The goal of my final piece for this assignment was to create a music video for one of the songs my band released last year as part of our debut EP. The first step was to decide which song I wanted to create the video for, to do this, I formed a questionnaire and subtly dropped in questions to find out our audience’s favourite songs. I had the idea that I wanted to use some form of coloured smoke so I knew I wanted the song to have a skateboard/punk vibe. After receiving the results from the questionnaire and discussing it with the band we agreed the best song to do would be “Arm Wrestling”.

I wanted this to become an official video for the band so I ensured that we were able to use decent equipment when recording. My boyfriend works in a data centre so we were able to use the warehouse attached to his building to film the video. We did this over a weekend in March with the band, Charlie Dillon a friend of mine who is on a television and film course and a friend of his from the same course. Between them, they brought two JVC 650s and Charlie used his own handheld Canon G7X Mark II. I found the issue with these came down to lighting which had to have some adjustments in post. The JVC’s were a lot darker than the Canon and you can still see this in the final video despite doing my best to adjust the lighting, however, part of me does like this charm as it does give it the feel of the genre we play.

Other issues we faced whilst recording included people in the shot at the wrong time such as Charlie being in the JVC shot when recording with the Canon. This did work well for behind the scenes footage however which is some I also wanted to include in the video. I wanted to give a real sense of who the band are as individuals and not a polished perfected staged video. There is some level of seriousness, however, the bits of us messing about is something I wanted to capture, and a lot of the times we didn’t know the camera was rolling so it’s all very natural. One of the best camera shots, in my opinion, was done by Alex going back and forth on a skateboard which gives a panning shot to the video and I love the way this was done.

There was also the worry of how to get the smoke to work. Due to the budget, I managed to get in contact with an airsoft company who gave me a 10% discount. I brought six in total, two of each colour which was designed to be the colour of our logo, Pink, Green, and Purple. To get the most out of these grenades I had Charlie film them whilst we were setting them off at the same time my boyfriend was taking photos (I have attached the photos to the bottom of this overview so you can see how these turned out). We used the purple smoke for the group shots of the band and the first attempt we released it behind the drummer, however, this just caused the smoke to rise. On our second attempt we had a friend of mine, Alex, run around with the grenade to spread the smoke and had the cameras rolling wide scenes and to have Charlie come in for the close-up shots. Due to releasing the smoke inside of the warehouse we had to be careful and ensure the area was well ventilated as despite them being photography grenades, the grenade burns for 30 seconds and the smoke spreads quickly.

The video was edited in premiere pro and after receiving all of the files, I realised there was no sound from the JVC mounted cameras, luckily as a band, we know the song inside out so we had the timings correct but it meant I had to ensure that the lip-syncing was perfect as I knew people were going to be looking at when watching the video and I asked other people to watch it to make sure it all lined up, there were a few sections where I had to make minor adjustments to the speed but this was not in many scenes at all. The biggest challenge I faced was going through each scene and ensuring the lighting was smooth enough to transition and I’m pleased with how it turned out. I also changed the title font to fit the style of the bands’ genre more and added transition scenes to make the video ran more fluidly. I really enjoyed shooting and editing this and would love to do more in the future, I have also mashed up some music videos with film trailers but using footage that I filmed myself with other people made it so much more satisfying to see the outcome and have other ways to edit it.

Smoke headshot photos –