David Knight - 1st May 2020

How to make a video that transcends the limitations of lockdown? Bree Runway and Gemma Yin shows exactly how its done with this brazenly enjoyable video for Damn Daniel.

It's a collaboration in every sense of the word, with Yin bringing her animation and VFX skills to a shoot that had to be self-shot by the London-based artist, and her US-based guest artist Yung Baby Tate. But as everyone has done their jobs so well, it is really hard to tell that it was made under these conditions at all. This is brilliant, very much on its own merits, and fits perfectly into the increasingly impressive canon of Bree Runway videos.

As you would expect, Bree Runway gives a sizzling performance, characteristically feisty and sexy. She's hypnotic - a force of nature. And as producer Sandra Spethmann points out, Bree brought that energy to the whole production. "We were blessed to be working with Bree who is not only an incredible artist and performer but also a hugely positive force in terms of making things happen," she says. "She can be credited as HMU, Stylist, Choreographer and Artist on this video."

Bree was sent the best equipment possible to shoot with in a domestic situation. But it was also the experience she has had of making her own videos a few years ago which stood her in good stead here. Then Yung Baby Tate sent over her own, lesser quality footage, from her own home.

Then it was Gemma Yin's time to do what she has been doing so well for a while, and come into her own. And she frames everything into an '80s-inspired neon dream that fits like a glove around Bree's wardrobe, integrating Yung into screens, and sunglasses, that merges seamlessly into her sexy 'classic MTV' world. Its retro with a twist, and it is also completely Bree Runway... 

GEMMA YIN:

I developed a lot of the graphics in advance of the shoot... to communicate the plan for the performance for specific parts of the track.

“When I first listened to Damn Daniel I found the track instantly electrifying. Bree wanted to channel a high energy nostalgic 80's pop vibe. I have always had a deep affinity with the popular culture of that era so taking on this project was a no-brainer.

"The challenge was how to execute it under the lockdown measures that had just been instated. We had to pivot and find a way to get some camera kit and a green screen to Bree so she could self shoot with help from her family. I developed a lot of the graphics in advance of the shoot which helped to communicate what the plan was for the performance approach for specific parts of the track.

"I was also working on a seamless way to integrate the two artists who would be shooting in different parts of the world and with different resources. I used visual devices like Tate being inside the reflection of Bree's glasses, and appearing within TV and computer screens.

"The extra prep time gave Bree a chance to source her own styling and beauty looks, as well as rehearse some 80's dance moves. We worked on a detailed shot list that would cover all of our bases so when the shoot day came it was just a case of working through the list. I had a few phone calls to clarify a couple of points re performance and framing, but Bree delivered the goods with an iconic performance.

"Meanwhile I sent a brief to the featured artist Yung Baby Tate, who was able to shoot her own footage from her house in the USA. Tate's footage was transferred over, while Bree's was couriered to me on a hard drive so I could jump in to the post.

"I had so much fun amping up the aesthetic to 200% throwback camp. I also went quite hard on the VHS filter effects to help bring the two performances together into the same visual realm. I am really thrilled with how everything came together - it was such a dreamy project for an 80's loving director/animator to bring to life.“

BREE RUNWAY:

It actually captured the song's energy in an INSANE WAY! I'm so pleased

"This was a really FUN shoot and such a throwback moment for me. At the start of my career I used to make my own wigs for shoots, direct the videos, do glam, styling and all alone.

"So it was quite stressful BUT special to do it all again, and seeing Gemma's touch? I'm elated !! The outcome feels like it was a full production shot in a glam studio and all! I feel like it all worked out for the best! it actually captured the song's energy in an INSANE WAY! I'm so pleased”

ANIQUE COX, COMMISSIONER:

“It was a joy bringing Gemma and Bree together and see this 80s-inspired video come to life over the course of these last four weeks. Bree’s vision was clear referencing Dead Or Alive and Technotronic and felt like the perfect opportunity, timing-wise, to bring Gemma on board to collaborate and develop the idea even further.

"Despite the challenges we’re up against during such difficult times, in no way, shape or form have we compromised on the high standard of Bree’s visual output, nor jeopardised her brand.”

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorGemma Yin
ProducerSandra Spethmann
AnimatorGemma Yin
EditorGemma Yin
Additional VFXPierre Tardif
Assistant EditorHettie Griffiths
ColouristCaroline Morin
CommissionerAnique Cox
Other creditsConsulting D.o.P: J.P. Garcia

David Knight - 1st May 2020

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