Ash Before Oak
Behind the Scenes
April showers. Lancaster rain. Filming in Lancaster, in April, bad idea. But wait, it was a great idea, it was glorious - and that was just the film!
Our latest music video for Manchester band Ash Before Oak was shot over 2 days with a crew of 12. It also included the Red Dragon, arguably the best camera in the world right now, shooting at 300 fps giving us some incredible slow motion action.
We also filmed with a camera at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, a Super 8 from the 1970s, shooting on real film, 50 feet gave us 3 minutes 30 seconds of footage. Very old skool!
As mentioned, it was a glorious day, a couple of us crew members went to Lancaster University and in our combined 8 years there had never witnessed such a nice day. Williamson Park, a beautiful location on any day, looked particularly spectacular and was perfect for the 'Wedding Day' scenes shot on the Super 8. Later that afternoon there was a real wedding, not involving a clown, they picked a great day for it.
That afternoon we moved on to the area around Jubilee Tower in Quernmore, which looks across Morecambe Bay and the Irish Sea, in the distance you could see the Lake District, Blackpool Tower and even the Isle of Man. THE ISLE OF MAN, that's 70 miles away!
We needed some sunrise shots but don't like getting up early so we used the sunset and shot those scenes in reverse chronological order. There was some time restraints but it worked well, no one will know, unless they read this.
We came back to Manchester for the band shots. While looking for the sofa that featured in the story we came across Hope Direct Charity in Old Trafford. Not only did they have an amazing array of things but an amazing room upstairs with a big pile of chairs in the corner. Bring in a bunch of lights, get the smoke machine pumping and we had the perfect location for the band shots.
It was a great shoot with some great catering, including some cheese labelled 'Sunday Cheese' which became a cult hit. We're hoping the next Ash Before Oak album will be titled 'Sunday Cheese'.
We started developing the concept for Airborne around January. I met with Mark (Bass, Vocals) a few times and we discussed various ideas that we both had. Mark suggested that it would be cool to have a story about Faberk the clown and a bride, so I started developing and writing a story about that.
The idea was to have two massive contrasts: the happy couple and the sad couple, both in various times in their life together. The video starts with super 8 footage of their wedding day, the super 8 symbolising the happy past (grainy, old and saturated/colourful image). Then the video breaks and we go into the present day, the couple sitting apart on a sofa in the cold and dark wilderness. They are both depressed and uneasy. The bride leaves, and shortly after so does the clown. My interpretation of the story is his journey towards something better in his life and away from a bad and depressed time. The sofa represents their misery and they both run away from it, but making life changes is hard and that’s why we see the bride on the sofa at the end. She didn’t complete the journey and gave up. Will the clown give up too?
I love the contrast of the super 8 and the 6K images from the Red Dragon, and especially the beautiful slow motion of the running clown. It truly flows beautifully with the song and the build-up of the story, conclusion and the images in general makes this my best work yet.
I’d like to thank everyone in my talented crew for making this happen.
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