Between the Scenes - ‘Call On Your Name’ Music video Project Breakdown
Elle Limebear has just released videos for the Studio and Piano versions of ‘Call On Your Name’. Back at the beginning of the year we spent a cold but fun winters day at Birling Gap shooting them.
Here’s a little Project Breakdown of how the whole thing happened.
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 she had been looking for a project where she could pull Zach in. Tom sent us a WhatsApp message back in Dec 2020 saying ‘Elle was releasing a piano version for the track ‘Call On Your Name’, and the label wanted to shoot a video for it.’
We jumped on a call with Elle & Tom and the team at Provident and started talking through ideas. The ridiculously beautiful Seven Sisters are on our doorstep, and it’s one of those locations which you know is incredible, but because you see it so much you think it’s been over saturated. But, after chatting to the team in the US, it seemed like the perfect fit. Elle wanted a place where she could go and just be free to move, dance, rest and interact with the music, nothing too choreographed or planned.
Oh, and to add to it, we all started getting excited and realised that we could and probably should shoot a music video for the album version of ‘Call on Your name’ whilst we were there as well.
So, the brief is now, shoot 2 x music videos in one day….. lets goooo!!!!!
How we did it:
We wanted to make sure both of the videos felt like they were from the same family, but not so similar that once you’d seen one, you didn’t get excited by the other. We decided that we’d shoot one of them down on the beach, next to the sea and the other one up on the cliff top. Then to differentiate between them, a simple but strong wardrobe. Elle and the team in the US 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. So we wanted to make sure we could get that across.
After we’d talked through all the different options, we landed on drones and on the ground shots, but that we’d keep everything nice and simple, so that the location had time to breathe.
Once we’d worked out what we wanted, we needed to work out how we’d make it happen!!
Although the concept itself is nice and simple, it’s not quite 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 it at and get licenses, make sure the tide works for us, as we could only shoot this at low tide + get all of the crew together at the same time.
Location: I didn’t realise before, but the seven sisters and Cuckmere area is actually owned and managed by 4 completely separate governing bodies. Literally as practical as, “we look after those 2 cliffs, they look after those 5 cliffs, oh that bit of land, you’ll have to speak to X”. So after speaking to all 4 of them and working out licensing costs and access, 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 had clearance and it was time to go:
We’d been refreshing our weather apps in the days building up, and 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 were filming the Piano Version down on the beach first. After waiting for a bit of rain to clear, we headed down. We were shooting on ground cameras first. As mentioned above, we wanted 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 started to come in a long way by now, but this had 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 captured it with the drone, and on the land, and it looked wild! Elle just 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 sorry!!!!”. BUT, thankfully, everyone had been told what was going on, so we were good!
We headed up on to the cliffs, and again followed 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, but the plan was to have no plan. Sometimes with these shoots if you micro manage every stage of it, all authenticity can be stripped from it.
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 and secondly the lens gets so wet, so 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 the edits, and after watching them, the feeling from the US was that they wanted more lip syncing from Elle on the ‘Studio’ version.
So, we got another date in the diary, and all headed back down to the beach and 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 these video were shot, it was more a case of having the 6 or 7 different takes, and picking the best moments from each, similar to a live recording. After a few different variations and rounds, we all landed at a place where we were happy.