The origins of this video date back to the 2000 Trees Festival earlier this year after a drunken chat with the band where I agreed to direct the second video from their new EP 'Merci'. It didn't take much arm bending (if any at all any) as they are a great bunch of lads and make some pretty darn awesome music.
After discussing ideas with the band and seeing as the song is called 'The Artist' we decided to go in a 'silent film' route. Being a fan of George Melies (Trip to the Moon) Fritz Lang (Metropolis) Robert Wiene (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari I decided to using these as my main source of inspiration I wanted to do something that was dark, atmospheric, fantastical, and stylish..
After a brainstorming session with my good friend and college Brandon Kahn, we came up with a simple boy meets girl fantasy/fairytale where the world tries everything to separate them; but through perseverance the pair reunite. As well as the aforementioned silent films we also discussed the likes of Wall-e, Hannah, and Princess Mononoke as well as video games such as Journey and Limbo as inspiration.
Originally I wanted to do all the video in camera with minimal sets and crude props and costumes. However I neither had a space of a budget to make anything other than a few costumes. So I decided to shoot all the footage on green screen and produce all the backgrounds on the computer and the animals via traditional animation in a similar way to my previous videos for Bovine and The Prodigy.
Prep for the video took several days where I designed and costumes, and storyboarded the entire video. all the costumes and props were fully hand made from all manor of things found laying around my house, from the rag market, Second hand shops and Primark (other clothing retailers are available).
For the cast I looked no further than Hannah Arnott and Romelo Fray , two Sutton Coldfield College students studying Drama who I worked with briefly on a video for To the wall. Both seemed very keen to be involved with more projects as well as having the talent to back it up.
Filming took place in the Station Pub (believe it or not) over the course of two afternoons. I drafted in my good friend Paul Nadin to help Co direct the live action parts of the video. Paul is great to have on set, he is incredibly thoughtful and has great insight into what we are doing. I value his opinions and ideas greatly. I also think the two leads appreciated his help too, as if I was busy with the technical aspects of the video he was always at hand to help the actors develop their characters, and work on their performance. As it was both their first time on camera, I was impressed with how well they adapted to the stop start nature of film, especially as they were working with nothing more than a green screen and had to imagine every thing around them ( Also I give them props for wearing the daft costumes which out of context look incredibly dumb)
All in all the video took four weeks to produce from start to finish. Post production was by far the biggest challenge of the video as every single shot was an effects shot, be is just snow/trees, a full on chase sequence with a pack of wolves, or a fight scene with a beastly Polar Bear. To say this was an undertaking is an understatement. Towards the end there were a lot of sleepless nights (and a hell of a lot of tea consumed) but all in all it was worth and I'm incredibly pleased with how it turned out.
I would like to thank all those involved with the Making of the Video - Paul Nadin, Bandon Kahn, Hannah Arnott, Romelo Fray, Thomas Peckett, Robert Wisely and Richard Lee.
&U&I's new EP 'Merci' featuring The Artist and The Stamp is out on 02/10/2015 and is available on Spotify, Itunes and Robot needs home
Here's a behind the scenes time lapse of the first day of filming for the new Burn Down Rydell video, Enjoy.
Video should be ready for release mid August.
This weekend I had the pleasure of going to the 2000 Trees festival with my good friends in &U&I and To The Wall. I took my camera and filmed some stuff...
There will also be an acoustic version of &U&I's - The Artist coming soon.
Sorry I haven't posted in a while, it's not due to the lack of projects more to do with the fact we have too many projects on the go. Any who here's a run down of what we have been up to and where we are at with certain projects.
TO THE WALL - BLUE & GREY MOUNTAINS
The Music video is complete, and the band are just awaiting the final mix/master of the track to come through from america. So it shouldn't be to long to wait now.
It's been a long time since we have posted about Powerless, but we are almost ready to unleash our Indiegogo campaign to help fund an eight episode web series. We have shot a campaign video, filmed a mini short to coincide with it, and produced a ton of concept and design work to support it. We aiming to launch the campaign towards the end of August/beginning of September.
Better Feeling Films are venturing out and are entering the world of comics with ' Ohno...Monsters'. This is an idea I have had in my head for years, I tried to make a short based on it back in 2006 but it wasn't quite working. Over the years I have tried to get it to work in various forms but to no avail. Cut to 2015 and with Paul Nadin in the writers chair and myself on Art duty we have completely reconstructed the idea from the ground up and have crafted what I believe to be a very thoughtful, character driven monster/horror book. Set in Birmingham during the mid 90's in the midst of an Alien/Monster invasion the story follows two siblings as they try find their younger brother and reunite with their family in the midst of all the chaos. It wont be ready for at least a year as we are working on it between projects, but trust me when I say it will be worth the wait.
MORE MUSIC VIDEOS
In the next few months we will be working with &U&I and Burn Down Rydell again to produce some visual treats for your eye balls. More info on those coming soon.
That's your lot for now,
CALLING ALL EXTRAS!
We are shooting a music video for the amazing rock band 'To the Wall' on Friday the 15th May
and we are in need of roughly 10 extras.
Location: Digbeth (custard Factory area)
Clothing: Causal but muted colour
All ages, races and genders welcome
Sadly this is unpaid work but If you are interested, or would like more information don't hesitate to get in touch.
The original idea for the video actually dates back to 2008 when the three members of &U&I were in a band called Blakfish. However that idea never materialised, until mid February 2015 that is, when I was contacted by the band asking if I was interested in producing a video for their new single - The Stamp.
A couple of days later we met up for a few drinks to discuss ideas. The one big obstacle we had to overcome was that it would be near impossible to get all three members together at the same time (due to work commitments etc) by the time they needed the video ready for release. So with the old Blakfish video idea in the back of my mind, I told them of my idea of puppets which fall apart by the end of the song and showed them some concept art.
The band instantly loved the idea, and with that I sourced all the materials I needed - cardboard, felt, old clothing, wool, ping pong balls and paint.
First of all I got to work on making the bodies of the puppets, so that I could make sure they worked and would be robust enough for the video shoot. Before I clothed/skinned them I produced several test videos, one demonstrating how the puppets would work, and then another with various lip sync techniques. So if the band weren't happy with anything I could course correct myself before fully committing to anything.
Once I knew the band were happy with how it was all progressing I started to skin/cloth the puppets. As we were going for a monochromatic look to the video (with hits of red ) I thought it would be best to make everything using blacks, whites and greys.
With the assistance of my sister - Leonora Whitehouse (who is amazing at needle work) the puppets were completed in little over a week.
The instruments/amps/pedals etc took around a week to make. I made two versions of the guitar and bass ( after I realised the originals were far to small) and were made mainly out of cardboard, wool - stings - the machine heads. The drum Kit took the majority of the time (3-4 days) and was made out of cardboard, 18ft of dowling, plastic dinner plates, and plant pot trays.
The video itself was filmed over the course of a week, with each band member pupperteering themselves in the hopes that their personality/trait's would come through. The puppets of Thom and Rich took three people to operate, one for the head/body (wearing a green morph suit) then two people either side operating the hands. The puppet of Wiz, only needed two, one for the arms, one for the head/body. I also had additional help from Rob Laity and Rich Howell, who helped film reshoots/pick up shots for the video.
I decided that shooting the video on Green Screen would be for the best for several reasons.
1 - To puppeteer three puppets at once would have been a nightmare, not to mention we didn't have the space (it was shot in tiny bedroom) by shooting them separately I could combine them together in post production.
2 - I wanted to make the puppets really skinny, and to look as if they held up themselves. Most puppets/muppets heads are articulated via a arm going through the body up through the neck and you only see them from the waist up. If you have ever seen &U&I live, you will see they are a really energetic band, and I wanted their puppet versions to be equally as lively and entertaining.
Editing took over three weeks, with the bulk of the work being done on after effects. Cleaning up any dodgy green screen shot (which was most of them), compositing the band members together into the same shot, blinks, wire removal and adding in the background elements.
All in all I think it was six weeks well spent and I hope you enjoyed the video as much as I did making it. It was a video that I have been itching to make for over seven years and I am glad I'm finally got to make for such an awesome band/song. Big thanks to the band, My Sister (Leonora Whitehouse) Rob Laity, Richard Howell and my Mum...for all the tea.
Check out the gallery for more behind the scenes pictures from the making of the video.
See you soon,
&U&Is new E.P 'Merci' featuring 'The Stamp' is out in May
Well Ghostbusters only went and bloody well won the Done in 60 Seconds Award. To everyone who voted, friends, family, ghouls, ghost... whoever you are, THANK YOU!
On Sunday March 29th myself and Rob Laity attended the Empire Magazine Movie Awards 2015. To cut a long story short it was a great night, where we were just a stones throw away from one of our all time favourite directors - Christopher Nolan. Just being in the same room as him was incredible. We were also in the presence of (get ready for it, name drop time) Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Ralph Finnes, Freddie Highmore, Cast of Game of Thrones, Mark Strong, Jonathan Ross, Jane Goldman, Jason Isaacs, Henry Cavill, Jessica Chastain, half of the Inbetweeners, Peter Capaldi, Paul King, Karen Gillan, Hayley Attwell, Daniel Radcliffe, James Mcavoy, James Nesbitt and a load more that I can't quite remember . So yeah, safe to say it was not your typical Sunday Evening.
On behalf of myself and Rob, a massive thanks goes to all those involved with the making of the film too : Mark Breeze, Jamie Long, Hugh Blackwood, Natalie Gardner, Dave Jarrett, Leonora Whitehouse. Sofia Price and Brutus the Pug. Couldn't have done it without you.
I would also like to thank everyone at Empire Magazine and Jamesons UK for not only holding the competition, but for inviting us to the ceremony, and looking after us during our stay.
For more info on the awards go to Empire Online
It's all go here at betterfeelingfilms. We are currently in the pre production stages of our new music video. I won't give to many details only that It's unlike anything we have done thus far, and think it will be something really special. You won't have to wait to long to see it, as the bands single/e.p (which is awesome) is expected to hit mid March.
We are also getting ready to launch a Kickstarter for the third Powerless episode, so keep your eyes peeled for that in the next few weeks as well.
Anyway, I have a LOT of 'things' to make and do. See you soon,
Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Adam Whitehouse. I met him on the set of Burn Down Rydel's video for Fight where he played the Telford Tigers Manager. He was a pleasure to work with and an incredibly funny guy. You keep that budget sir, you earned it.
Hello and Welcome to the new and improved Betterfeelingfilms Website.
2014 was a pretty busy year for us. We produced four music videos for the likes of Bishop, Burn Down Rydell, Sylosis and The Prodigy. Remade Ghostbusters and Jurassic Park - using a whole heap of silly wigs, cardboard, gaffer tape and plasticine. On top of all that a re-release of our Powerless Christmas episode complete with new effects, music, and colour grade.
2015 has already proved to be a busy year for us. On January 12th our video for The Prodigy was released and as of this moment has gained nearly 6 million hits between youtube and Vevo. We have also entered our Ghostbusters film to the Empire Magazine Done in 60 seconds competition (So proton streams crossed on that front). We have a lot more planned for the rest of the year. More Powerless, More DIY Remakes (I promise to finish Jurassic Park first) several music videos and not to mention our first Comicbook/Graphic Novel.
Anyway, back to the new site...
This blog will be used to post all manor of stuff including news - what we are up to, what we plan to do. Mini essays documenting the behind the scenes of our various projects. And random crap that we find interesting, relevant and/or amusing.
As for the rest of the site, I have tried to make it fairly user friendly with tabs for Powerless, DIY movies, and Music Videos. Each one containing pages for each film/video as well as additional making of videos, Bloopers, pictures, posters, and all that good shit.
Anyway, that's all for now. In the mean time bookmark this page, add us on facebook, follow us on Instagram/twitter and subscribe to us on youtube becasue 2015 is gonna be one hell of a busy year!