Following on from his last single, Bonfire, Netherlands-based singer-songwriter, Christon, approached us with his latest single “Icarus”, a song inspired by the greek myth of a man who flew too close to the sun. The brief for this video was to create a narrative video which followed in the footsteps of the original story, but with a modern-day feel. Y’know. Filming a man with wings flying into a massive ball of fire…

How hard can it be, right?

Being a documentary filmmaking specialist, Director Josh took this bull by the horns and immediately began drawing influence from the modern day examples of documentary shorts. In an age where the short profile documentary has saturated Vimeo, there are plenty of cliches to observe, and it wasn’t long before the idea of drawing on several of these cliches and almost satirising them in the mythical context of this video was discussed. What pays homage to the profile documentary more than a rough-looking man toiling away in a dusty, industrious looking workshop, lit by the classic orange-blue mixture of hung tungsten bulbs and skylights?

Sometimes. the location you find for a shoot can really elevate the piece to a place beyond your expectations, and this was really the case here. A dusty, multi story workshop with a skylight in the perfect position. The texture of the surfaces and depth of the room really made our work a joy when it came to blocking scenes and positioning our actor in the space.

While we were shooting the workshops scenes, our DP Lewis was at the same time wrestling with how to create a “flying” scene that was effective, realistic and most importantly within budget. The answer came from an old-made new technique most recently used by JJ Abrams in Star Trek, whereby you lay a massive mirror on the floor so that it reflects the sky, and then stand the actor directly in the middle of it and shoot downwards, giving the illusion of flight. You can then work on the camera’s behaviour and lighting in order to change the motivation and emotion of the scene. In our case, we needed to switch between a very ephemeral pleasure and a rapid, panicked decent. Nothing a bit of camera shake can’t fix.

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The finished promo was one that successfully combined the two main elements, in a piece that was very textural and portrayed one man’s cathartic mission into the Sun.  

Credits

Director
Josh Bennett
Cinematographer
Lewis Jelley
Producer
Nick Patterson
Editor
Josh Bennett

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