Ned Botwood - 14th June 2019

Castles is the second of three of live performances directed by Raja Virdi for Freya Ridings.

Virdi has an enviable reputation for one-take live videos. And for this trilogy, he had the less-than-enviable task of shooting three videos in one day with a distinct look and character. Thankfully, this Barbican series is proving to be an education in economy and simplicity, and a testament to Virdi's talented crew.

The character of each piece in this song cycle corresponds to a time-of-day, and in this installment, Connor Coolbear's grade shines in particular. The look and atmosphere of sunset are so palpable, you could be forgiven for assuming the crew had simply opened the blinds.


"Directing for Freya is always really fun and she's a wicked performer. However filming three videos in a day is a tough job, especially with the daunting task of shooting one shots on a telescopic crane with various complex continuous camera movements, but the crew made this a dream and every idea of mine was executed incredibly.

"My main task was figuring out how to make each video in this series have their own visual identity, whilst in similar lighting/camera setups because of limited time, therefore I decided to go with times of day. We shot one in bright daylight and one at night with lots of practical lamps, but for Castles, I really wanted to push the concept of shooting at sunset.

"Brett (DoP) & Gavin (gaffer) got the piece to a great overall look that I wanted on the day (considering this was shot after sunset), but to my very regular colourists credit (Connor at Electric Theatre Collective) he really made this piece what it is now... even with me constantly in his ear asking him for more warmth."

PRO Credits


DirectorRaja Virdi
ProducerByron McNally
Production CompanyPHASE
Executive ProducerRaja Virdi
1st ADJames Dyer
Director of PhotographyBrett Turnbull
Focus PullerAshley Bond
2nd ACAndrew Trewartha
GafferGavin Walters
Art DirectorBon Walsh
WardrobeElla-louise Gaskell
HairRebecca Barnes
Make-upRebecca Barnes
ColouristConnor Coolbear
Grading companyElectric Theatre Collective
Post ProducerOliver Whitworth
CommissionerRyan Jafarzadeh
LabelGood Soldier Records
Other creditsProduction Co-Ordinator: Anastasia Chabanova Production Assistant: Mila Araoz Production Assistant: Joe Ramsden Key Grip: Jem Morton Grip: Rob Barlow Head Technician: Luke Skerton Crane Technician: Kurt Kemble Electrician: Chris Dowling Electrician: Neil Hawkins Desk Op: Phil White Helium Balloon Op: Dan Carter Art Assistant: Alex Surguladze Art Assistant: Emmy MacDonald Sound Recording: Anthony Leung Sound Assistant: David Simpson Special Thanks: Sarah Wray & Anthony Kwokori @ Barbican Becca Day @ Chapman Leonard Lloyd Barker @ Pixipixel Jason Heritage @ Take 2

Ned Botwood - 14th June 2019

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