New music video for Sneaks "PBNJ"

Last month I travelled to Baltimore for a music video shoot for Sneaks, an artist signed with Merge Records.

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This project came about when I reached out to her through Instagram. I'm interested in doing more official music videos, but being somewhat new to the scene up here it can be a bit of a challenge getting on an artists' radar.

Initially I pitched the idea of shooting while she was in NYC to play Alphaville, but the window of time was too small. So my producer Robert and I packed our camera gear onto a bus and brought the shoot to Baltimore.

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We kept the concept very simple: Sneaks runs through the streets of Baltimore with the camera chasing her, and we intercut this with footage of her singing to the camera. To tie everything together her roommate would wipe the frame at a specific point in the song wearing the next outfit, thereby giving us a cut point to the next bit of chase footage.

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It took us about 9 hours to shoot everything on a C-100 Mk II with Canon Cine Prime lenses (24mm, 50mm, and 75mm).

The following day I did the initial edit, and for the most part those cuts remained. I found that I enjoyed the visual tempo and how it interacted with the song. I chose to embrace any rough edges instead of smoothing them, and I hope as a result it feels organic and genuine.

All photos taken by Robert Ravenscroft.

Tinder spec commercial

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I recently had the opportunity to write and direct a spec Tinder commercial for my production company Pan Up. It's based around the idea that while many people are meeting on Tinder or similar apps, that is perhaps not the most interesting story to tell. We instead show the outlandish tale that our hero couple wants to tell - he finds her journal on the street, begins reading it, and falls in love with her sight unseen, then finds her based on a sketch of her favorite spot at the park.

 
 Our hero couple, Sean Gradwell and Zoe Cipres

Our hero couple, Sean Gradwell and Zoe Cipres

 

At the end of this unlikely story, as they finally meet, we cut to reality - their friends reacting to what we've just seen. While one has bought it whole, the other, like the audience, is skeptical.

 
 

We shot this over the course of two days in late February with a small but amazing crew and I'm so happy with the end results - watch below!

Poliça Buzzsession

Recently got to direct and DP a Buzzsession for The Wild Honey Pie featuring Minneapolis based Poliça performing with international orchestral collective s t a r g a z e.

Taylor Washington and Helen Cassell operated with me, and we shot on VHS and Hi-8 cameras - a first for us! It's such an interesting aesthetic.

The light tubes in the studio were created by Robert Ravenscroft, who also helped us light and shot BTS photos.

It's been fun for me to direct Buzzsessions because each one is an opportunity to experiment with a new technique - the stakes are fairly low so there's almost no label or artist involvement in the planning process; we get to just play around and do what we want!