Last week, Russell Riggins and his crew from Deep Wade Entertainment filmed a music video for the artist Eowyn at the NFI campus. Students of class 0712 were invited to be on the premises to observe and help in a PA capacity. One of the candidates for class October 2012, Caleb Watson, also volunteered for the set. This was his experience on the shoot:
“This was my first taste of the whole experience. It was much more work than it looks like from the outside. The shoot was scheduled for Saturday, but prep-work started weeks before. Russell Riggins had actually had most of the framing set up when I came to help finish/and load for transport Thursday night. That night we finished the frame work, and loaded it together with the tiles (which were painted before installation). That night was a 2 am wrap. I grabbed about 3 hours sleep and got ready for the build.
The build was first thing on Friday morning. We had to reassemble everything, hang the wall/ceiling tiles, and spray them with polyurethane (for shine). The building of the boxes and framing wasn’t so bad; it was just a matter of putting the pieces back together. The challenge was the tiles. The vision was to put them in a diamond pattern. So that meant that pieces on the bottom and top had to be cut to fit, as well as every tile in the corner. We found out that we would have to take down the ceiling framing to install the upper tall tiles because it was in the way. We couldn’t secure the tiles with it on. The ceiling after reinstallation was not square, which was causing us problems with hanging the ceiling tiles so we had to adjust the tiles so that when on camera they would be straight even though the ceiling wasn’t, and you would not be able to see the flaw (which we were successful at). This all wrapped about 12:30 -1:00 Saturday morning. After they were all hung the Eowyn Music wanted a high shine on the tiles so we called in a painter, James Serino (I feel he deserves name credit because he had been there for hours waiting on us because he knew we had to do it the night before). But we had another problem: How to spray the Poly on the set without ruining the room around it. We had to completely cover the set with plastic and tarps to seal it from the room around it. All these work wrapped around 2 – 2:30 am. Then we headed home for another quick 3 hours nap because the shoot started in a few hours.
When I arrived on set there were more problems. The set looked amazing, however, it was not the most conducive to the lighting that would need to be done to get the desired look. So we had to improvise some supports around the set to hang/run lights in/around the set. After that it was smooth sailing. We got the lighting sets that looked gorgeous.
Then they shot every sequence, I would say 3-4 times, because you never get everything perfect, but you can take the perfect parts and make it a perfect collaboration. The next challenge was the mime sequences. The makeup was great, it all looked sharp and clean. But we had several sequences to shoot and on the set we had the lights which were making it very warm. When our performers got hot, they sweated; and when they sweated the beautiful make-up ran, so we had to dry and touched up every break to combat the heat. The boxes were big and tough to get on set, and with surprisingly difficult shooting angles. They weren’t as straight forward as you would think, at least not to get the look that they wanted. The shoot wrapped about 8 pm, so the shoot took about 12 hours. Then we destroyed the beautiful set we had worked so hard for clean-up, and that was that.
Eowyn edits her own videos so I won’t be able to be as involved in that, but I am anxious to see what makes the cut. There was so much new to me on this shoot, almost everything infact. It was so much work, but it was worth it. I will be excited to find out what the artist’s vision is so that I know what to work with for my music video shoot when I start at NFI. The first thing I learned from this shoot is that you can make it happen if you are willing to sacrifice and work it out. It also helps to have a great client like Eowyn and her band, and and incredibly informative crew to shadow like Ricky and the guys from B4 Entertainment. Even being exhausted and pushed to the limits a little, if I was told we start again tomorrow I would be ready to go. The high level of work was directly proportion to the amount of fun and satisfaction.”