Three one-take music videos, shot in two days, on a shoestring budget and a skeleton crew. Valencia trilogy? We should have called it the “how hard can it be?” trilogy…

Into The Ark are a couple of top chaps from Blackwood, who are admirably writing and singing their way out of their humble beginnings and into the charts. We’ve had a great working relationship with these boys from before they were on the telly, so when they approached us with this idea of shooting three connecting music videos with an eye-wateringly close deadline, we accepted the challenge. Go on ‘en, lads.

That’s the thing about us; if you put us in a box and tell us we can’t do something, we’ll find a way of not only doing said thing, but we’ll usually find the most challenging way possible of getting out of the box. Nothing worth doing comes from a place of comfort.

In this instance, the most challenging way of shooting three music videos was to attempt to shoot them in two days, in three locations, each in one take. To get the job done, we unleashed Charlotte, our newest and thirstiest production coordinator (she’s actually fuelled by stress, not food) to organise and book all of the actors and locations. All that was left was for us to assemble a killer skeleton crew and get the job done.

We shot the series on the Sony a7S with a 40mm Kowa Anamorphic Lens, mounted on the DJI Ronin, and wirelessly pulled focus via a Teradek system. With little time to plan, we were often choreographing on the fly, tweaking between takes with everyone pitching in ideas to help the shoot along—a real hive of creativity.

After two consecutive 2am finishes and countless very strong coffees, we had footage in the can for three films…

You wouldn’t think that one-take music videos would require a huge amount of post production, but in reality, they can demand just as much loving care and attention as any other type of edit. When you choose to shoot one-takers, you accept the challenges that come along with them. Any mistakes—small or large—that you miss in the on-set monitors are immortalised and burnt into your film, leaving you to sort them out later. In this case, things like exposure changes, VFX scene enhancement and motion-tracked colour corrections all had to be taken care of in post. Needless to say, our resident rotoscope wizard (Kai) was popular in the office that week.

Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III

Credits

Director
Josh Bennett
Producer
Nick Patterson
2nd AD
Charlotte Harris
Production Coordinator
Charlotte Harris
Cinematographer
Lewis Jelley
Gimbal Operator
Alex Bull
1st AC
Olly Jelley
Production Assistant
Isaac Powell
Editor
Josh Bennett
Colorist
Lewis Jelley
VFX
Kai Axmacher
Executive Producer
Gruff Vaughan

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