Wednesday 26 September 2012


Writing the blog entry for this has become much of a bigger task than I first thought, But saying that I suppose to make sense as its the biggest (or at least one of) that we've ever taken on. Very much a team effort and it four of us working round the clock for a week to being it together. But after a several days  of building and a long night of shooting it was time for the main shoot.

one problem I've always had with directing our videos is that I usually tend to be in them, meaning that I have to bring in an outside cinematographer for the shoot. Initially I spent about 3 months last summer training up someone to do jobs like this... But he very quickly turned out to be a bust (of the worst kind, but we'll go into that whole fiasco later). Luckily whilst working on several films (for other people) I met another very talented Camera guy, who never seemed to make me look too bad ;) So After the stellar job he did on the 'No Fate' video I asked him to join us again.

Now here's something I didn't really think about to much, you see every time we've done a video and I've been on camera, I've had the whole band and their instruments sat behind me. But the video was a very different concept and suddenly I realized that not only was a going to have to act, whilst singing, I was going to have to do it at double speed to achieve the effect that we were going for. This was something that can really bring a performance or  video down, when there is too much going on all at once.

Another issue I had was that I'm used to shooting everything on my own, and so when I'm shooting I know that I've got what I need because ultimately I'm going to edit it and I shoot with that in mind. So having that extra added thing tends to make me unsure of exactly what I'm dealing with until I get into the edit. Having someone you trust to shoot is very important when I comes to this as it can at least relieve the added pressure.

The shoot went well, We tweaked some stuff and the stuff we shot the night before added a beautiful look and feel to the set we built when we had it all uploaded on the TV's. We also took much less time to shoot as the double speed track, obviously halved our turnover time.

So one week later we had spent £32, and after a butt load of work had one our most visually impressing  videos so far.

The video is released 30th October along with single 'Search The Dark' released on Mycho Records

Tuesday 25 September 2012


So we managed to build a set for the grand total of £12 and now the day came to shoot. Now unlike most shoots I've ever done which happen over the course of anything between 3 - 18 hours, this was  different kind of animal all together.

I wanted something very specific playing on the TV's, but that meant that I would have to shoot it before the day of the shoot. Originally I had figured out the whole thing to be shoot with our standard black back drop in our oversized living room, something that would have taken an hour or so. Then I got a mix of the song, it became obvious to me that I was going to need a bit more than just the TV stuff.

Search The Dark was the second single that we planned to release from our debut album 'Seven Rising', but there was a large shift in the band and after a couple of months of planning and talking about the direction of the band we decided that we wanted to collaborate with the amazing Heather Coulton. Search The Dark seemed the perfect choice and we decided to 'reboot' the song featuring Heather. 

A shot of our £12 set

Of course I had based the original concept on the original version, but the new mix changed things up a bit and this meant changing the idea ever so slightly.

We decided to make more of a feature out Heather and shoot the video side by side, so that she featured in the main shoot instead of just featuring on the TV's we'd sourced. So we tweaked the idea, but this of course meant that out 'set' would be needed a day earlier. 

In the name of efficiency it made sense getting Heather down to shoot all her stuff at the same time so that we had less to shoot the next day (more on why later). Of course featuring in the main shoot, Heather now had one of my favorite questions "What should she wear", I had something very specific in mind, But Heather didn't own anything like that and so my quest began to find the perfect outfit for the video.

Being a fan of the 80's in general, I wanted a Meatloaf-esque gothic looking night gown/dress, and we found the perfect one. It cost us just under £20, which through our budget up to £32. 

The shoot went well, the dress looked great and being a 2 part shoot there were alot of things to watch out for with our main focus being to make sure that the lighting matched for the next night. It was then that I had less than 15 hours to get the stuff that we had shot for the TV's edited and prepped to appear on the screens for the next night.

To Be Continued...

Thursday 13 September 2012


Yesterday I was sat working when a few situations from my life both personal and professional kind of aligned and I had a thought. I posted it on facebook and it had quite a response from people who had obviously come across the same thing. So because I'm lazy and didn't have time to write a blog this week I figured I would post it here. Because I can. What I wrote was...

"See what I enjoy is when people do something shitty and underhanded and then when they get caught pretend they have some kind of moral high ground, that somehow you deserved that thing to be done to you... Then over time they turn that thing into a reason why you are a 'dick' and create a story around it, then they begin to infect others with that lie and that passes to others and others and befor
e you know it so many relationships have become damaged because you NEVER even had the slightest clue that you should need to defend yourself against the actions of another...

So the assumption is made that because you just get on with it and accept that a 'friend' or 'loved one' has shown their true colours, they carry on with blind self righteousness that is backed up by the people who choose to believe that there is only one side to every story. There are 1000 situations like this I have seen and been involved in where the guilty party plays this game for so long that eventually they run out of supporters, but for those of us who sense, who feel this despicable nature early on, the price is a social shunning.

I have come across this kind of person many times in my life and the result is always the same and every time I've turned the other cheek as i've watched these two face bastards lie and cheat their way through life instead of taking responsibility for their own greedy, selfish actions and every time I've put that name on a mental list that I recite every morning... because people say "Let it go"... or "Why do you care?"... or "its not worth it"... And these are the people that allow these c**ts to carry in own in their own oblivious self righteous existence.

Well you know what? I shall not... Every single one of you that sits on this list will get whats coming to you and if I have to take care of that personally then so be it... Because I know i'm not perfect my friends, But at least I'm honest with myself.

And sometimes all it takes is "Sorry"...

I'll write that on your tombstone ;)


Wednesday 5 September 2012


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...