Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pretty Little Empire Video Shoot for "All I Know" Nov. 4 2011

In the wee hours of the morning before the shoot for this video, Pretty Little Empire invaded Chicago in a vehicle with no heat and stayed the night at a friends house where neighbors were partying like rock stars. The band have jobs, so they don't get to party like rock stars all the time. Yet this video for "All I Know" is indicative of the high quality and passion that the band has to make music fit for a rock star. The band shot a video for "Now Is The Time" at the same film studio with director Justin Hayward and his crew a year prior.

I was fortunate to sit in on the shoot for "All I Know" and see how Justin Hayward and his crew worked. Having gone to film school with Hayward, it was great to catch up a bit and also pick his brain about his vision of this video. As you watch, you are seeing a very jumpy narrative that is compliments of Justin's thought to change the frames per second for which the crew also either sped up or slowed down the playback music and the band played to the adjusted speed.  The photo above is a shot I took of their recording and mixing rig. It was amazing to see the nuances in the lighting on the Red MX(pictured below). Director Hayward said of this camera, "It's what "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (David Fincher's) was shot on, so if we used the files to their full potential and blew it up that big, it would look that sharp."

Hayward also says of the shoot "We shot the video at SP Films  (Chicago) at their gracious allowing. It was all motion control which means the camera was connected to a machine that's connected to a computer, so we can program the moves to do the same thing exactly over and over. That's how we were able to cut the different actions of the band while maintaining a smooth action of the background and mikes and equipment." RED camera and the slow tracking shot were pretty amazing. In the playback monitor it all looked so professional. As I said, the band and Hayward shot a video a year ago in the upstairs space at this studio. This recent shoot was in the big studio downstairs and their control of the lighting was pretty impressive. It was as if they were painting the shadows on. Check out the photo below.
The band in between takes

I was also able to hang with the guys from the band and they told me the above story about their ride and the raging house party they endured after getting in late. The guys are hard at work on a new album on which there will be some surprises. Thanks to Justin Hayward and crew/SP film for being so nice and letting me sit in on them while they shaped this video. Also again a big thanks to Justin, Will, Wade and Evan for the invite.

The RED camera Justin Hayward spoke of above

Ariel view from upstairs lounge area.

Justin's retro mic and Evan's drums.

The painting of light