Magnetic : Music Video Breakdown
Cameras : Canon 80D DSLR, iPad Pro, GoPro, iPhone
Lighting : Candle Lit narrative kitchen setting, Silhouette live shots against white sheet
Directed / Lighting / Narrative / Edit : The Survival Code
Single Artwork :
Landscape For Making The Video
March 2020 -> Jan 2021
Like every other band on earth, 2020 turned out very differently to what we expected. 2019 had been so great for us! We released our latest EP “CROSSES TO CARRY, COFFINS TO FILL” , and lead single “SO SERIOUS” quickly become the band’s best known and biggest song. Aside from that positivity we managed to fit in two UK tours, this made 2019 a great year and held great promise and hopes for 2020 (and we all know where this is going)….
We hadn’t been resting on our laurels, we had been busy at work throughout the touring to write a follow up release which at the time was looking like an EP (but that has changed since with all the time that has passed), but we were all set for hitting the studio and getting another release out in 2020. Things clearly didn’t come to pass for that plan
By the time lockdown happened in March 2020 we had 17 songs demo’d a number of times and and had been refining them to hit the studio with their producer “Matt Hyde” who we have worked with on the last two releases. With COVID and the inevitable and unexpected lockdown the year turned out to be one for:
-uncertainty, not knowing when live music may return, whether to plan a gig or book a studio or start making plans B, C, and D, as nothing is happening…
We did our best to keep some momentum with the limited avenues we had in front of us at the time.
1.Initially we created and released a lyric/animated video for the song “SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL” which was a lot of fun and we got to use our coffins from the cover of the EP again and created a fake burial scene
2. Then we made a video for the song “SAME SKIN” from the 2018 album “HOPELESSNESS OF PEOPLE”. The song came back to attention from the live streams we started to do as a means of keeping in touch with our following and exploring new ways of communicating our songs – as we had not played them acoustically in public before, so exploring that along with making whole shows without the trade mark distortion and energy made for a wonderful experience for us, and many who joined in – some of these performances are still available on their IGTV
3. As the above indicates we played 7 LIVE STREAMS to keep a connection with our audience and to instil a sense of normality as we missed performing so much
As the setbacks kept happening in 2020 with the second lockdown being implemented, planning was almost as hard as it was in March 2020. We decided to invest time in one of the songs off the latest EP That hadn’t much light shined on it so far and to create a video around that which may reflect our limited resources with all the lockdowns, along with the mood of the times
Magnetic Video Plan
After making the animated/lyric video for “SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL” in the initial lockdown in 2020, we intended to work with a director to release the single “MAGNETIC” to help maintain the momentum we had been trying to keep moving since the 2nd tour ended in Nov 2019. Plan after plan fell through to work with their preferred directors through a mixture of avails and lockdown complications…so the video never happened
As Xmas was coming around and it became apparent that the now 21 tracks demo’d and ready to hit the studio, are a long way from getting released, the notion of recording the content ourselves, with a narrative and performance didn’t seem so ridiculous as we had the space in the house and just needed to be smart in terms of what we shot
Of course it didn’t all go to plan! Many interesting camera angles could not be used in the edit as the lighting was simply too dim. The DSLR handled the candlelit scene spectacularly! On paper the other cameras I used should have been able to cope, it was literally just the lighting that made the media unusable. The best part of it, we only found out after all the footage was shot and it meant that we had to be even more creative with edit
Many people we know like to make up their own narrative/interpretation of a video/song or words, and we are exactly the same in many ways for our favourite tracks! Sometimes knowing the true intention of the work takes away from your impression and can sometimes ruin a previous view.
We had s specific idea in mind for the narrative. We understand it hasn’t turned out as clear as we would have hied initially – which we will explain.
We are keen to share the narrative meaning as the music video is intense and engaging and is based around a frantic search for something which we are not sure of as we watch. In many ways what “Gary” is looking for doesn’t matter, for it’s the frustration and searching that makes it interesting. The idea was that the video would start with a finished set of lyrics to the song – MAGNETIC. The book of lyrics is closed and some time later when he returns to them, the lyrics for MAGNETIC are no longer there, they’ve been torn out and they’re nowhere to be seen. Queue frantic looking for the lyrics among the many ideas that are in the book and have been ripped out over time. Suddenly a picture appears amidst the search and it’s an old memory for Gary that stops him in his tracks as there is no explainable reason for that picture to be in the book, much less the feelings that come associated with it. After a brief moment of reflection the picture is torn up, cast aside and the search continues. The search becomes more frantic and the book where the lyrics once were is shaken above the table and out falls the picture again, perfectly intact, not torn. Gary turns to where the torn picture was placed next to him, and it is gone! As an act of sabotage to the recurring memory, Gary lights it on fire before continuing the search apace. Ultimately another identical picture is found, this memory will not leave him alone. It gets crumpled up and thrown across the table and suddenly, Gary notices on the back of the picture are the lyrics to “MAGNETIC”. The lyrics came back, mysteriously or otherwise, they were meant to be remembered and written. Whatever forces are at work around us brought them back together, no matter how unlikely or unrealistic – these things happen around us every single day in our everyday lives
One of the main aims for the narrative was to be dimly lit, almost solely by candlelight which would offer a mood or coldness, isolation and would balance nicely with the live shots which were monochrome (and we will deal with in the next part). The setting was the kitchen as we were limited for locations with lockdown. We had never used this part of the kitchen for a video before so it may work we figured. The shots would centre around “Gary” at the table, lit by candlelight, looking for the lyrics which are lost for a song. The clock above was to be a central them along with the recurring picture which arises time and again, almost like a hanky from a magicians hat. As discussed above there was an intention to shoot a number more angles than is in the final outcome, but we struggled with many of the cameras we used as they simply could not cope in the low lighting
Camera angles : The main camera for the narrative and live shots was the Canon 80D DSLR. IT offered fantastic performance in low lighting versus some of the other cameras we had access to and became the main camera in the video
Live Performance Shots
It was decided that there was no need for faces in the live performance and that we could try and shoot the video using shadows from a large light shone in front of us onto a white sheet. That seemed to work well on initial edits as we had quite a bit of scope with overlaying and shadows created which added to the narrative’s mood. Aside from the method of shooting, we wanted to capture a mixture of sides of the band when we play live. Visually live, we out a huge emphasis on putting on a show and performing the music – something that often is apparent unless you’ve seen us live. Our videos don’t always capture that very well so we hoped to do it this time and felt the silhouettes were the perfect way we could do that with our limited resources
By the time we were editing with all the footage we could see that Gary really needs a haircut :), aside from that was the slight disappointment of missing the other angles that would have added more character. The challenge was to make the story happen as we had hoped in as clear a way as we could manage with what we had. We managed to piece together the majority of the video before having to go back and shoot a few small bits again. Shooting the kitchen was the big issue as it took a facelift of that side of the room and made it unusable. As soon as we finished shooting we returned the kitchen to normality, probably a little too soon… but we made the best of it from the footage we had
We realised giving the final edit to those close to us that the video probably wasn’t as apparent on the narrative front as we would have liked, but we kept getting words like “engaging” and “frantic” which seemed to keep people’s interest. We tried to tidy it up further as best we could and from there and what we have is the finished product
Any questions / Thought or feedback please let us know! thanks for reading and checking us out :D