Proving that a lack of budget or CGI capabilities is a poor excuse for not putting together a visually compelling promo, director Tom Wakeling demonstrates just what can be achieved with a good idea, 3 torches and time stacking in Nightfall for London duo Little Shoes Big Voice. Wakeling takes DN behind the scenes of his mini light show.
Originally, we had a week to make the video. As the following week the band would be getting on Radio 1. That meant we had a day to come up with a concept, a night to shoot and the rest to post. It was impossible schedule…. and… we completely blew it…. by two months! But we still came up with the concept and shot it in three days. We shot it mostly in my flat in Hammersmith and stolen locations around the area on a 5D Mark III with Canon lenses. Our crew was small…just me and my Producer Luke Wilkinson, acting as AC. Thankfully the band were really behind the idea. Jack, the front man of Little Shoes Big Voice, was bursting with great ideas and acted as the main ‘Light Dancer/performer’.
The ‘lights’ technique originated from some time stacking work I was playing around with. I showed Jack these tests, and we thought it was a perfect fit to the track. We both saw a kind of isolation in the lights, as if they were searching for something…. We were also mindful that this was their first music video, it was important to get their faces plastered all over it, so we always wanted a performance aspect.
So we had a crude idea of the story and composition of the edit, but there was no time to think….we ended up shooting for two nights, sun down to sun up. There was a certain anxiety on the shoot…as without seeing the final effect it just looked like Jack and Luke were doing some intense raving.
As soon as I started transcoding I knew I was in trouble….Though the stacking technique is simple, it allows infinite variations, the edit almost turned into a second shoot – I produced a lot of shots… The edit was a slog, life and work got in the way, so the deadline slipped into ‘done when it’s done’…which is probably the worst thing you can do to a project.