If Mel is stolidly explaining to someone that she simply cannot lay down in a potentially pathogen-laden stream in the middle of industrial Yorkshire, during a particularly bitterly cold March then you can be reasonably certain that it is not going to be a normal day, by any standards.
However, where Braver than Fiction are concerned, is there actually such a thing as a normal day? What is normal, anyway?
Normal is whatever you are.
You see, we had committed ourselves to the South Yorkshire Filmmakers Network (SYFN) 2 Weeks 2 Make It music video competition some considerable time before any of us were aware of Mel’s health issues but there was no way we were backing out so, we resolved to make the best of it and hope that the filmmaker who drew our particular short straw was not hoping to make a career off the back of this video.
Fortunately, this was not the case and we were matched up with Martin Currie from Little Red Light Productions who is an established filmmaker from our home town of Sheffield and about as laid back as any laid back filmmaker could possibly be (apart from his disturbingly persistent attempts to drown Mel).
We were certain that we wanted the video to be made for the title track of our EP, King of Crows and we had a definite idea about the tone we wanted to set. Naturally, Martin also had his own, expert abstractions and many of them involved Mel and vast bodies of water. Mel was not having any of this and to be honest, the whole band had her corner there; it really was not diva behaviour, just common sense. She and the band were united in their assumption that her consultant would have had some kind of conniption if he knew she had gone straight from chemotherapy to being submerged (or semi-submerged) in any kind of water and under the toasty glare of excruciatingly hot lights, for any length of time.
So our beleaguered Mr. Currie was obliged to drop any potential snuff footage from his brief and we all went back to concentrating on how to shoot a performance video with a largely absent and incapacitated lead singer. We know what you are thinking, a narrative video would have made more sense but, that would have been too easy and besides, Martin was firm that we would all be in the video (which thankfully, we just about managed).
We were working at the mercy of some constraints and actually only had about six hours of available filming time so a lot of the video was reliant on post production editing, which Martin excels at (lucky us!) Indeed, voilà; we present the fruits of his labours (feel free to share it with wild and careless abandon):
No crows (or singers) were harmed during the making of this video.
All in all, we are agreed that 2 Weeks 2 Make It is a fantastic concept. It allows folks from different but regularly associated industries team up with each other over a very level playing field. It is definitely an educational experience and since we are not seasoned video makers, our eyes have been opened to a further glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes.
SYFN have recently uploaded this ‘behind the scenes’ look at the making of the 2 Weeks 2 Make It videos and it offers a fascinating insight into the process, the people and the hard work that goes into one of these projects.
We have a few words from Rob himself:
This is the 7th time we are coordinating the 2 Weeks 2 Make It competition and I think it’s been the one that’s been the most engaging of all. Maybe it comes after doing numerous times before, but this time we feel we have had the best examples of collaboration, the best relationships that have formed as a result of randomly putting these teams of filmmakers and musicians together. Basically, people get it. And I think the results this year show that. It’s awesome to hear that, even now only a week after the awards have been distributed, people are already planning their next project together. That’s what this kind of project is all about.
– Rob Speranza, SYFN
Do make a point of visiting SYFN’s YouTube channel and check out all twenty entries into the 2015 2 Weeks 2 Make It competition. A lot of exceedingly talented individuals and teams worked a wonder of creative magic to bring their music into another dimension. We celebrate them – each and every one.