On a hot summer’s evening, we head into the beautiful Australian bush: Imogen, Sophie, Gemma-Rose and me. We follow a narrow stone-strewn track that winds between gum trees until we arrive at a cave-like rock on the edge of a cliff.
Sophie and I have cameras and tripods. Gemma-Rose has an iPod. And Imogen has a golden cardboard box.
Imogen sits on a rock next to the cave. She places the box on her lap. We point our cameras towards her. And then Sophie begins the countdown:
“Three, two, one…”
We press ‘record’ and the cameras come to life. Gemma-Rose presses ‘play’ and music floats between the trees towards Imogen. Imogen waits for her cue and then sings What Child is This? making sure she keeps time with the iPod music.
A few minutes later: “Let’s record it again from another angle,” says Sophie.
Cameras are rearranged. Sophie and I press ‘record’. Gemma-Rose presses ‘play’. Imogen sings.
As the last note fades into the bush, Sophie says, “One more take!” She grabs the tripod and heads to a new spot with her camera.
By the time we have recorded the song for the third time, the sun is sinking low in the sky.
“We’re losing the light,” shouts Sophie. “Hurry! We still need to record the extra bits.” She aims the camera at Imogen and the golden cardboard box.
Imogen reaches into the box and takes out a number of figures, one at a time. She arranges them on a large rock. Baby Jesus completes the nativity scene.
“Finished?” I ask.
Sophie nods her head. “I think we have enough shots.”
“If you need any more, we’ll have to return tomorrow. It’s getting dark.”
We quickly pack our equipment into bags, hoist them onto our shoulders and make our way along the track, back through the bush towards home. We are covered with streaks of dirt and scratches and mozzie bites.
We chat as we walk while the light fades.
“Do you know how difficult it is to stay still and sing when a mozzie is biting you?”
“I bet you’re the first person ever to sing What Child is This? here in the bush.”
“Next time we make a music video, can we choose a location that’s easier to get to?”
Later, Sophie uploads the video clips to her computer. And then Imogen gets to work. She cuts and moves video frames, deletes the music track that was recorded in the bush, and adds one she recorded with her home studio recording equipment and mixed with Audacity. Before long, she has her very first music video.
Do you know what I enjoyed most about this project? I loved watching my girls working together, sharing their skills with each other, learning from one another.
I also enjoyed watching the final video. And here it is!
I’d like to thank everyone for reading my blog posts this year. I hope you have a very joyful Christmas.