Let It Go
by Waking Eden

Date released - December 4, 2015

About   the   movie

I was introduced to Billy Donovan (lead singer of Waking Eden) a number of years ago and after keeping in touch, we would talk every now and then about doing a music clip together. Then in late 2015 Billy sent me a song and said we're doing this one. The song was Let It Go and even the rough demo he sent sounded good.

We met up and brainstormed a bunch of ideas. I expressed ideas of technical and creative stuff I wanted to experiment with and Billy had ideas about the story and characters. The one we decided to go with was about a guy struggling to let go of his ex-girlfriend and the band being ghosts trying to guide him. One thing we both agreed on is that we wanted it to be a fun clip.

We shot the story aspect of the clip over two days at Scott Taylor's (guitar) house with actors Tristan Coates & Lucie Thom as well as the band Billy Donovan, Scott Taylor, Scott Watkins, Ty Georgiou and Adz Rossely. The performance part was shot on a third day at a local hall. I had a second camera help from longtime collaborator Matt McCleish. Louise Delahunty and Leanne Taylor helped things to run smoothly in the background.

Post-production took place over a month between other jobs. Because of the lack of quality in the footage from the cameras I used, a number of green-screen shots needed to be rotoscoped instead (cutting elements out frame by frame) to get good edges on them. It was while doing this, I thought of a bunch of other potential VFX shots I could achieve that were never planned for. So I got to experimenting and playing.

One mistake we made while filming was the shot where the band are in the kitchen and react to Tristan coming in with his dressing gown open. Because of the rush, we were in to get everything, I totally didn't notice that the angle we filmed could clearly see he was wearing shorts underneath. I decided to add a big 'Censored' label over the top to hide it and it added a more comical aspect to it which I believe works even better.

While editing I found that the bridge section was lacking. We were planning on using the performance footage but it didn't work. We needed something softer to go with the softer music. I got Billy down to my studio, threw up a black backdrop, put the camera on its side to make use of full resolution and got him to sing the section at double speed while shooting at 50 frames per second. I lost count of how many takes we did while Billy was trying to keep up with the ridiculously fast singing.

In post, I took the footage and slowed it down to match the song, then surrounded him in softly floating digital snow and added some 3D camera movements to simulate a nice crane shot. It's cheesy but it worked and gave a great touch to the clip.

Once edited, I found the performance section of the clip was feeling really flat. With a lack of budget, the lighting rig was minimal and with lack of time, the camera-work was quite stagnant. I went through each shot and added a lot of digital camera movement and digital lighting. This gave the whole section a boost, bringing a much-needed energy to the clip.

All up there is a grand total of 236 shots to make up the four-minute clip. Many of the clips required multiple layers to create the visual effects.

Once completed, we launched it on YouTube. A few weeks later Adz (Bass player) quit the band. I swear I bring a curse to bands. It seems every band I work with either replaces band members or breaks up entirely within weeks of working with them.

The Final Cut Pro timeline for the completed music clip.

Technical   aspects

Filmed Format: Canon Eos 5D MkIII 1080p

Post Format: 16:9

Filmed Locations: Seaford, Victoria Australia

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