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Freya Ridings 'Castles (Live At The Barbican)' by Raja Virdi

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."

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Ned Botwood - 14th June 2019


  • Director's notes
  • Live music video
  • Performance
  • Special projects
  • Singer-songwriter
  • Pop

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Byron McNally
Production Company
Executive Producer
1st AD
James Dyer


Director of Photography
Brett Turnbull
Focus Puller
Ashley Bond
2nd AC
Andrew Trewartha


Gavin Walters


Art Director
Bon Walsh


Connor Coolbear
Colour grade company


Post Producer
Oliver Whitworth


Ryan Jafarzadeh
Good Soldier Records

Other credits

Production Co-Ordinator

Anastasia Chabanova

Production Assistant

Mila Araoz

Production Assistant

Joe Ramsden

Key Grip

Jem Morton


Rob Barlow

Head Technician

Luke Skerton

Crane Technician

Kurt Kemble


Chris Dowling


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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