Lift-Off Global Network’s Development & Production Manager Claire Richardson (C) catches up with creative collective Something Motel to talk about their BRY music video shoot with Lift-Off’s production support.
Lift-Off’s Production Support with Something Motel
Discovering Something Motel
Lift-Off’s journey with Something Motel began when director Liam Woolmer Thompson (L) and DP Harris Alvi (H) submitted to our festival platform and were selected to screen at The Music Video Filmmaker Showcase, held at Pinewood Studios.
It was during their one-on-one feedback session that Lift-Off Global Network Co-Founders, James Bradley and Ben Pohlman, were immediately interested in the dynamic and talented duo and suggested forming as a collective to continue making music videos together.
L – James laid it out in the simplest way for us, and we were like “oh yeah, that’s a smart idea, why don’t we do that!” He basically put all the puzzle pieces together. We should have been doing that from the beginning. So after the showcase we sat down with Georgie, our producer, and thought of something we could put our label on everything we make, that could credit everyone in one go.
C – So why “Something Motel” as the name?
L – We wanted to be personable. With something that could offer creative branding opportunities. We were thinking of how our name could be random and obscure but match the feeling of our work.
Immediately interested and exciting by the dynamic and talented group, James mentioned our Production Support.
L – When James mentioned exactly what you guys can offer, we were like “hell yeah!” We were told we had to hand in a hard copy pitch, so we got working on our 15 page proposal and USB with the tracks.
C – How did you find the whole pitching process?
L – Well normally when you pitch, the people are really stuffy, but everyone at Lift-Off is really nice. When Harris and I were at the showcase, we would make jokes and Ben and James would laugh and make jokes. We knew they were people we could genuinely have conversation with.
H – It’s informal, just a bunch of nice people, which made it a lot easier.
L – It makes it easier to take feedback too. The process also pushed us to do more than we thought we’d be able to. Like finding artists we wouldn’t have even approached if it wasn’t for the pitch.
After their thorough and cohesive pitch, Lift-Off officially offered Something Motel our Production Support.
This scheme exists to support talented indie filmmakers in their endeavours, with full guidance from the very start of the process until the very end. This includes advice on funding/ PR and marketing/ creating a festival strategy/ development, followed by post-production and distribution guidance. We happily welcome filmmakers to Pinewood, or alternatively, these sessions can be held over Skype.
It then wasn’t long before Lift-Off were joining Something Motel on set. In addition to development and guidance, we supply filmmakers with some of the industry’s very best kit, which we know is so often unattainable for lower budget projects. Our Production Support package includes supply of our EPIC-M RED DRAGON ® 6k Camera. We also provided the crew with a full lighting set-up from ROTOLIGHT and six COOKE MINI S4i lenses, from MovieTech, thanks to the generosity of the two companies, who like us, are keen to aid the next generation of indie filmmakers.
H – The Rotolights were great on the shoot, I really loved the level of diffusion they had built into them. The vignetted shape was perfect, I like how light-weight they are and battery powered. I just wish we’d had more!
L – They are really powerful though. And coming with all the gels and diffusers is really useful too.
H – They have clearly put a lot of thought into who will actually be using them. What do those people actually want from a light. Then obviously the RED camera was a joy to work with. And the lenses, oh my god I loved the COOKE lenses. Them combined with the camera was just perfect.
C – How did saving a huge amount of your budget affect the project?
H – Imagine us trying to make that video if we’d have had to hire all that!
L – It meant we had the money to fill in the gaps. We spent a lot on location. Also, it’s difficult to say to an artist, “Hey, I’ve just graduated, give me £1000 to make a music video. It’s a lot easier to say, “give me £500”!
C – In addition to the kit, how did you feel the shoot went overall?
L – We have mixed opinions on the shoot. We were stressed out at the beginning. Particularly worried about blocking out the light in the warehouse.
H – Yeah we were spending a lot of time, effort and money on that.
L – I did appreciate you on shoot, when Harris and I would be standing there trying to think about what to do, and you would come and give ideas. For me as a director, I like to hear everyone’s opinions and make an informed decision. Harris and I both like to make sure everyone feels a part of the shoot. We’re never going to be those guys who are stuffy on set.
H – And it should be fun shouldn’t it. That’s why we all get into it.
L – I am happy with the shoot, how we shot it, how it looks. It was the turnaround for the video that was insane. I just wish we’d had a longer time for the edit. I’m certainly happy with the amount of views it has!
Overall, the entire process is designed to assist filmmakers in whatever way they need us.
L – In terms of the support you give, it’s not just the kit, it’s you guys being so personable with everything.
H – There’s never that wall you normally have in this situation. We can always ask for help. It’s genuine and authentic.
C – So what’s next for Something Motel?
H – More music videos!
L – We have 5 planned.
We can’t wait to hear the next ideas from them, and look forward to working with Something Motel again in the very near future! We’re also excited to see more pitches, and work with the fantastic new talent that we know is out there.