We've just Written, Directed & Produced this Short Film/Music Promo for Black Black Hills’ debut single ‘The Celebration’. Upon hearing the track we immediately felt inspired to create something that was firmly rooted in British folklore.
Black Black Hills’ single ‘The Celebration’ is available from itunes and Amazon now. Check out their Facebook page facebook.com/blackblackhills and their Soundcloud page soundcloud.com/blackblackhills
'The Celebration’ is a thematically and emotively dark sounding song. Because of this we wanted to tell a simple but very cinematic and gripping story focusing on the atmosphere of the track without being a literal translation of the lyrics.
As the track is so evocative, we felt that to do the song any justice we needed to tell a story. We also purposefully wanted to create something that subtly blurred the boundary between ‘Short Film’ and ‘Music Promo’.
The outcome of our efforts was a unique take on the idea of a modern gothic thriller. A story that combines the sort of imagery familiar to ancient folklore, pagan-esque ceremonies and the creepy stuff of ‘pulp literature’ style ghost stories. ‘The Celebration’ purposefully sets out to embrace the notion of a ‘British Mythology’. To create a contemporary fable that celebrates the mystifying forces of nature which lie deep within the ancient woodland and forests of rural England.
The film itself tells a tale of the furtive exploits of an illegal metal detectorist (a ‘Nighthawk’) in a rural English landscape as he sets about trespassing and plundering secluded parts of the land with dire consequences. This allowed us to build a narrative foundation with which we could turn the everyday, the idyllic and the quaint into something far more sinister.
We wanted to teeter on the brink of the unknown and play with the primal instincts buried deep within the collective, evolutionary psyche.
As this was a self funded by us (Blac Ionica) for Black Black Hills, we had a very limited budget which in turn dictated what format we could shoot on. We knew we wanted to shoot something very cinematic but it had to be on a budget, so in light of that and after extensive discussions with the D.O.P. we decided to shoot on a Canon 7D with a steadicam rig and Anamorphic Prime lenses.
We shot for two days in two separate locations with a fantastic cast and crew. The first day of shooting was slightly thwarted by our unpredictable ‘British summertime’ weather, but in the end it actually worked in our favour, as it helped to create an additional overall ‘moodiness’ that we hadn’t bargained for at this time of year.
Post production was handled by ourselves with the help of our excellent team of freelancers and compositors. All of which was further enhanced through the grade which was kindly provided by the Moving Picture Company, London.
A little bit about the Directors/us:
We are a Film Directing trio called Blac Ionica, we are based in London and we also shoot Commercials and make Title Sequences. In 2009 we were nominated for a UK Music Video Award.
Directors: Blac Ionica
Production Company: Blac Ionica
Story By: Blac Ionica
Producer: Blac Ionica
Production Assistant: Millie Marsh
1st Assistant Director: Isusko Garcia
Director of Photography: Will Bex
Focus Puller: Eva Arnold
Steadicam: Rob Hart
2nd AC/DIT Tech: Lami Okrekson
Casting Director: Jane Frisby
Location Manager: Ben Carter @ Lovely Locations
Stylist: Adelaide Turnbull
Make-Up: Jo-Jo Copeman
Art Department / Props: Rebecca Todd
Art Department Assistant: George Evennett
Catering day 1: Sasha Turnbull
Catering day 2: Ambassador Catering
Runners: Jess Bishopp, Chris Shooter, Daisy Gatehouse
Storyboards: Sally Pring
Editors: Alec Rossiter, Leanne Welham
Head of Production, MPC: Jonathan Davies
Colourist/Grade: Steve Gatti @ MPC
Producer for MPC: Glen Purcevil
VFX: Blac Ionica
Additional VFX: Barnaby Hewlett
VFX Compositing: Barnaby Hewlett, Jamie Howlett, Kooch Chung
Sound Design: Blac Ionica
Metal Detectorist: Frank Jakeman
Woman: Helen Terry
Police Officer: Lee Harris
Shadows: Arno Baernhoft, Christopher Beck, Riyonn Farsad, Michael Tomlinson
Special thanks to Ben @ Lovely Locations, the wonderful Turnbull family, Jane Frisby, Sam Lawson & Another Film Company, Will Bex, Rebecca Todd, Jo-Jo, Barnaby and his alter ego Barnold Shwarzenegger aka the Barnicles, Kooch & Jamie, Ambassador Catering. Jonathan Davies, Steve Gatti & Glen Purcivel @ MPC. Frank Jakeman, Helen Terry and all of our exceptionally talented cast and crew.
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