Soffía Björg is a new and exciting musician out of Iceland. Her music is warm but haunting and her voice packs an emotional punch and power not often heard. Her first single “Back & Back Again” was released in October 2015 and I had the distinct pleasure and honor to film her first music video to accompany the release.
Due to scheduling issues and the short timeline to finish the video (it took exactly 3 weeks from first brief to release) I had to conceive, prep, and execute the entire job remotely. Yes, remotely, this production happened entirely through email, phonecalls, Facetime and Skype.
On the shoot day I was sat in front of my computer for 10+ hours directing the music video via Skype.
This may sound weird to some but in reality it was not that different from a lot of jobs I do. A big chunk of a typical prep takes place over the phone, email or Skype, looking at sketches, renderings, scripts, plans, casting, designs, color schemes, wardrobe, look references, lighting references etc. All of this is common place in a modern production, fast pace, lots of moving pieces in different departments at the same time.
Once the first shoot day rolls in 90% of the heavy lifting for any job should be done, we’re finessing at this point, honing in on performance, nuances in lighting, dressing, make-up, etc.
So how was it directing talent through Skype you ask? Well, me and Soffía had lengthy conversations over Facetime beforehand about the project. I had shot a technical test to explain the Stop Motion methodology to her, we went over, and developed, the script in detail, talked about intentions, emotional beats, correlation to the lyrics etc.
When it came down to it on the day Soffía was able and willing to trust my bearded face on a computer screen and take my advice and direction (we have never met). I on the other hand was able to let go of my impulse to micro manage every little thing on a film set and actually relax in the comfort of my home sipping tea and play with my kids in between setups.
The shoot would not have been possible without the great DP Tómas Örn Tómasson, the stoic and steady Producer Kári Sturluson and his team Tindur Kárason and Tómas Sturluson. We shot at Irma Sudio in Reykjavík. Steffi Thors delivered a marvelous edit and VFX and color grade was beautifully handled at Trickshot in Iceland by Kristján U. Kristjánsson and Luis Ascanio, respectively.
Below is the finished video and behind the scenes images by Tómas Sturluson (©2015 Tómas Sturluson)