Sun threatened to scupper our efforts, as it began to set over the mountain as we rushed to complete the final, and crucial, VFX shot. Some cool-headed quick thinking from our Producer steered us in the right direction, allowing us to get the shot in the nick of time.

With that final shot, we reveal how our couple really isn’t as it seems. She’s been chased the whole time by our reimagined cupid, trying to strike her down with his arrows. CGI wings were the way to go for this, so thankfully (after a little bit of work!) that shot we got up on the mountain actually worked, and we constructed cupid’s opening wings for the final reveal.


The video was extremely well received, both with music fans as well as attracting attention from ARRI themselves, who asked to share the video via their social media channels and use it in future showreels.

Credits

Director
Josh Bennett
Producer
Gruff Vaughan
Cinematographer
Lewis Jelley
Executive Producer
Ali Lacey
VFX
Neil Goss
Editor
Josh Bennett
Colorist
Lewis Jelley

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