Ryan Nicholson‘s latest motion project was an especially fun one. The assignment had Ryan filming a music video for the band Bad Lucy‘s new song, Forward, in Phoenix, AZ. Ryan had previously worked with the band’s lead singer J. Miller in the past, but this project was their most ambitious collaboration to date, which Ryan hopes, “is an indication of our growth in our creative endeavors.”
Once in Phoenix, J. and Ryan spent the first day shooting with actress/model Lauren Alonzo. Ryan wanted to get some shots of J. and Lauren in various locations downtown. Wanting to take advantage of the Steadicam, Ryan shot J. walking forwards and singing the first verse, while he walked backwards. This proved somewhat difficult at first but Ryan pulled it off,
It was a challenge maintaining focus and keeping the camera steady, but with a practice we got what we needed. Then we jumped on the light rail and J. gave some mini performances to some unsuspecting passengers. We got some funny looks, and a bit of grief from a group of high school kids, but that was part of the fun. The train footage is some of my favorite footage from the piece.
The second day of shooting consisted of filming J. singing to Lauren at the North Mountain Preserve. Ryan was hoping to use this material in the final scenes of the video and create a narrative with it. However, these scenes were cut during the final editing process as they found they didn’t fit well with the rest of the video. It wasn’t easy to cut the scenes though, and Ryan considered it “one of the hardest decisions we faced during the editing phase.”
The last day of shooting was the rest of the band joined in, which was a fun experience for everyone. They shot in a parking lot outside of Legend City Studios, creating a set with the band’s gear and a borrowed couch. Ryan directed and shot at the same time, and now understands why that’s usually two separate jobs. Finally, they ended the shoot with some playful interactions between the band mates, trying a lot of different silly poses on the couch. Luckily, “all of the guys were good sports and didn’t take themselves too seriously, so the mood on the set was very positive.”
After the shoot wrapped, Ryan sent the footage over to Ethan Simmons for post production. Ryan had recently met Ethan through the social networking world of Twitter. According to Ryan,
Ethan initially created a base plate of the band footage which they absolutely fell in love with and then we played in a number of different rough cuts with how much of a narrative element to include with the scenes with J. and Lauren. Ultimately I think we struck a balance that works between band performance and narrative, but that was honestly the biggest challenge of the entire process and we spent more time in post production than I would have guessed. But Ethan was fantastic, and as any good editor will do, he took the piece to another level. I learned a lot by sitting in on a number of editing sessions with him.
You can view the final video here: