Common People Films has recently completed its first project with new director signing Ben Newbruy creating a futuristic world for music promo ‘NAVOS X GALANTIS - What It Feels Like Feat You’. Harnessing cutting-edge technology was key to creating a film for this track that ensured the viewer ‘stuck with it until the end’ and ensured you didn’t leave your seat. A relishing combination.
Director Ben Newbury describes the process: "You know you’re on to a basic concept that will probably make a good video when each time you talk it through everyone keeps having more and more ideas for it. That totally happened with this.
"I have to give props to the commissioner John Hassay. He was looking for a video that:
- A young audience would watch to the end.
- A video that captured “euphoria (the feeling not the TV show)”.
"Big shout out to Tom Bailey and Greg Ayala at FNDM who designed the artwork that kicked off the thought process."
"So the pitch was this… we experience the explosive, psychedelic journey of a spacewoman as she re-enters the atmosphere and hurtles round the surface of the earth - all from a POV inside her helmet. This hyper-colour, over-saturated, warp speed journey takes us from the edge of space, through epic mountains, forests, cities and deserts, flying through impossibly small spaces and trippy VFX wormholes, to match the euphoric feeling of the track. Before she smashes into the ground. Easy peezy.
"The flight itself was created with FPV drones, filmed around the world, frame matching different takes to create one sequence. Adding in the initial fall from space and trippy wormholes in VFX. Once our VFX wizards had the edit stitched together, and we had all enjoyed another covid test, we headed to the XR stage in Garden Studios. After some careful testing, Olly Nice our cinematographer extraordinaire rigged the camera inside a space helmet, created by our fabulous Art Director Katie South, ready for the XR screens to play back the journey. The XR screen array enabled us to perfectly match the lighting in the reflections inside the helmet and on her hands and arms, allowing our space woman to appear to look around and throw her arms out in time with the flight (as well as becoming the desert backdrop and lighting for our final shot). Our wonderful actress Poppy Christie positioned herself underneath the camera, while our SFX team (the whole rest of crew) held all manor of wind machines, spritzers, leaf blowers and smoke machines ready for launch. This made the final video pretty much a one taker, with everyone firing smokers and squirting water at the camera.
"One goal I kept coming back to throughout pre-production was to make sure the video was about the emotional experience the space woman was having on her journey down to earth. Having a wild visual idea is one thing but you’re only going to hook the audience if they connect to it. If they care. It needed a human element to create that sense of jeopardy. So our solution was to shoot a plate shot of Poppy performing the flight facing the XR screen without the helmet, then composite that as a reflection into the visor in a final round of post, to allow the audience to see her performance.
"Pulling all this off would not have been possible without the brilliant Ramy Dance and Alessia Lendrum from Common People Films. Alessia harnessed the true purpose of the internet, organising FPV drone pilots all around the world, who shot in deserts, mountains, jungles and cities to create the amazing footage that makes up the flight. I also want to thank our head leaf blower op and PA - Ynez Myers, AC - Mark James, HMU - Eliza Clarke, the Drone Pilots - Luca Morandini, Fabrizio Botto, Smirnov Dmitrii Olegovich, Zakir Mohammad & Jerry Chan. Then on Edit - Matthew Blacklock, Grade - Kathryn Dymmock, Sound Design - James Hall and our VFX brains - James Taylor, Darri Thorsteinsson & Shivam Solanki. As well as Andy Roberts, Amy Collins & Mariama Camara. And finally NAVOS and Galantis for making such a massive banger."
Ramy Dance EP, says: “We immediately loved this brief when John Hassay and Andy from LasBandas sent it to us. Ben and I started brainstorming which Ben then ran away with and concepted this simple but brilliant idea! We started off by working with some world class FPV drone pilots who really gave us the gold we needed for the base edit. It was then all brought to life in camera at the xR stage in Garden Studios, Acton by Olly our DP. Big shout to Alessia Producer who really grasped the concept and pulled everything together too."