Directing and shooting Wintersong by Daryl Kellie

I’ve worked with the amazing Daryl Kellie quite a few times now, in fact, we lived together for a year back in 2004! I created most of the video content for his DVD/album Wintersong released summer 2014 and back in September he called about the possibility of shooting a music video for the title track of the album, obviously I jumped at the chance.

After a few chats about the songs meaning and the looks that Daryl liked we settled on a performance based video that cut to beautiful nature shots that mimic the story of the song. The idea was to express the new life that comes around with winter as a marker of a new start and nature awakening as the days get longer. We would effectively show this through the nature shots, mostly of the sun poking through branches and what not. And also in the close up shots of Daryl’s lips where the sun rises throughout the 3 minute video.

The first shoot was the interior performance by Daryl with Tom Nichols on upright bass and Kris Lousley on drums. We actually shot this in Daryl’s kitchen which, although large as far as kitchens go, was quite a struggle to fit in for a performance space. I wanted to light them as if pools of light were spilling in through a window on camera right with the rest of the light being warm tungsten or candles. And so we lit the candles and I used two tungsten lights, both fired through home-made cookies/gobos to exaggerate the ambient candle light.

I then placed two daylight LED panels on camera right to represent a window, I wanted everything pretty dark so most of the set up was restricting the light flow/spill.
Filming Daryl Kellie
Filming Daryl Kellie
As I had lit the space for the wide master-shot there was little adjustment needed in the lights as I moved in for the closer angles, just a case of pulling in some of the LED panels to get a softer look at times.
For anyone interested, my approach was to get the ugly wide master-shot in the can then move in for medium (on slider), then close-up, then even more close-up, then slomo shots. That way if anyone suddenly came down with food-poisoning or whatever, I’d still have enough for the performance part of the video.

To film Daryl’s lips and show the sunrise we filmed him on three occasions, the first was just after sunset with an LED panel to create the pre-sunrise blue look. Then we filmed him at actual sunrise then finally about an hour after sunrise and among a little shade. I feel like this subtle narrative helps tie things together nicely.

Most of the rest of the exteriors were filmed of Daryl strolling around a park near my flat on a day that happened to have beautiful light, it wasn’t as cold as we would have liked but it actually ties in with the meaning of new life a little better as it’s not so deathly cold.

Almost all of the nature shots were filmed in my backgarden where the sun pokes through the trees beautifully. The water droplet shot had to be faked because of time constraints and so I stuck a 500W tungsten light straight into a macro lens while a twig fresh from my freezer was clamped in front of it, job done!
Fake Sunrise

I’m really pleased with this video and Daryl has been getting some great feedback, we’re due to be shooting another very soon, so be sure to keep an eye out for it on Daryl’s YouTube page:

Kit Used:
Sony FS700
Canon 5DmkIII
Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 mkII
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8
Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8
Canon 50mm f/1.8
Canon 85mm f/1.8
old 200mm macro lens
LED panels x2
Glidetrack 75cm slider

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