David Knight - 17th Nov 2014

30 years on from the original and historic recording of Do They Know It’s Christmas? Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure returned to Sarm Studios in West London the location of the original 1984 recordings, on Saturday, November 15th, to record Band Aid 30, raising money for the current Ebola crisis in West Africa.

The line-up of talent to perform on the fourth version of the song included new generation stars together with some music legends, and a music video legend was also there - Andy Morahan.

Last week Andy, the director of iconic music videos including Guns N Roses November Rain and George Michael’s Faith and many more, was asked by Geldof and Virgin EMI to come on board to shoot the video. He just had to shoot it simultaneously with the recording of the song, and then deliver it within 36 hours, so it was ready for a special premiere on The X Factor. No pressure then.

Andy says, “this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with so many incredible artists. The level of talent in that studio was truly awe-inspiring. What Bob (Geldof) is doing is important and changes people’s lives. Ebola is killing thousands of people in multiple countries and has the potential to affect the whole world on a truly catastrophic scale. The incredible passion with which Bob approaches the Band Aid project is humbling and I am truly flattered to have been asked to be a part of it.”

In the space of the day Andy filmed some of the biggest pop stars of today – including One Direction, Emeli Sande, Rita Ora, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Sam Smith, Clean Bandit, Jessie Ware, Paloma Faith and Olly Murs – who teamed up with music legends such as Bono, Chris Martin, Sinead O'Connor, Angelique Kidjo, Elbow, Underworld and Queen’s Roger Taylor on drums.

“Being asked to be a part of the Band Aid experience was an incredible honor for us” says Great Guns’ Executive Producer Sheridan Thomas. “The whole process, from recording and mixing the track to shooting editing and finishing the film, had to be completed within 36 hours, presenting us with a number of pretty unique technical challenges. The workflow within each and across all departments had to be absolutely seamless to make it happen. There was literally no room for error. I’m so proud of the Great Guns team and so thankful to many of our regular collaborators, like our two DOPs Tony Miller and Angus Hudson, for pulling off what initially seemed like an impossible feat without a single hitch.” 

As well as collaborating with such talented artists, the Great Guns team had the joyous experience of working hand in hand with musical super producers Paul Epworth and Midge Ure.

Says Great Guns’ music video producer Tim Francis, “Paul and his engineers were sensational. They helped us enormously with overcoming the many complicated technical challenges. We really could not have delivered a video in the time frame without them.”

One of the most prominent of these challenges was faced by Great Guns Editors James Demetriou, Nick Saunders and Will Cole who had the gargantuan task of cutting a video that could not even start editing until the rough mix of the track was delivered at 2am, only 15 hours ahead of the delivery of the film’s final master.

The video was graded and finished at Rushes postproduction, and the tape was literally sprinted from their machine room to be premiered during the Sunday 16th November broadcast of The X Factor. The text donations during the program raised half a million pounds within an hour.

The entire project is non-profit - all partners involved have given their time & services up for free – and all proceeds will go to the Band Aid trust in the global fight against Ebola. 


DirectorAndy Morahan
Production CompanyGreat Guns
Executive ProducerLaura Gregory
Executive ProducerSheridan Thomas
ProducerTim Francis
ProducerDan Cleland
Director of PhotographyTony C Miller
Director of PhotographyAngus Hudson
Production designerRussell De Rozario
EditorJames Demietri
EditorNick Saunders
ColouristSimone Grattarola
Grading companyRushes
CommissionerJames Hackett
LabelVirgin EMI
Other creditsAdditional Photography: Josh Trigg Camera Team: Jeff Vine, Joshua Bourke, Ben Worthington, Mark Kozlowski, Harry Bennett-Snewin Lighting Technicians: Danny Hayward, Lee Brinkley, Noah Furrer, Jovan Lawrence Production Assistants: Jeannette Sutton, Peter Masheter, Elise Jeanrenaud, David Gluckstein, Tom Morgan, Elin Matthews Sound Engineers: Howie Nichol, Jonathan Mitchell Edit Assistant: Will Cole Post Producer: Joe West Camera Equipment: Take 2 Films Lighting Equipment: Panalux Sound Equipment: FAB Sound, Richmond Film Services Radios: Wavevend Hard Drives: G-Technology, Sony, Pro-Tape, CCK Media Insurance: Barry Pickard and Fleur Murphy at AJG International Catering: Leon With Special Thanks To: OB Management, Sarm Studios, Mel Hoven, Jed Kellett, Jennie Murphy, Matt Wiggins, Matt Bounsall, Francis Hughes, Barnaby Laws, Lee Hickman @ Wizzo, Rawdon De Fresnes, Oskar De Rozario, Blitz Rigging, essence cosmetics, Paul Skipper, Pat Daly

David Knight - 17th Nov 2014

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