David Knight - 19th Feb 2014

In his 'day job', Houmam Abdallah has contributed to numerous videos coming out of London with his excellent grading work. But Houmam has also is distinctive quality as a director with his lovely video for Beirut's The Rip Tide, that combines great footage of a boat at sea with visual effects.

Now he's achieved something similarly impressive for soulful Canadian singer-songwriter JBM's Only Now. In the video, Jessie (aka JBM) is travelling on a classic steam train travelling through stunning scenery in the Scottish Highlands, but then Houmam also enhances these sumptuous shots with subtle effects so the experience becomes increasingly impressionistic, and then surreal.

Finally JBM arrives at his destination - a remote highland cottage, which then melts before his eyes...

Houmam Abdullah:

"The train does only two legs per day, from Fort William to Malaig and back. So th first day was used for everything from inside the train, that includes Jesse and any scenery.

"The second day was used for exteriors. We found a couple of spots where you could get clear shots of the train as it passes by. Thanks to James' (the AD) driving skills we were able to speed ahead of the train, set up, film it as it went past before getting back in the car and racing it to the next clear spot.

"The brilliant Steve Price also took every opportunity to get as much footage of the train. filming the train from the car window with half his body out of the window at times and Jesse (the artist) holding on to his jacket for stabilisation (some real gem moments there!). 

"The melted house came from questioning what would happen 'hypothetically speaking’ if elements in a digital picture overheated. We made a 3D model of the existing house filmed on location, then 3D-printed a replica and melted it using a paint-stripping gun. This in return gave the feeling of creative freedom that you get from working with paintings or illustration."

PRO Credits


DirectorHoumam Abdallah
ProducerCaroline Clayton
Director of PhotographyStephen Price
1st ADJames Drew
EditorWilliam Barnett
Post ProducerAlannah Currie
2D AnimatorAna Sigüenza
ColouristHoumam Abdallah

David Knight - 19th Feb 2014

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