It's amazing what you can do when you just think about it logically. Over the last few months we have been trying to organise the shoot for the new Subject Seven video for the track 'Search The Dark' (Due for release this Halloween). From moment one I knew it was going to be tricky, The song had always been a bit different from what we had done before and the video should follow suit.
Early on I had come up with the basic concept for the video whilst listening to the rough demo's in Autumn last year, it was always a matter of finding the right location to sell the concept and that where things became unstuck.
Finding a run down old apartment that hasn't been condemned and has a feature window is not easy, and in a small town like preston, it's close to impossible. Anything I did find was unsuitable for various reasons, The view, Space, People living in it, Asbestos, Giant Rat-Men plotting to over-through man kind.
In the end what I realized when we were at the studio one day is that we had the perfect windows in the open plan space up there but the space around it was basically a warehouse. Making it unsuitable. Then I had a thought, "What if we built the room?". The concept was simple, what if we made the rest of the room to match the preexisting window? Sound's expensive though right? Well actually no.
See Sam (Our guitarist) works in a wood yard as a day job and so it was easy for us to get hold of enough materials and props to build two walls either side of the feature window, and before we knew it we started to have the shape of a room.
From there it was a matter of wall papering the walls with some basic textured wallpaper (3 rolls for £10) and then finished off with some skirting board (£2) and what we essentially had done is built a smaller room in a warehouse for the grand total of £12.
The set also needed a bunch of TV's that were to be used as monitors to show another image whilst the video was being shot. This came early on in the development when I was looking for a TV for my old flat and found that people were simply just giving them away. Not liking things to go to waste I started to think "What could I do with a bunch of TV's?". So I worked a kind of japanese Horror/Whitenoise element into the video and it all seemed to gel.
From there it took us about 2 weeks to organize collecting about 20 TV's for the set simply based on distance travelled to get them. During this time we were also pasting walls and figuring out how the whole thing would stand up.
I suppose my point here is this. People think (I'm referring mainly to the low budget world), that building sets is beyond them or that it's expensive, But the trick is always to use pre-existing locations to turn them into what you need them to be. A little bit of thought about what you have access to can make all the difference.
I'll write a second part about the pre production shoot and how we did the stuff to go onto the TV's as well as revealing the reason of why our shoot ballooned to a grand total of £32 ;) But until then...