Functioning as both a showcase for the multi-instrumental talents of New Zealand singer-songwriter Mulholland and a pleasurably trippy onslaught on the senses of light, shape and colour, Bradley Rogerson’s Cry If You Want To is a music video well worth dimming the lights and firing up the big screen for. Rogerson talks to DN about how execution took the lead over concept on the video.
Incorporating VFX into your music videos seems to hold an increasing attraction for you. What is it about augmenting live action footage that so interests you?
I think it comes from my background in graphic design and my passion for illustration. I’m always trying to apply those skill sets to my film projects in the hopes of coming up with something unique or special that perhaps not every filmmaker has the ability to conjure up.
The magic of Cry If You Want To lies very much in your visual execution as opposed to the concept, how did you do the psychedelic exuberance justice in the initial pitch?
Yes this video was all in the execution, The pitching/concepting phase was practically non-existent, we had a few meetings, and a few ideas were thrown around, but ultimately Jol loved the trippy section in the Orange & Mango clip I made, and gave me free reign to create something that harnessed that psychedelic experimentation within a performance style video. Those meetings were great to help me gauge who Jol was and just what he would be up for in terms of a performance video. This made the process feel far more personal rather than me just pitching a concept and hoping the artist goes for it.
There’s always a risk for things getting stale in performance videos once we’ve seen the artist play from each of the angles on offer. Was that a concern for you?
It’s definitely hard and I don’t know if I have completely mastered this yet but my tactic is to keep the pacing of my cuts quick and well timed with the music and trying to have plenty of visual interest going on and not to repeat shots too much.
Knowing you’d have a stack of keying in your future, what precautions did you take on set to make your post life easier?
Yes going into the shoot, having done plenty of green screen keying in the past and knowing the potential for hard work if done incorrectly I put a lot of effort into making sure everything was setup perfectly: screen lit evenly, talent lit correctly, and my camera setup properly. And it worked, the keying could not have been easier.
What software did you use to create the dynamically driven soundscape visual effects? How long were you in post for?
I was in post for two weeks, the first week was spent editing and keying and the second week was focused on creating the FX. All the effects were achieved in After Effects with me mashing up layers of stop motion drawings and kaleidoscopic clouds (supplied by Greg Hodgson) with soundscape experiments using a myriad of AE plugins that I had at my disposal.
What other projects are on the horizon for you?
I am currently booked up doing contract design work for now and into the near future but I do have another music video project lined up later on in the year with Jol, we are still in the early days of concepting but can’t wait to work with him again.