OVAS 2017 Creator Q&A - Ben Kumanovski.
Could you tell us a little bit about your work and how you got into the industry?
I started my own production company; Global Pictures, in 2007 after completing an Advanced Diploma in digital TV production with JMC Academy and a Bachelor of Communications in Film and Television with the University of New England. And later in 2015 I also completed Graduate Diploma of Screen Business with AFTRS. Working across the corporate film industry, my work consists mainly of television commercial and corporate film production. I’ve also directed a number of short films and music videos. Working as a director and cinematographer, I regularly direct the famous Lowes menswear “At Lowes” TVCs, and have worked with a number of notable talent including Tahir Bilgic and Rob Shehadie from SBS TV comedies Fat Pizza and Houseos. Over the years I’ve won awards for a few of my short films and most recently I won two awards for my commercial work at the AVPA Awards.
Why did you choose The Best of My Love for your project?
Best of My Love is a music video written and performed by Derrick Attwood. This was the third music video I’ve directed for Derrick and we work well together. Derrick is a young and up and coming artist and a very talented musician. He writes all his own stuff, and he has a lot of drive and ambition for a young guy of only about 18 years old. I like that, and I’m happy to bring my passion for filmmaking to his passion for music. Derrick is also happy for me to take control of the visual creative of the production – he’s not a signed artist yet, (although his music is very popular), so all of his music videos have been self funded and low budget.I enjoy the challenge of making a low budget production look bigger than it actually was.
How has your project changed since it’s conceptualisation?
When we first spoke, Derrick wanted to shoot something in a warehouse. I liked that, but that’s as far as Derrick’s idea’s for the music video went. I then did some research and discovered a studio that had some ready made sets that we could simply walk in, light and shoot. The sets included a warehouse set and a retro set filled with little breakout spots such as the 1960’s lounge room and 50’s diner. It looked great, and so I worked a movie set concept around it. The last part was to make it appear as though it was a continuous take video, as the talent wanders through the various sets singing, like he was backstage on a movie studio. In actual fact there are 5 cuts within the whole film, but each cut is strategically placed to go unnoticed like we had never cut at all to give the film a continual flow of motion from start to finish.
What was the creative process of the video?
I played out the lyrics for the film, then deciding not to go for a typical music video look, researched studio options and wrote a story around that. The lyrics don’t reference a movie set or that anyone in the song is an actor, that was my idea to work in. Derrick and I discussed the idea that the camera would be continually moving and circling him and even showing the production team behind the scenes as it went around him and we felt that it was a cool way to tell the story and a clever way to shoot it, so we went with it.
How was the video created?
We shot the video entirely on steadicam to playback. The camera was set to 30fps and the playback was sped up by 20% so that when the video was played back at 25fps we had this subtle slow motion effect and his lips would still be in sync with the words.
What was your biggest challenge?
Shooting on steadicam in the studio and directing the timing of the camera operator (who was circling Derrick and going behind a set piece within the same move) to land in the right spots at the exact times in the song where I wanted him was our biggest challenge. It took a few goes to cover the whole song and get it right but I’m very happy with the results.
What has been the critic/fan response like for the project?
Derrick’s audience loved it. The music video racked up over 150,000 YouTube views in just 3 months. The view count was completely organic and it was a big push forward for the artist in helping increase his social media following.
Questions wrangled by Monroe Scott for the OVAs.