at the very end of december 2016, four people entered an abandoned marine hospital on the banks of the mississippi river to shoot the video for Marco Pavé's then-unreleased track Sacrifice.
we had scouted the location almost a year earlier - new years' day 2016, in fact. here are a few pics taken from that very scout, featuring a few of the specific locations from the Sacrifice video:
of course, the place is quite different when there's just four of you. at night. with nothing but a few headlamps and flashlights to keep you company.
the location provided inspiration and visual bang-for-the-buck in droves, but lighting something of this scale on a budget can be difficult. that coupled with a desire to do something visually striking resulted in the idea of shooting the video in infrared (IR).
to that end, a IR-modified Sony a7s was procured from LensRentals (a fantastically useful resource that just so happens to be located in Memphis), fitted with a 14mm rectilinear lens, and mounted on a DJI Ronin-MX. those of you who actually read these project descriptions might recognise that setup from the Sacrifice single tease video. indeed that footage was shot at the end of this shoot.
we spent about three hours in the marine hospital. some setups had been planned out (under the assumption that the fixtures from the scout a year earlier would remain - luckily they had,) while others we concocted on the fly. shooting in IR offered us a tremendously simple lighting setup: one 1x1 LED panel for the main light, battery-powered for flexibility. we were able to use it direct or bounce as necessary - the a7s is good in low light under normal circumstances, but shooting in IR boosted that even further. our secondary light was a small Sony IR-light, which is what creates the blue cast in the video. this combo had the added bonus of creating a grey-and-blue colour scheme that's in line with the city of Memphis. not to mention the Grizzlies.
Marco Pavé and Thank Aaron's performances are what really make the video work, however - both fleshing out their characters' identities with subtlety and style, which really complements the location.
there are quite a few shots that didn't even make the final cut (as evidenced by the above photo) but the edit came together pretty quickly.
perhaps an outtakes reel might show up here at some point. showcasing such moments as the 1x1 light panel going dead in the middle of a take in the morgue of the marine hospital. it's moments like that which remind you why you do this stuff.
the video premiered on April 21st, 2017.
DIRECTOR: chris morgan
PRODUCER: dana gabrion
CAMERA: Sony a7s (IR-modified)
STABILISER: DJI Ronin-MX