We have a new music video for you!
We chose "I AM CONSUMER" as the track to kick off our journey into making 'proper' music videos as we reckon it's a pumpingingly lively, driving tune - the lyrics inspired us to generate interesting visuals, with the opportunity to dress up which we love doing too!
We shot our own video for "Just For Tonight" in 3D anaglyph back in 2012, which was great fun (loads of dressing up in feathers, papier maché and pvc boots)... our two kittens even made an appearance!). It was a bit of a mare to make, as we were pretty clueless as to how to edit videos, so we kind'a chucked it together, DIY punk-stylee! Still, we were relatively pleased how it came out at the time. Dig out yer red/blue 3D spex to watch it in its full stereoscopic glory! Moving on, we were recently feeling the itch to make a more professional video to showcase our stuff...
For a long time now, we've been inspired by the videos made by fellow Greenwichite Gary J Brady of Total Thrive Productions - he's worked on some ace projects, including making videos for local musical stablemates Squeeze and The Kimberleys [Bruise], as well as some creating some excellent animations.
With a tiny budget and an even tinier window in Gary's packed schedule, he graced us with a few hours of his precious time to shoot us on a very warm day in early June '18. This was one of those 'race-against-time' / 'could-go-well-pear-shaped' moments, as we were all pushed for time: Serena made a successful last-minute scamble for a suitable venue - she somehow manages to pluck magically positive results when under pressure - her forté within the band's dynamics!
Then came some frenzied head scratching... and, after a very brief meeting with Gary which generated a flurry of ideas, we had the core of the video's theme; Serena and I would 'perform' in front of a green screen in time to the track, with me suggesting a QVC/shopping channel spoof being played out in the background. We really wanted to make a video that has a lively vibe and conveying the message of the song without spoon-feeding the viewer - with a few dollops of humour and chaotic punk-spunk chucked in.
I was shakingly nervously on the day of the shoot - I don't feel comfortable in front of cameras at the best of times, and just the thought of being in focus of the lens really gave me the collywobbles! I needn't have worried so, as Gary was great to work with. He cracked jokes, gave lively encouragement (I'm a sensitive soul!) and was totally cool-minded in the airless, hot studio; the air-con was broken, with only an intermittently working ceiling fan to stop our makeup from sliding down our faces.
Working on green screen felt very surreal to me as I flung myself about, awkwardly bucking around with my blood-red Melody Maker* guitar slung around my shoulder, rucking up the grass-coloured cloth with my dance moves whilst trying to stay on my mark! I eventually got into the groove as Gary slid the faders up on the desk and "I Am Consumer" blasted out at gig-level volume.
Serena, of course, was way more adept at acting in front of the camera - she's appeared in music videos before, so she knew the score. Wielding her 'wedding white' Marconi Labs Ego* guitar, swinging it like an axe at times, Serena replayed her guitar parts syncing perfectly with the track.
*I'd initially hoped to use my beautiful, 'Kawasaki green' Ego guitar to match Serena's visually - but of course, it happened to be exactly the same shade as the green screen! The body of the guitar would become mostly invisible had we tried to use it. Bah!
The funniest part of the shoot was the QVC spoof section - we both giggled as we donned glasses, wigs and 'normal' clothes, Serena mimed to the lyrics as if she were selling some crud that no-one needs, whilst I nodded in imaginary agreement. Another costume change - Serena making mechanical, wide-eyed robot manoeuvres to the heavy beat.
Towards the end of the day we shot the dreamy "fear breeds fear" section, with the music dropping down in pace - a welcome chance to cool down after the manic 'gig' segment. A last-minute idea, whilst scrambling to gather my costumes in the morning before the shoot, I'd sprayed an old broken mandolin with sparkly dark red paint and plucked that in time to my guitar part. I looked calm and serene, hairless chested and bare-nippled on show (reminding me at the time, of David Essex in 'Stardust'), whilst Serena scared the living daylights out of me and Gary with her snarling, gnashing and gnarling her way towards the end of the song.
"That's a rap!" Gary shouted gleefully, immediately after the last few frames of us swinging our guitars like weapons were filmed. Still sweating, it was time for a celebratory swift beer in the studio's sunny garden.
A few nervous days of anticipation followed, with Gary driving his computer - constructing 3D models of virtual sound stages, churches, flames, trees and flying text.
Serena sniffed the air wolf-like, and swore that she could smell the evil Intergalactic Order Force closing in on us, so we jumped in the van and escaped to Glasto for the Solstice, then onto Royal Bath for a few days, whilst Gary worked hard on the edit. [see Serena's blog here]
Getting the message from Gary to watch a video preview, we whizzed back to London until we hit the M4, where the traffic ground to a halt. After an exhausting journey, we finally got to Gary's 'shed' studio.
We started watching the video nervously but within seconds were wowed by it! We shrieked in excitement as our eyeballs were pleasurably battered by fast-cut imagery and amazing computer-generated visuals.
We watched intently another couple of times, noting more detail each time. Massive hugs all-round, we felt proud of our very first pro video. Another celebratory beer downed, we felt exhausted and satisfied - job done!