Father John Misty Please Don't Die Music Video
Animation Music Video, Father John Misty: Please Don’t Die
Well if you are wondering where I have been recently It was a bit of a secret. However, now I am able to tell you. For the past month or so I have been locked in a bunker near Bristol (UK) grafting away. I and a small team headed up by Director Chris Hopewell (responsible for the last Radiohead video amongst many other animated music videos) have been working every hour possible to create a journey into the underworld for the American singer Father John Misty.
DOP Jon Davey and I have been helping Chris create his vision for this track, a sort of fantastic journey into the depths of self-loathing and death through the medium of stop-motion animation. Jon brought me onboard to lighten his load as our experience and skill sets are somewhat similar. Though I have not work with Jon for over 25 years! It all started as a playful, sarcastic comment from me on facebook and ended up with me working for Subpop (Nirvana’s record label) as a 2nd Unit DOP 15hrs a day for 20 days straight, as are the joys of the interweb!
Once the dust has settled from the album launch I will follow up with some more behind the scenes etc on this shot. I think some of the lighting setups will be fun to deconstruct for the readers out there. It is certainly the first time I have had to balance lamps of such varying power before as often I would have a 5000w key light and a 0.5w practical on the same set!
Practical lights were used to light the hotel room set. I built these using doll’s house lights connected to a small dimmer so we total control of the balance between lighting. Everything was else was run through a dimmer board as to give us the ability to finesse the contrast ratios. However, we mostly would control large changes in dimming with ND filters on the head as to not affect the colour balance of the key and fill lights too much. Because dimming them down would have made them far to warm for our needs.
Other practicals were required such as the lantern on the boat, it took a fair bit of experimenting to come up with the final lamp and power source. The requirement for that lamp to run for extended periods was crucial as changing batteries and the potential to disturb things on set was not really something we could have had happened. There simply was no time for re-shoots or any digital cleanups due to the extreme pressure we were under to get the shots done to complete this film on time and budget.