Fly On The Wall – ‘Explosions’ video shoot with Peur
Blog by Louise Dodgson under Artist Managers, Creative & Branding, Media, Selling & Distributing Your Music
If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of a music video shoot, this latest Fly On The Wall blog is for you. It follows Alternative Rock trio Peur on their day long video shoot for new single ‘Explosions’. Drummer, Sam, has kindly kept a diary of events to offer insight into the day’s filming and we can enjoy an exclusive premiere of the video at the end of the blog, but first the Manchester-based band tell us how the video came about and the advance preparation that has gone into it…
Did you approach a music video company to shoot this promo or have you got mates with equipment involved?
It was never really a question of who, we knew we would be using Lab Exposure again. Duncan did such a great job on all our other videos, it was only ever a question of when. He seems to always be on the same page with you, no matter what your idea, and has a great vision for shots and ideas that, despite all your planning, you would never think of.
How did the concept of the video come about?
We all love consuming different forms of horror, from films to books to games, and had so much fun with the last video ‘This Will Destroy You’ and touching on the genre, we wanted to do so again. We got big inspiration from films like The Shining and Silent House, which both have insanity and loneliness as main themes, and these tied really well into the song and what it’s about.
After deciding the theme everything else fell nicely into place. We decided, due to the other videos being indoors, and the lack of a large budget, to set ‘Explosions’ outdoors in the city. After brainstorming several different ideas we settled on a plot: a man trapped in his own mind, getting caught in ‘loops’ where he is chasing/being chased by himself. We really liked the juxtaposition of a story involving a character feeling truly alone and helpless, set against an extremely populated backdrop. I suppose it’s not necessarily horror in a traditional sense; it’s not about a killer or a monster or the like, but I would say being trapped in your own head is a pretty frightening prospect.
Did you undertake any preparation before the shoot?
Our previous videos had both been very "off the cuff" shoots where we did the bare bones of planning; location and idea, then saw what happened when we turned up. This time around we wanted to go more in depth, explore our idea further and really think about the direction and imagery we wanted.
To help us realise our story we got some storyboards drawn up. When you have everything down on paper it’s far easier to see what does and doesn't work, move things around and really fine-tune everything. These helped massively when we finally approached Lab Exposure, little discussion was needed. We had Dunc on board straight away and he could start thinking how to best achieve what we wanted. The same applied to Matt Green, our actor. The storyboards were a great tool to introduce him to the role and get his creative juices flowing, allowing him to easily understand the character and his predicament.
How have you funded the video shoot?
Without the aid of investors or a label, we had to fund it from our own pocket. We had known the day would come to make another music video so it had been on our minds since around June when we finished the song and we were able to save our pennies. We all work full time jobs, so it was just a case of putting a bit aside every month and eventually we had enough. We also had accumulated money from selling merchandise at shows and on the internet which proved extremely helpful and a little easier on our bank balances.
What kind of promotion do you intend to use the video for once it’s done?
Obviously it will promote the single, but on a wider scale; the band as a whole. We will be using it in conjunction with the release of the new EP that is coming out early next year, to try and create a buzz around the record and shows we will be doing following its release. Also we want to show people what we have been working on and how we have changed since the last EP came out. ‘Explosions’ is a great first single due to its hard hitting nature and how it best depicts our musical and stylistic evolution from the last EP. Couple that with a striking video and hopefully it should make quite an impression. We plan to get as much TV coverage as possible, which just provides another medium to access a potential audience through, casting the net wider if you will.
THE DAY OF THE SHOOT
10am: I woke later than I should after sleeping through my alarm, so I had to rush to get ready in time for Joe and Ryan's arrival. I packed my bag with the required items: rabbit mask for a little nod to ‘This Will Destroy You’ and my tablet to write the video diary. I wolfed down a quick breakfast just in time for Joe to knock on the door.
11am: We planned to meet Matt, Duncan and his crew at Piccadilly Gardens at 11am, however we took a wrong turn on the way into Manchester and got stuck in traffic. We finally arrived at about 11:45am after finding a parking spot and taking a hurried walk into the city centre. A quick introduction and we were off, using Dunc's expansive knowledge of Manchester's back alleys to find our first location: a dank alley in the Northern Quarter.
12pm: We briefed Matt (actor) and gave him a more detailed run down of ours and Dunc's ideas for the video. For ease of explanation we named our main character Dave and his evil counterpart ‘Dark Dave’. Ryan took the role of Dark Dave and I the mysterious stranger that Dave keeps noticing. Joe was left to keep a watchful eye on all the gear. We weren't filming in chronological order, we started on the first ‘loop’ that Dave gets caught in. After doing a couple of takes Dunc showed us the footage he was capturing, slowing down and speeding up the shots to give us an idea of the final look, it was amazing! Lab Exposure strikes again.
1pm: We had done several takes of the different loops in the alley and decided we had sufficient footage to move on. First things first, we needed sustenance so it was down to Subway for a quick lunch before moving on to our next location. We then began to film the establishing section of the video, where Dave is walking around the city unaware he is about to have the worst day of his life. It was at this point I realised I had left my bag in Subway, so Joe and I, not needed in the next scene, sprinted back and to my relief it remained where I left it. We met back up with the group as they were finishing up.
2pm: We moved on to the prettier streets of Manchester to change up from the gritty, grim back alleys of the Northern Quarter and make it visually more interesting. The next shot on the list was Dave encountering ‘Dark Dave’ on an empty street. After a few takes, Ryan, who was stood in the centre of the street, was suddenly surrounded by hundreds of women clad in black. It turns out we had a rival film crew in the area, all the women were flocking from a chapel nearby where filming of a soap opera was taking place. It took around 15 minutes for all the extras to pass by, then our filming could resume.
3:50pm: It was finally time for the most important scene, where Dave meets ‘Dark Dave’; the reveal. With clever camera trickery and the use of a tripod we set up the shot. I thought Matt did a sterling job of differentiating both versions of Dave by using his attitude and body language. It’s hard to tell how it will look in the final edit at this early stage, but from what Dunc previewed on the camera, it looked pretty darn impressive.
5pm: The sun was starting to go down and everyone was feeling weary after a day on our feet. However, we still had some important shots to capture. We had planned to shoot the penultimate scene atop a deserted multi-storey car park, so we dragged our aching feet to the other side of Manchester. I think after several hours of acting scared and crazy Matt was getting a little tired, more than the rest of us anyway, but weirdly this helped for him to capture Dave's emotion in the last scene. He is broken, fed up of running and ready to give in to the insanity. We left the car park and got a shot of Dave leaving a block of flats; signifying the start of the video, and we threw a cheeky cameo of the whole band in there for good measure. We had a quick debrief but decided that it would be good to have a shot of Matt waking up to use both at the beginning and end of the video, so it was back to the cars to drive to Matt's house in Salford.
6pm: We forgot we were parked on the other side of Manchester to everyone else and didn't anticipate the trek back to the car. As the last shot of the day was only going to take a few seconds, Dunc and his crew had filmed more than the necessary amount before we got there. We caught them as they were about to leave, thanked them for their hard work and said our goodbyes. Before leaving for home, we stopped in on Matt to thank him for his great performance. We set off for home around 6:30pm...another successful video shoot! That's a wrap!
All pictures credited to Amy Green, LAB Exposure
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