Filming "New Piano Trio's" Teaser - Video
I wanted to take a look back at a few video productions we shot and edited the past years. Video shoots, edits and productions in general come and go at such a dynamic pace when you're in the film and video world that sometimes we barely have time to sit back a bit and enjoy the final video produced. And that’s regardless if you’re a working videographer, cameraman, director, editor or producer. In many cases (like mine) the videographer or filmmaker hired will have to take on most of those roles him or herself. So it’s not far fetched to imagine that once those video productions for clients start overlapping each other (editing a project on one day, cameraman for a different video production the next day, meeting up with a new client on the third day etc.) it might be difficult to take a step back and be proud of a well done video, camera or edit job.
On Set With NP3
My video production company “Reel Arts Media” is fairly new, however I still did shoot and edit many video and film projects beforehand as a freelance videographer, cameraman and editor here in Austria (mainly Vienna). Usually with a very small camera crew on set. One particularly fun video project was for the great guys (and gal) of “New Piano Trio” (NP3). Their trio had recently been formed and they wanted to shoot a teaser for their new musical constellation.
Of course most video clients want their videos to be “different” and/or “original”, and New Piano Trio wasn’t the exception (rightfully so!). They wanted a video that didn’t emphasize so much on them playing, but rather a video that also focused a bit on their chemistry as friends, not only as musicians. Obviously filming friends interacting and having fun is a relatively easy task and has been done to death in video productions in the past. But we also couldn’t loose track of the fact that people viewing our video should definitely realize they are watching professional musicians in a classical formation of some sort, not just people interacting.
Awkward Position for the Optimal Shot
NP3 wasn't interested in filming themselves playing their instruments for the teaser video, so we had to somehow think of a creative way to bring out and film this atmosphere of friendship and professional classical music without seeing them actually playing classical music. I believe the original idea came from our video producer and my camera assistant at the time Rui Felicio, to film them as if they were getting ready for a concert or a rehearsal. In other words, shoot some of their pre-concert/rehearsal rituals and preparations leading up to the point where they actually start playing their instruments together.
This is when video productions start getting fun and allow a cameraman and director to get creative and research diverse ways of filming and showing different situations. Some of the ideas that came up and were incorporated into the final video include: combing hair, adjusting a tie, shining shoes, pouring drinks, cleaning and tuning the instruments, applying rosin on the violin bow, cracking knuckles and so on. Simple and useful scenarios to tell a story.
Setting Up Our Close Ups
Once you get all the information needed, it’s up to the director and cameraman to film these moments in their own unique way. We decided to shoot lots of close-ups, especially in the first half – two thirds of the video, in order to create just a little bit of curiosity as to what is going on and what it was all leading up to. Another big reason for this (which wasn’t in our control) was due to our filming location. Since we didn’t have much pre-production time for the video and only one day to shoot it all, we weren’t able to get the ideal scenario/background we all had in mind in Vienna.
Boring White Walls
We ended up having to film the entire video in a big room surrounded by white walls (every filmmaker’s dream….not!). So incorporating some creative close-ups and macro shots helped to hide the lack of depth in that boring background.
Close Up Shots
In order to leave the viewers with a feeling of wanting to “see and hear more” from the trio, we ended the video at exactly the moment when they are about to play their first note together. In other words, the final video is a huge build up to watch and hear NP3 play together. But in order to do so, one has to get up and see them performing live in an actual concert, which I guarantee is definitely worth it and better than seeing in any video I could produce.
Cast and Crew
Posted by: Vitor Goncalves
Vitor is a filmmaker, cameraman and editor based in Vienna, Austria. He is the owner of Reel Arts Media.