A look at our recent music video production for Elle Limebear's ‘Call On Your Name’
Following the launch of her new studio and piano versions of ‘Call On Your Name’ we worked with artist, Elle Limebear on an accompanying music video production.
Back at the beginning of the year we spent a cold but fun winters day at Birling Gap shooting them, here’s our project breakdown of how it came about.
Client: Provident Label Group
Artist: Elle Limebear
We’ve known Elle and Tom for a while. Elle released her first album back in March 2020, and was looking for the right project to bring Zach in on. Following a WhatsApp message from Tom, back in Dec 2020, that said, ‘Elle is releasing a piano version for the track, Call On Your Name, and the label wants a music video shooting for it.’
Immediately, we jumped on a call with Elle & Tom and the team at Provident to start talking through ideas for the music video production. The ridiculously beautiful Seven Sisters are on our doorstep. It’s a location that you know is incredible, but because you see it so often, it gets overlooked. However, after chatting with the U.S. team, it seemed like the perfect fit. Elle wanted a place where she would be free to move, dance, rest and interact with the music. Nothing too choreographed or planned.
As we began planning the music video production we started to get excited, realising that we could should shoot a take for the album version of the track whilst we were there.
So, the brief is now was, realise 2 x music video productions in one day….. Lets goooo!!!!!
How we did it:
We wanted to ensure both of the videos felt like they were from the same family, without being copies of one another. We decided to shoot one of them down on the beach, next to the sea, and the other one on the cliff top. To differentiate them, we settled on a simple but strong wardrobe. Elle and the team in the U.S. came up with styling, a simple change of scarf and hat colour for both locations. It’s ridiculous how much of a difference that change makes.
Also, to keep the footage simple and stripped back we talked through a few different ideas. Do we go for a single take? Do we just do drones? Elle wanted the video to convey that feeling of a huge vast open space. As a team, we wanted to make sure we could get that across.
After we’d talked through all the different options, we settled on drones and ground shots. We knew that we had to keep everything simple. This was done to ensure the location had time to breathe.
Once we had settled on what we wanted, we had to make it happen!!
Although the concept itself was nice and simple, it was not as easy as rocking up and shooting. We had to decide on the exact point of cliff and coastline that we’d want to shoot at. Then it was a case of securing the appropriate licenses. Finally, we had to make sure the tide worked with us, as we could only shoot this at low tide and get all of the crew together at the same time.
I didn’t realise before, but the Seven Sisters and Cuckmere area is owned and managed by four separate governing bodies. Literally as specific as, “we look after those 2 cliffs, they look after those 5 cliffs. Oh, and that bit of land, you’ll have to speak to X”.
After speaking to all 4 of them and working out access and licensing costs, we decided to shoot at Birling Gap. In the process we found out that to shoot on the cliff we had to work with National Trust and to shoot on the beach we had to work with the local council. So once all of the paperwork, licensing, insurances and everything else had been sorted, we had a date, we finally had clearance and it was time to go.Then
We were refreshing our weather apps in the build up. It had kept swinging between rain and snow, so basically we knew we’d be in for a cold one.
07:30 call time.
Because of covid we had a nice simple crew:
Elle Limebear – Artist
Tom Limebear – Best Talent Manager in the businessssss
Zach Lower – DOP
Phil Harris – Drone Pilot
(Me) Olly Purchase – Production
Because we wanted to shoot low tide at sunrise, we filmed the piano version on the beach first. After waiting for a bit of rain to clear, we headed down. We shot on ground cameras first. As we mentioned, we had to keep the whole video pretty raw and fluid. So we just sent Elle off for a wild wonder, with the music following behind so she could feel it. We ran a few of these takes, picking up wides, mids and close-ups. She followed roughly the same path every time, but the key was to just capture ‘those moments’ where she was lost in the music.
Once we had these in the bag, it was time to get the drone up. Again, a similar vibe, let Elle go do her thing and then we just capture it. Phil piloting and Zach on camera op, so we were in safe hands. (Here’s a recent interview we just did with Phil).
The tide had come in a long way by now, but this meant that a really nice little sand island had formed. So, in the name of art, Elle rolled up her trousers and made her way over to the island. We used the drone to capture it and it looked wild! Elle was dancing and moving on an island with the cliffs rolling off in to the distance.
That was the piano version WRAPPED!!
The outfit was soaked, so we headed off into Eastbourne to find a dry cleaners, some nice coffee and some lunch!!
12:30 call time.
We arrived back at Birling Gap. Checked in with the National Trust (They look after the cliffs, not the beach – crazy!). Signed off all the insurance paperwork for the drones.
There’s always a small nervousness in my stomach that at any point the wrong person could be there, and the whole thing could come crumbling down “Ermmmm, I’m not sure. Let me check with my manager. Ermmm, they’re not in today, who did you say you spoke with?”.
Thankfully, everyone had been told what was going on, so we were good!
We headed up on to the cliffs, again following a similar pattern to the morning. Let Elle go and explore and we follow her. On this style, the saying ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’ comes to mind. Will we get the right shots? Will it all fit and flow together? Our plan was to remain without one. Often on these shoots, if you micro manage every stage of it, you end up losing the authenticity.
Drones don’t like rain.
Again, once we had all of these shots nailed, it was time to send the drone up. The weather was getting worse, and the rain was starting to pick up. As most of you know, or could probably work out pretty quickly, drones don’t really like the rain. Firstly, the drone itself is a big expensive flying ball of electrics. Secondly, the lens gets very wet very quickly, making the shots unusable.
We managed to fly with the back of the camera to the rain + when it stopped, we got the bits we needed.
The light was starting to fade, hands were starting to go numb and I think we’d just about got the final shot we needed. We wrapped and headed back to the cars to warm up and head home!
We pieced together V1’s of both edits. After watching them, the feeling from the U.S. was that they wanted more lip syncing from Elle on the ‘Studio’ version.
With that in mind, we got another date in the diary and headed back down to the beach. Here, we spent a few hours picking these shots up. We decided that we’d have Elle on the beach and in different wardrobe, so that they would contrast nicely with the clifftop footage.
Because of the way we shot the videos, it was a case of having the 6 or 7 different takes. Once we had these, we picked the best moments from each. Kind of similar to a live recording. After a few different variations and rounds, we all landed at a place where we were happy with the overall music video production.
You can watch the final outcome of both versions below.