'MUSIC VIDEOS IN LOCKDOWN' - all five episodes
At the beginning the pandemic crisis, music video producer Natalie Steiner decided to tell the stories of her peers and contemporaries - directors, producers, camera crew, choreographers, stylists, hair and makeup artists, and more - who were affected by the suspension of music video production as they knew it when the lockdown hit.
The result has been the five-part video series Music Videos In Lockdown, a document of life as it happened for the London music video-making community during the first weeks of the crisis. Each episode was premiered on Promonews last month, from the 6th to the 27th May.
The series began with Last Jobs, in which Steiner and co-interviewer Eleri Evans ask their panel of interviewees about the work they were doing just before lockdown - and how work stopped.
In the second episode, Spending Time, they discover how the community were redirecting their energies in the absence of long shoot days and other work commitments, and elicited a range of illuminating and entertaining responses from her panel.
In Episode 3, Working During The Lockdown, Steiner investigates how work was continuing, the sudden dependence on Zoom (and other video conferencing apps), the all-round resourcefulness of music video creatives - and the emerging phenomenon of lockdown videos.
Things turn more serious in the fourth episode, Wonderings And Worries, with the spotlight falling on the real impact of the Covid-19 emergency for many within the industry. At this stage, it leads some of the panellists to voice the need for a substantive change in how the industry operates.
In the final episode, The Future Of Our Industry, the panel of interviewees talk about what they have missed about their pre-lockdown work routine, the good things that they want to experience again, and also ponder upon how the industry can get moving again, and what it will look like, in the next few months.
The panel of interviewees in the Music Videos In Lockdown series are: 1st AD Clara Paris; Virgin EMI director of video James Hackett; My Accomplice EP Imogen Harrison; wardrobe stylist Terri Higgins; director Aidan Zamiri; directors Zhang & Knight; director Will Hooper; Knucklehead EP Ore Okonedo; Greatcoat Films' EP Kareem Adeshina; choreographer Simon Donnellon; FRIEND EP Luke Tierney; DoP Diana Olifirova; Envy colourist Jax Harney; director Oscar Hudson; Atlantic Records' director of video Dan Curwin; DoP David Wright; camera assistant Jomar O'Meally; Blink EP Laura Northover; producer Tom O'Driscoll; wardrobe stylist Taff Williamson; OB Management director's agent Sam Davey; hair and makeup artist Jessica Summer; marketing manager Olivier Massey; production runner Amelia Mullooly; Pulse Films' EP Rik Green; director Myles Whittingham; Object & Animal EP Morgan Clement; director Ian Pons Jewell; and runners' agent Julia Patterson.
The first two episodes of Music Videos In Lockdown were edited by Chris Wilson at Homespun, and Episodes 3, 4 and 5 edited by Meg Thorne at Cut+Run.
"The music video industry is a very busy one. We spend endless hours on set together pulling through early call times, bad weather, dodgy catering, and night shoots. As lockdown was enforced I was worried about a growing disconnect amongst people who were losing their ability to work and, even more, work together.
"When we were conducting the interviews (via Zoom, of course) I was actually surprised by the interviewees and their get up and go attitude. The way that we’ve collectively picked up and carried on throughout this crisis has really highlighted what a bunch of genuinely creative people we are, who are able to overcome challenges and just figure it out.
"As the lockdown is loosened across the UK it feels as though everyone within the industry has acknowledged the importance of working within our lives, and creative selves. Episode 4 is a discussion of whether 'business of usual' should be what we’re aiming to get back to, or whether lockdown has given us an opportunity to reassess how, why and what we were doing before.
"We've had the opportunity to collectively question old habits, and start new ones. The discussion in the final episode is a mixture of prediction, hopes and nostalgic appreciation for the music video industry pre-Covid19.
"My hope was to pull together a film which showcases the full range of people within our industry, and shows commonality and unity amongst us. I wanted to learn something about the industry, the people in it, and what we can do it make it better. Hopefully this series does that."
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