What a weekend.
So on Friday, seven different people made their way across the UK, coming together to record the video for my song My Buoy. Although it proceeded to rain all weekend, accompanied by gale force winds, the team were resilient and created something great.
Luckily I had convinced my friend and colleague Nick Nixon, who produced the video for The Rain, to get on board for a second time and create a cinematic music video for my new song. Nick introduced me to his colleague Freddie Jewson who was also keen to collaborate. I was over the moon, not only was Nick an incredible Videographer with barrels of enthusiasm, Freddie's creative flair would be a huge addition to the team. Following this collaboration, we asked Adrian Banks, the producer of the track to direct the video. Being an actor himself, we thought it would be great to get someone with talent and experience to aid the other Actors on set, and oversee the shoot from a theatrical side. So with the main team established we began story-boarding and deciding what to create.
We came up with two parallel storylines. The song is titled My Buoy, and being a homonym we thought we needed to incorporate this into the video, but going one step further by having three different buoys. Of course this meant sourcing actors to play the parts, so we went about trying to find the right people with the right attitude. We needed to find a young boy to play one of the roles, which when you and all of your friends are in your mid twenties can prove difficult! However I had a sudden brainwave and asked my somewhat cousin Rhys if he would like to be a part of the shoot, he is Seven and incredibly cute and its safe to say he was very excited about being involved! Having successfully found one actor, we set about trying to find the man for the video. We were trying to find a guy with long dark hair and a beard. Although man-buns and beards seem to currently be all the rage, it turns out less people than you think possess these visual additions. I contacted drama societies, we reached out to our actor friends, friends, friends of friends, family and anyone who was interested but the pool was very shallow. Now I don't know how it came about, I think it was because his sister had wanted to be in the video and unfortunately there wasn't another female role, so after having let her down I realised that Bernie, a very good friend of mine, was the perfect match. Its always in the last place you look. So thankfully Bernie was available and excited to join the team, maybe not fully knowing what he was signing up for! (Sorry Bern)
So with two camera men, one director, two male actors and me, we were off to a great start! I then invited my friends, both named Emily, both studying photography journalism at University in Cardiff if they would like to come along and assist on the shoot. Both Emily's are incredibly talented
So with the team in place we needed to find a location to shoot. Unfortunately Oxford being the furthest point from the sea, meant that shooting locally was out of the question.We decided to shoot the video in Wales as that is where my heart lies (and is also where Rhys is from). Nick found an incredibly picturesque beach Pobbles Bay, situated just west of Swansea.
Day one | Pobbles Bay:
Up and out the door, ready to assemble in Southgate at 9am. Rain pouring. Wind blustering. Spirits high, soon to be dampened.
After braving a half an hour walk down a treacherous mountain, luckily not being blown away by the intense wind, we set up camp on Pobbles Bay, trying to find shelter anywhere possible. The rain continued to pour, and things were not looking up. The camera equipment tried its best to prevail but after several attempts, no amount of umbrellas or hands on deck, could stop the wind blowing the rain left right and centre. After everyone battling on and trying everything we could, we had to call it a day, as the weather was just too terrible.
Day one part two | Crofty
With spirits at an all time low, as well as body temperature, we cursed the elements and headed home from home to shower and warm up. Whilst we re-fuelled with a mighty pasta lunch, Banks and Nixon went on a recce of the local area to try and find somewhere else to shoot later in the afternoon providing the weather picked up. They struck gold. They found some enchanting marshland that provided the boat scene we had been searching for. So after a disappointing morning, we managed to get much more than we bargained for in the afternoon. The shoot was a success and the weather conditions were perfect with mist rising above the landscape. So after a gruelling day, we went home Muddy, but positive and excited once more for the next day.
Day two | Cold Knap
After researching a new location the night before, we agreed on filming at Cold Knapp in Barry. We met once again on a cold and windy day, but this time the rain held off. The pebble beach offered visual interest and delight to Jewson who was not a fan of the sand. After having met the day before and rehearsing through the scenes to be filmed, we were quick to work and Nixon and Jewson were full steam ahead. Both Emily's were a great help, running the slate, taking behind the scenes shots and camera assisting. The wind was powerful and although one would assume lots of wind would be beneficial to flying a kite, it proved difficult. All the team tried to help to get the diamond into the sky but the weather resisted. This ultimately didn't matter, it just meant we had to improvise and adapt the scenes. The final scene of the day needed Bernie to be a washed up man, and there was seemingly only one way of doing this, and with no hesitation Bernie jumped into the sea!!! What can I say, the guy is committed. So with Bernie's life on the line, it was all systems go!!! After a few different takes, we called it a day, stripped Bernie off and rushed him to warmth, towels, blankets, and of course some vital sustenance. So with chocolate bar in hand, clean socks and a new set of clothes, the man was happy.
Then to round off the day, weekend, and start the process of getting home, we headed to Newport to film the opening scene of Rhys getting ready for his day at the beach. What a luxury to be indoors filming, and boy how easy it is when the elements are not involved! Rhys' Mum Alyson was ready with a cuppa to aid the process, having also endured the weather of the weekend. With a speedy turnaround, all the scenes were complete and filming was finally done for the day.
Overall the weekend was a huge success, we managed to get all the footage we needed, and struck gold with the 'boatyard' that Nick and Adrian found. The team all did amazingly well to endure the weather, stay positive and create such a great piece of film. Everyone played a vital role and I am incredibly grateful for all of their help and support.
I am excited, we are all excited, to see the final product and share it with you.