David Knight - 30th June 2010

With different film formats and a strong central performance - while Gray Hulbert provides a observing presence, playing his song Where Waking Thoughts Sleep - this is impressive filmmaking, which Dan and his small crew shot (on Red and Super 8mm) over a few windy days last summer at Winchelsea beach.

Gray Hulbert
Where Waking Thoughts Sleep
Directed, produced & edited by Dan Gibling
Prod co: Toothgrinder Films
DoP: Brian Strange
Grade: Danny Atkinson at Th1ng
Super 8 Telecine by Marty McMullan at Rushes
Camera Assistant: Timur Bekir
DIT / Art Dept: Tug
Production Coordinator: Jo Crawshaw

Dan Gibling on making the video for Gray Hulbert's Where Waking Thoughts Sleep

"The aim of this promo was to create a short story that complimented the simplicity, pace, and charm of the songwriting. My previous videos have been for energetic rock bands with kinetic camera work, flashing lights and fast cuts, so in a departure from this I wanted to make something that perhaps did not say 'music promo' as much as 'short film'.

"I imagined Gray's music as a soundtrack to a film, kind of like the use of Gavin Clark's music in Shane Meadows' films where the simplicity of static shots and storytelling are heightened cinematically by the nostalgic and emotive soundscape. This atmosphere of nostalgia lends itself perfectly to the use of Super 8, and so the idea evolved of having two distinct looks to the promo - the bleak reality of our man's lonely search shot on HD with a filmic contrasty grade, juxtaposed against the warmth and brightness of the happier memories shot on Super 8 Ektachrome, with a brighter, more saturated finish.

"The story developed from the idea of having a quirky storyline about loneliness and happiness set on the south coast, and the lyric 'I wait for you to call'. The image of someone alone on the beach sweeping for treasure appealed to me both as visual and emotive element. I shot the promo last summer with a crew of friends who piled into their cars and despite the rain, headed down to Winchelsea Beach for a guerrilla shoot, armed with a Red camera, £30 eBay Super 8 camera, a four foot slider and a sheet of bounce board. We were determined to make a film even if we just shot a performance video inside our caravan as it pelted it down outside!

"All in all I think this shoot was blessed - it rained everywhere in the UK apart from Winchelsea, where it was bleak and overcast for our Red footage, with the sun popping out for our super 8! We found that the only shop in the UK to stock the discontinued super 8 batteries (which had run flat) was 5 miles inland. I would have liked to have time to include a little more of Gray's performance and not have to rush my DP quite so much on the day, limiting him to zoom lens and a sheet of bounce, but I am pleased with the look and feel.

"The backend of the production wasn't so easy and after a few weeks of editing began the start of a 10 month grading process. Having no budget for post (my entire budget was £800), my grade was done through favours by two individuals that worked very hard in their spare time to complete the promo. Special kudos to Danny at Th1ng who pulled all nighters with me in the Th1ng grading suite to try and get chunks of the grade done before the grownups arrived in the morning. ultimately this one is about story over style, and will hopefully appeal to those who see music videos as a space for narrative as well as depicting 'cool'."

Credits

Production CompanyToothgrinder Films
Director of PhotographyBrian Strange
ColouristDanny Atkinson
Camera operatorTimur Bekir

David Knight - 30th June 2010

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