A Music Video To Celebrate Leonard Cohen

Working with Boston musicians in the Cindel project (which includes part of the Shave Media team), we produced this music video of Cindel covering Leonard Cohen's "The Guests".

This project presented several challenges.  First, we needed to develop and execute a concept in a little over a week's time.  Second, with many potentially-conflicting schedules involved, we needed to restrict filming to no more than 4 hours.  And third, we needed to develop a story around a song that was both long and repetitive in structure.

To address the first two challenges - essentially, limited time - we decided to develop a concept around a simple but dynamic visual: dancing.  To address the third challenge - how to keep things interesting - we decided to film two very different dancers, whom we would film separately, and then individually, at a variety of focal lengths.  We also incorporated a band performance to happen in the same space.

We found a location in nearby Cambridge, MA, prepped the set in 3 hours, and filmed the talent in 4 hours, working until we lost the natural light.  Our Director of Photography was long-time collaborator Alex Pickering, who has filmed with us around the world using a variety of cool rigs and drones.  For this video, Alex used his RED Dragon on the MoVI Pro, keeping the camera in constant motion.

In post we decided to differentiate the two scenes - dancing and band performance - through color grading.  We brought out the already-present reds in the dancing, and deepened the blues in the band.  We also tried a split-screen trick with the mirror, so that the dancers could become each other's reflections.

Since posting the video on Nov 7th, we've already seen it earn over 3,500 views on YouTube, and many shares on Facebook; interestingly many of the shares are happening in France, where perhaps Leonard Cohen has a particularly strong following.  We look forward to producing more music videos in the coming months!