I was approached by Dead Ceremony to create a music video for their, at the time, debut single "Heartbeat" with the caveat that they had a low-budget to complete the project. I'd been trying to avoid low-budget productions but I listened to the track and really loved the production and it suited a concept that I'd had to combine syncopated animation and music with projection; I decided if there was a way that the shoot could be achieved simply and cheaply whilst also being artistically worthwhile, that it would be worth doing. Once I actually got into the project it ended up becoming one of my favourite projects I've done, not to mention relatively stress-free in both pre and post-production.
I began by animating a simple geometric animation in After Effects, sync'd up to the track, which evolved quite naturally without much storyboarding and I was pleased with the result.
My initial thought was to simply project the animation over the band performing the track but I decided that, given the sparse nature of the track, it probably would be quite dry and wouldn't sustain for the whole three and a half minutes. At this point I approached a dancer/choreographer called Rachael Warnes with whom I'd collaborated once before for our "Let it Go" video for SWIM and asked her if she'd like to choreograph something for the song and she was keen. She sent me back a rough video of the routine she worked out to the song and I thought she absolutely nailed the flow and movement through the song and I got extremely excited about how well the project could work.
For the actual shoot I kept the crew as small as possible as we had such a sparse budget and loaned a decent projector. We worked at Brixton's Whiteroom Studio, filming band performances first before bringing in Rachael for the remainder of the shoot. We shot full takes of performances of the song and so when it came to editing it it was a case of lining up each of the takes in the timeline and picking the best pieces of each take. Rachael did an excellent job with her timing on each take being near perfect! I, quite honestly, thought it worked fantastically without the band even in it so adding their performance footage was the cherry on the cake.
All in all we got it done for the limited budget but, more importantly, I was really pleased with what we achieved creatively under those time and budget constraints. All credit to Rachael for her work on this, it wouldn't have been as great without her contribution.
Video produced by Goshdamn Films (goshdamn.co.uk)
Director, Editor, Animator: Joe Boyle
Director of Photography: Dom Fisher
Camera & Lighting Assistant: Alex Finn
Make-up: Ellie Gill
Dancer: Rachael Warnes