Our music video category invites audiences to loose themselves to infectious rhythm and fast-paced tempo with the latest in contemporary promos synced to innovative choreography and set-design. Music Video winner at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2016 Mountainside by Lewis Rose brings UK Beatbox champion and musical chameleon Beardyman’s lyrics to life through a dynamic fusion of image and sound. Produced by Unihill Productions, the promo depicts the unexpected story of a funny and simultaneously bittersweet tale of lost raver love. The director speaks to ASFF about the making of the film, and what inspires him to work with musicians.
ASFF: When presented with a soundtrack, what processes do you go through to decide a suitable narrative and content for the music video?
LR: I tend to come up with the best stuff when I’m walking. Oxygen to the brain I guess. So I’ll put on some headphones, have a track on repeat, and try not to stop until I’ve come up with something. Before I set off, I’ll usually check out a bit about the artist, see what their style is, watch some of their previous videos. You have to remember that there’s always an element of ‘selling a product’ with music videos, so there’s usually some boxes you have to tick in terms of who it’s being marketed to. Once I’ve got an idea, I’ll try and talk it through with some people – my agent, the commissioner if I know them, my girlfriend – get some outside perspective and check that it’s not rubbish. If it seems to go down well, then I’ll flesh it out and write a treatment.
ASFF: How did the opportunity to work with Beardyman arise?
LR: We’ve been working together for about 10 years now. I first met him in Brighton where we both used to live. I started filming gigs for him and over the years have probably shot hundreds! We have a really great working relationship – very creative and collaborative. We came up with the entire concept and script for Mountainside together. Being able to work in that way with an artist you’re doing a video for is a dream.
ASFF: What did you enjoy the most about producing the film for Mountainside?
LR: The spontaneity of it. Quite a large portion of the video was filmed during an actual Beardyman show – the rest of it took place earlier that day in the same club with extras being punters who got a free ticket to the show if they agreed to come down early and be in the video! Working in that environment meant that me and my awesome DOP Emma Dalesman had to be super on our toes, which was pretty nervy but exciting. Another highlight was working with our two lead actors – Davina Leonard and Joe McTernan. Their performance was incredible, it really made the video. We did a lot of improvisation which again, kept everything really spontaneous and fun.
ASFF: How would you advise budding filmmakers and music artists to succeed when creating a music video?
LR: I can only really speak from the kind of videos I like to make.. I tend to be drawn towards ideas that are easy to sum up in a sentence and usually pretty narrative driven. With these kinds of videos, I think something relatable works well – portraying a story or scene that people know when but putting a different / honest spin on it. A bit of comedy never goes a miss, if the artist is suited to it. Generally for directors I’d just say play to your strengths. Try and pitch on tracks your suited to with ideas you can pull off. It’s such a vast medium that it’s good to find your place in it.
ASFF: What can we expect from your work in the coming future?
LR: Music video wise, I’m pitching regularly and have made quite a few videos since Mountainside with some great artists. You can check them out on my website. Outside of that, I do short films and I’m currently writing my first feature, which is actually music based. It’s about a kid from a small Welsh mountain town who dreams of being a superstar DJ. Hopefully it will have a banging soundtrack.
See more of Lewis’s work: www.lewisrosefilm.com.
Enter your film into ASFF by 31 May 2017 midnight GMT. For more information: www.asff.co.uk/submit.
1. Lewis Rose, Mountainside, 2016. Courtesy of the director and YouTube.