In brief: how we made Ode To The Summer

Back at the beginning of October, Dan Fryer, Richard Dadd and myself spent 13 hours in a cold art studio on the outskirts of Canterbury, filming the latest music video for Syd Arthur. Although filming only took one day, preparation had been underfoot for about a month with Colonel of hard graft, Mr Thomas Langley, building the orbital camera track, dolly, and pyramid.


Camera track during build, with Dolly Mk.1

With a diameter of 8 metres the camera track was a great achievement, as it gave us the ability to film with continual smooth motion around the room. The track was made from pine and 22mm blue flex piping, and the dolly was a board with x6 casters on the bottom which pinched into the piping; a sturdy, non-toppleable solution (which is reassuring when you have several ££££’s of camera equipment perched on top of it all). Given we couldn’t ride atop the dolly, we pulled/pushed it along via a long pole which had been fixed with hinges.

Another arduous task that had been in preparation was the mapping of the projections onto the pyramid. This was taken care of by man of magic and lights, Oli Chilton. Two projectors were mounted in scaffolding in opposite corners of the room and the projections mapped onto the pyramid in the centre.

So, given all the hard work had been done for us, we simply rigged up a couple of cameras, and indulged in plenty of swearing, tea drinking and walking round in circles trying not to smash into peripheral art installations or trip over Tom’s carefully crafted track; otherwise know as “the filming process”. That’s probably quite unfair, as we’d also spent a load of time previously researching lenses and chromatic aberration which just isn’t as fun to look at or discuss.

Thankfully the outcome was professional enough for StereoGum (American independent cult music blog) to premiere it on their website:

Some stills from the finished film below:

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