I had the pleasure of working again with talented songwriter and good friend Cass Lowe. Birthmark was a project we have been talking about for a while and I was pleased to finally take it on board. With the track being both cinematic and texturally rich, along with Cass’ willingness for me really be playful with the art direction and the characters, this project was something I was really excited about developing.
Birthmark gave me to opportunity to work on something a little more off beat and faded in its tone. I really got the chance to sink in to an aesthetic where we could be playful with camerawork, costume, art direction and a sense of magic. I wanted to not only touch on the core message of the track by working closely with Cass lyrically and thematically, but also to elaborate on that and place it in a world which felt really at the heart of the song. I wanted to drop the viewer dizzyingly in the center of a dysfunctional, and at times, grotesque family, in a grandiose and hyper-real surrounding. At its core, the video is about having someone there to steady you when everything in your life seems up in the air to tell you that you are wrong, or indeed right when you really need someone to.
We shot birthmark over two days, with an additional green screen shoot that I did with just me and Cass a week later, followed buy a couple of weeks for editing, post production and grading. To the right is a quick breakdown of the VFX comp. I shot a number of rhythmical passes of the artist to build the background and composited to achieve a 50′s broadcast gameshow look.
The final result is definitely a testament to everyone’s desire to do something a but more out of the ordinary, and was certainly one of the most enjoyable creative experiences i’ve had. Working with cinematographer Stephen Murphy was an absolute joy. He was one of those guys from day one who just ‘got it’.
Director: Daryl A
DoP: Stephen Murphy
Production Company: Sudden Black
Executive Producer: Adam Mustafa
Unit A Producer: Paris Zarcilla
Unit B Producer: Dan Bliss
Associate Producer: Kirsty Bennett
Gaffer: Robert White
1st AD: Daniel Bliss
Edit: Daryl A
Grade: Dan Moran @ Smoke And Mirrors
VFX: Simon Reeves @ Analog, Daryl A
3D Modelling, Alexander Mccarthy
Wardrobe & Art Department: Amy Addison
Production Assistants: Bliss Newman, Tessa Lawer
2nd AD: Odinn Hilmarsson
Focus Puller: Emilio Schlappi
Loader: Richard Staf
Dolly Grip: Sam Phillips
Spark: Matt Vahey
VFX Supervisor & DIT: Matthew Allen
Wardrobe Assistant: Lauren Naylor
Hair & MUA: Verity Pitt
2nd AD: Jacob Temple
1st AC: Marcus Autelli
2nd AC: Henry Keep
Hair & MUA: Chloe Barr
Wardrobe Assistant: Tessa Lawer
DIT: Odinn Hilmarsson