Recently we had Stefano Pennisi and his crew shooting music video’s for the band Lila. Stefano got back to with us with some pretty amazing details on the whole production. Check out these killer BTS photos and keep reading to be completely amazed by the art that went into this project.
1. What was the direction or end goal you had for this project?
“We've been in the process of making a series of different music videos for the North Carolina native Hip-Folk band 'LiLa'. Their new album, 'V', is something really special and each song, while feeling like they belong together on the same album, feels entirely different from one another. We've made some videos that feel very raw and stripped down, and some that feel like cleaner big budget productions.
For this particular project, we wanted the video to stand out above the rest as their most flashy and stylized. This is for their upcoming single, "Oasis..." so we really wanted it to be cool and sharable. I want people to watch this video and send it to their friend and say "You have to check this out".
What we decided to do was to create this entire black space and film it in a way that made it seem like our characters were living in this black void. It's pure darkness, but our characters are these sources of light that keep flashing on the screen with the music. We also wanted it to have somewhat of a retro - vibe to match the song, so we pretty quickly decided to use multi-colored florescent lights as the only source of light.
The band is made up of two members - Jon Le Sueur (Jla) and Eli McDuffee, who together write, produce, and preform all the music. In this particular song they are singing about girls and the games they can play when dating. We decided to include a model (Robin Owens) in the video to represent the girls they are singing about and then the video really came together. We decided that we would assign a different color to each one of them. Jla would be red, Eli would be blue, and the girl would be pink/purple - a mix of their two colors.
While we wanted to live in this black space, we still wanted it to feel like a classic music video at times, so we decided to have the lights play in our master shot and have them suspended behind our talent as a back light. This looks really grounds the video as a music video while allowing the rest of the aesthetic to have more context.
The end result is really something special - You are getting all these mixes of bright florescent colors and different cool looks while still feeling like its part of this black void where everything lives within. I think it's pretty unique and I can't wait to share it with everyone.”
2. What was your favorite part of the production?
“Well obviously working at Be Electric was a great part of the production. When trying to come up with the initial creative idea for this video, the first thing we all decided on was that we wanted it to be a studio shoot. We wanted to make sure we could have full control of the set and keep it very self contained. We spent a long time trying to find the right studio space that was flexible and willing to work with us, and once I went and scouted to Be Electric studio space, I knew it was where we wanted to shoot.
The studio space was perfect and your team was very helpful and adaptable to our needs. We were able to have our privacy and do our thing, but you were also available whenever we needed anything. You guys really were flexible and willing to work with us and that made a huge difference. I remember when we finally showed up to set, we realized we needed extra equipment / gear and you had it dropped off and delivered within 20 minutes. It was awesome.”
3. Go to equipment or camera for this project?
“For camera equipment we used a RED camera with a Helium sensor, but we never shot higher than 6K. We just kept the camera on a tripod at all times and moved it closer to set for each new lighting set up.
For lenses we actually just used Canon series primes. We thought because of what we were capturing and how self contained everything was going to be, they would do the trick.
For lighting we only used Asteria Pixel Tubes. These things are awesome and I think everyone should use them at some point. We had about 10 of them all synced up to an tablet and could control them all at once, individually, or in any combination. The tablet allows you to change them to any color on the spectrum as well as endless strobing / flashing combinations. We hung them from the ceiling with fishing line as well as used c-stands and clamps to position them however we needed.
To completely black out the space, we decided to build an enclosure out of 20x20 solids. We used 4 total - three for the side and back walls and the fourth for the floor. We just used some strong zip ties to hang them from the ceiling and sand bags on the floor to hold them in place.
All in all it was an incredible shoot and we're all very excited about it. We're finishing up the post - production right now and it should be released sometime in mid - late March.”
Thank you to the whole crew for choosing our studios for such an exciting project! When the finished products are dropped we will be posting them to our Instagram- don’t forget to check back in!