In a year where lockdown has massively impacted many of the musicians I work with, it was fantastic to get the opportunity to actually make a music video again.
I’ve been a fan of Ellie’s music for some time so jumped at the chance to shoot her video for ‘Against the Tide’. It’s a track I’d previously filmed Ellie performing for Big Comfy Sessions.
Every project I work on is different. Some artists have a pretty clear idea of what they’re looking for and just need me to figure out how to execute on it. Others have much less of an developed idea and so require a lot more creative input. Working with Ellie, however, was completely different again. Ellie didn’t just have the idea…she had a fully formed story board, location and even a complete shoot plan! To be honest I really didn’t have much to do other than just turn up and film it (plus the edit and colour grade obviously…)
The hardest part of this shoot was trying to keep up with Ellie in the running scenes. I did explain to her beforehand 1) I’m getting on a bit, 2) I’m carrying a few lockdown pounds and 3) I only have short legs, so please don’t run too fast! She still legged it on every take. I was totally knackered by the end of the shoot.
Having said that I did at least get to wear a coat all day while Ellie had to spend most of the day freezing in her dress (we filmed this in December), so I guess fair’s fair.
Interesting technical things; in the opening clip before the music starts you see and hear Ellie running through the woods. We couldn’t use the actual audio from that scene because along with Ellie you would have also heard me running along behind her (probably wheezing like an old boiler). So on the day we had to capture a separate audio track of Ellie running on her own so that we could overlay that in post.
The other interesting point is the clip where Ellie wipes the mud across her dress. That was definitely a one-take situation! Without the budget for a on-set wardrobe and laundry department, if we’d have screwed that clip up, we’d have had to pack up and come back and film it another day.
As well as filming the video, we used the same location to shoot a bunch of promo images to support Ellie’s EP launch, one of which was used for the cover artwork.
I’m really pleased with this project. If you’re not already familiar with Ellie you should go and check out her social media stuff and her excellent EP ‘Parting Breath’.