David Knight - 11th Sept 2014

With a background as a visual artist and documentarian Callum Cooper, just signed to Good Egg in London, has now made his debut music video for Metronomy's Month Of Sundays. And the innovative camera technique, in combination with a series of geometrically interesting locations, makes this a memorable experience for the viewer.

The video is a stitched collection of stunning shots that uses a constantly moving, arcing camera to capture the band mostly on the concrete spiral staricases of London's brutalist Sixties architecture. It leaves your head spinning. 

How did he do it? Callum explains more below. Although he's keeping failry schtum about his own camera rig invention that he used on the video... 

How did the Metronomy project come about?

Callum Cooper: I have been working very independently for the past six years. After some success such as having short films selected to Sundance plus a couple of other projects getting Vimeo staff picks and blog attention I started getting loads of emails from agencies and labels. But I felt I was best to do my own thing. It wasn't until John Hassay (@goodegg) approached me, who is representing tellnoone (whose work I respect) that I considered representation.

So we chatted and the Metronomy track came in, I pitched and we got it. I immediately got Joe's number (from the band) and we discussed the idea. I wanted to make sure that, as artists, we had a shared vision. I could talk conceptually about the ideas we wanted in the promo, but as many of your readers are fellow creators, perhaps it's more interesting if I talk about the process;

As most would appreciate the turn-around for a promo is insane. When you couple that with the notion that Michel Gondry (the godfather of music videos) has done the bands last video and Megaforce (to me one of the great promo makers of today) did another... I was a little nervous. But perhaps not as nervous as the band, label and crew when they received the shot list I had formulated; 57 shots, multiple locations, 9 hours in one day (we only had Metronomy for a day during their global tour).

However, I had prepared the shoot extensively. I had designed and fabricated a camera apparatus specifically for the video. I then used this tool to survey all the shots and then I cut that footage together, essentially into a version of the video without the band. So when it came to the shoot with the band I knew exactly what was needed and where it was needed. It also meant I didn't need playback...we could just move quickly and do a shot casually every 6 minutes.

Consequently we actually finished 30 minutes early and with some extra shots in the bag. Everybody was happy... except John Hassay. He was panicky, as in all his years as a commissioner he had only ever seen one promo finish early. 

A few days later the edit of the promo was mostly finished. John was notably relieved when he saw the cut. The key for me was that Joe and I had a solid understanding of what the video would be and consequently very little changed from that idea to the final promo. The bit in between, with me giving casual directions and operating a strange camera contraption was an exercise in trust for everyone else.

What experience do you have in making music videos?

CC: For the past six years, and since graduating from RCA, I've been creating video art, short films, documentaries and even some interactive projects. I have been lucky, as these personal projects kept me afloat both financially and creatively. Perhaps that's why I hadn't really considered turning to music videos.  But I had a great experience on this one, and if I was to work with another likeminded artist who is on a smart creative label then I'd certainly jump at the chance.

How did you capture the footage in the video?

CC: With a camera and that sculpture I designed. There are hints in the video about how it was shot, you can see me literally operating the device in the video. 

A visual effect is like a slight of hand magic trick, if I told you how I did it, it would most certainly ruin the illusion for you. 

Watch 'Metronomy 'Month Of Sundays' by Callum Cooper' here

PRO Credits

Credits

Camera AssistantCharles Vallance
DirectorCallum Cooper
Executive ProducerJulia Reed
Executive ProducerJohn Hassay
ProducerJoshua Smith
Line ProducerRupert Savage
Camera AssistantChris Vickers
Production CompanyGood Egg
ColouristLewis Crossfield
VFXMatt Moult
VFXJack Hunter
CommissionerJane Third
CommissionerStephen Bass
LabelBecause Music

David Knight - 11th Sept 2014

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