City of Mirrors; The Music Video Blog
When we shot the video for “Against the Odds” we were ambitious in our concept of a one-take shot, a hundred kids and adults moving and walking in time, dancers, lip-syncing guests and a sandy desert baked in ridiculous and oppressive rays. So needless to say, we were attracted to a simpler shoot and delighted when the concept for “City of Mirrors” was discussed in relation to doing something indoors!
We’ve already spoken in our last blog about how the song is a story that everyone can relate to. It’s the story of new beginnings and how transplanting yourself physically in a new location can pump up your expectations on your own life adventure. Living in a city like Dubai you really become aware of the energy and opportunity this place offers. There seems to be a myriad of cultures and experiences waiting and we liked the notion of reflection from the city back on to you, and your power as a force to be reckoned with as a human being on this little planet hurtling through time and space. All pretty futuristic right?
It seemed an easy jump to sit around and discuss perhaps using mirrors and reflections in our music video, which we knew could clearly only be achieved in a studio. That was a massive appeal for us all after our sweaty desert shoot last time. So after a loose chat on elements that we considered appropriate to the song, Gary sat down and put together a storyboard as a reference for what we envisioned.
Next up we had to hunt around for a studio and director that we thought could make our concept come to be, in a creative and professional way. After a few chats with local film studios we came across Chris and the guys at Lighthouse Studios and the deal was sealed. Chris was an awesome presence to have on board for the creation of “City of Mirrors”. He was so calming and relaxed on the day, but also completely flexible and creative on all aspects. We quickly realized that we couldn’t have had a better and more efficient team on board.
We are learning just how long a day doing music video shoots are and I will say it’s not for the faint hearted. We were up with the birds at 6am packing our truck full of props, clothes, snacks and instruments and were at the studio sharp and excited by 8am, which is pretty unheard of when it comes to musicians. We normally don’t do mornings!
On the actual day when we walked in to the studio lot, we were faced with a pretty impressive breakfast spread, a freshly painted studio to fit our theme and a whole host of happy smiley faces ready to kick on with the shoot. Chris and his team were on-point setting up multiple cameras and lighting rigs and it immediately put any nerves to rest knowing we were in good hands.
We had decided this time to use a simpler concept but a bit more artistic, so we roped in a couple of uber-talented people. Hani used his unique talents and impressive tools to completely cover each of us in silver paint to add to the futuristic feel and message of the song. He was an awesome character to have on set and was always waiting in the wings to touch up our silver sheen and even managed to rope in my little mini-me for a touch of face art later in the day. Thanks Hani, without you on set we wouldn’t have been quite as sparkly and it was almost worth it all for the feeling of washing off all that silver later in the shower…man that felt good!
Next up we want to brag about our awesome dancer Angelis Karaseva. We always use our go-to source when it comes to needing dancers or singers for anything a little extra and so we managed to bother Scott at Diverse Choreography for someone to choreograph and dance for us on our latest music video. Angelis has an incredible history of appearing on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and in various music videos and high-end appearances, so we were happy to have her in our video but none of it prepared us for what we saw in the studio that day. Along with everyone on set, we were absolutely awe struck when she showed us her choreography but even more so when she announced that the next part was free style! It was insane! There is something really powerful about watching someone do something they excel at and that was what made watching Angelis so incredible. She moved everyone in the room and each take ended in ruptures of applause and cheering. We’re so happy with the shots taken where her amazing moves were highlighted with the gorgeous lighting that Chris and his team created for all of her shots, so a big up to all our talented contributors.
Once we had all had our turn of multiple cameras in our
faces on all angles Mr. Two Tone himself turned up to perform his awesome rap under the stream of very strategic lighting, billows of smoke and bubble machines. It was cool to sit back and watch someone else take the cameras for a walk and we were grateful that Two Tone added his own brand of cool to the shoot.
We also want to thank the guys over at MEI who provided us with some pretty cool toys to showcase in the video which included a Mesa-Boogie Triple rectifier amp and of course from our endorsers at Shure, the cool-as-ice champagne coloured KSM9 for the band shots (it’s so pretty and definitely fitted with our look for the day). Big up to Vic Firth and Nord as always for the support. And lastly to HP for allowing us to use their super dinky and ultra slim Spectre laptop in the video too.
Last up we want to throw a massive thanks your way to all the people who have downloaded “City of Mirrors” on iTunes, Apple Music and Anghami (https://umusicmena.lnk.to/CityofMirrors).
For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, head over to our Vevo channel and take a look.