The evening before a music video shoot day, I say to my girls, “Have we got everything ready? Are the camera cards empty? Have we charged the batteries?” We find all our equipment and pile it by the front door. The next morning, we gather it together as we head out into the dark, shortly before sunrise.
We’ve got into a good routine. We know exactly what we need to film each music video.
So what do we need?
A Video Location
Usually, we scout around a few days before a video shoot to find somewhere suitable. This is a lookout on Mt Gibraltar, which overlooks our local town. It was the setting for the song How Great Thou Art.
Of course, we need a singer: Imogen.
We plan a special outfit for each video. Imogen finds some matching jewellery and make-up.
A Sister with Braiding Skills
Sophie arranges Imogen’s hair into a special braid, a different one for each music video.
At the moment, because it is winter here in Australia, we need warm clothes. We’ve filmed in some very uncomfortable conditions. We almost got blown over this lookout by a gale force wind which was whipping across the mountain.
Of course, Imogen’s outfits aren’t always warm enough. And she can’t wear her coat during filming. Therefore, another essential piece of equipment is a blanket. We wrap our singer in it between takes while Sophie, our videographer, is rearranging the cameras.
We use two Nikon DSLR cameras: a D3100 and a D7200. Sophie sets the cameras on their tripods. She films each ‘take’ from different angles – full face, three-quarters, side on – making sure we have full body, half torso, and close up shots. She uses a 35mm, a 50mm, and a wide angled lens. We end up with lots of clips and, therefore, lots of possibilities when it comes to putting the video together.
Charlotte is our behind-the-scenes video camera operator. She uses an Olympus EM 10 mirrorless camera to capture all the action and silly conversation that usually spontaneously happens during filming. (I take the behind-the-scenes photos with Sophie’s old Nikon camera.)
Gemma-Rose needs a camera too. She has Imogen’s phone, and she uses it to take a few photos for Imogen’s Instagram account.
iPod and Speaker
Gemma-Rose has a second piece of equipment: an iPod and speaker. Imogen’s music track, the one she sings along to, during filming, is on the iPod. At the appropriate moment, Gemma-Rose starts the music. We place the speaker out of shot but close to Imogen so she can hear the song and sync her lips to it.
Coffee or Hot Chocolate
We always pack something to drink. A mug of hot chocolate or coffee is so good when we’re freezing cold.
When we’ve finished our shoot, we head for home. We can’t wait to have breakfast and to warm up. We also want to see what we’ve managed to capture. Will our video clips and photos look good? Before we find out, we put away all our equipment. Everything is returned to its place so we can find it next time. We know it won’t be long before I’m once again saying, “Have we got everything ready? Are the camera cards empty? Have we charged the batteries?”
These photos were taken while filming How Great Thou Art. It was definitely the worst video shoot we’ve experienced because of the exceedingly cold weather. I don’t know how Imogen was able to control her shivers as the icy wind shot straight through her. On that particular day, no one made a single joke about wanting to be the star instead of Imogen. None of us wanted to take her place.
Have you seen the How Great Thou Art video? At one point, I think it looks like Imogen is about to take off, lifted by the wind!
We also filmed Imogen’s latest music video, In Dreams, at Mt Gibraltar but at a different lookout. We were expecting very uncomfortable conditions again. But, though it was cold, it wasn’t freezing. We didn’t need the blanket. However, we did appreciate the warming hot chocolate after we’d finished the video shoot!
I’d like to thank everyone who is already supporting my daughter. Your generosity and interest are very much appreciated!