Lvrgrl’s Weblog

Hello Ladies
April 17, 2009, 5:48 pm
Filed under: art, music

A friend asked me to volunteer art direct for an Au Revoir Simone music video shoot at Brooklyn’s Bell House. The first music videos they made for the band a few years back was a beautiful and misty romp through the woods that ended with the ARS girls fishing for their keyboards off the side of the a dewy dock, so I said yes. I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into and I think the other boys and the girls on the crew may have known even less.

The girls were fresh faced, bright eyed and on set hours before the cameras were turned on. While picking outfits, doing hair and making up, they conducted the business of being three friends in a band careful to accommodate each other in every way possible while rising step by step to the top of their game. Gold and purple tee shirts have to be made, opening bands must be chosen, fans must be responded to and it all must be done together with ease and success. Tres impressive.

Without giving too much away, the idea was a create a stop motion merry-go-round sort of look using multiple cameras and more angles than you’d find in geometry book. Part of my job was to make a nice-looking star formation out of amps, keyboards and monitors so when the whole set is shot from above each piece is mirrored by another. Think of, I dunno, say a big fat diamond engagement ring that shimmers like crazy with each facet reflecting brightly off one another.

Achieving this effect meant hours of taping down degrees of circles on the floor using protractors, pencils and string until both the space around the band, as well as each band member, were marked up to perfection. Later, large metal sections of circular rails held five separate cameras clamped to exact locations.  This unit was moved around the map until all 360 degrees of the set had been captured. Each performer also had to be surrounded by crew members with cameras held steady as we shuffled, shoulder to shoulder, around the curves. While the song played on repeat. Till 2am.

Sounds fun, right?

Well, yes, yes it was! You know the sort of feeling when you leave camp and all these people you knew nothing about at the beginning of the summer now seem like they’ve been part of your life all along? It was like that. We’re calling each other by nicknames carefully chosen at opportune times, giving away hugs like they are ice cream sandwiches and shouting out times to get together out through the darkness as we each retreat back to our own lives. Even while joyfully imaging sleeping in my very own bed and soon, I still didn’t want to leave.

And this, of course, is due to the non-stop hard working creatively visioned humorously inclined crew who ended the night on a dolly cart whirling around the set to capture the most important and most difficult shot. Dispose of everything, keep nothing but a pure heart and lots of love.  Good luck in Paris, Ladies!


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