About the Process

This song struck a chord with all involved. The lyrics about love and loss, needing to let something go, realizations about plans and hopes that would no longer exist – it all meant something different to each of us involved be it from a perspective of losing a Mother, Father, Child, Grandparent, Family Member, Friend or Lover. We all came from different walks with different experiences of loss. This was created as a kind of send-off for those lingering feelings of sadness in order to let us move forward with new love in our hearts.

We spent long hour days working through revised mood boards and solutions for shots that seemed impossible to execute. We knew we wanted to do all in-camera tricks to maintain the raw emotional feeling. The emotion was real, so the frame had to be too. So we experimented and reimagined. And then we built, rigged and rebuilt again with different panels of steel, glass and plexiglass to achieve the telling of a story of loss by creating a sense of distance. The last couple of months have been spent shooting personal instagram posts through different surfaces, thinking about how it would apply well with the storyline. Collectively we believe we achieved something beautiful, raw and honest that hopefully reflects the song and it’s concept.

 

 

DIRECTORS NOTE:

In Camera Effects – I’ve always been inspired by Michel Gondry’s style of using in camera/practical effects to create stunning imagery rather than using post effects. Studying the behind the scenes of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I was fascinated by how he played with focal depth using plexiglass to create a feeling of disconnect and disappearance. The lyrics of Oaks & Willows rang with the feeling of separation and emotional loss that come from physical loss. So we wanted the scene to be foggy like a distant memory. From there the lyrics drove home the idea of reflecting on past hopes and dreams. And again we used in-camera set-ups with glass and mirrors to play with bending light, shadows and tones – using practical objects both in front of and behind the lens. We knew the emotion of the song and the concept was real, so we needed the imagery to reflect that authenticity.

CONCEPTS:

Confessions of love, lies and hidden words that were never spoken – We used a designed piece of sheet metal that felt like a confessional pattern in this part of the song to show the passing of these ideas with another

Memories that fade – using the foreground of droplets that create a layer of obstruction and distance. Also using test tubes and crystal glasses in front of the lens allowed for us to play with a ghosting effect in our visuals. Using these techniques allowed for the idea of two people passing by each other or missed communication to come through strongly in a visual way.

Playing with light – moving lighting around objects has been something that I always played with when given the opportunity – it is intended to create mood, passing of time and allows for the shadows to dance across different shapes creating a feeling of missing something if you blink. Imagine having to deal with constantly moving shadows and highlights on set.  But the constant change in light profile allowed for some magical moments and allowed the golden hues of the season to come through in some amazing scenes.

Drone shots – The wind and breeze was a large part of the lyrical content in the song representing the movement and breaking apart of a relationship. So we chose to use some stark wide shots of the changing season in this film and were lucky enough to have the wind on our side (albeit very strong that day) to create movement and an overwhelming feeling. Of how insignificant we are in comparison to our surroundings.

Locations – I’ve always wanted to shoot at my family cottage and their new farm – both locations were a perfect fit for the concept of changing seasons and visual interest. The fall leaves in northern Ontario are always stunning and create a sense of whats old is being lost with their shades altering in the wind.

CREDITS

Artist: Fortunate Ones
Song: Oaks & Willows
Production Company & Concept: BTYB
Directors: Tatjana Green & Nazar Melconian
Art Direction: Kiki Divic
Producer: Sarah Swick
DP: Justin Black
Camera Assistant: David Spowart
Editor: Matt Barnett
Colourist: Peter Schnobb
Actors: Luke Ditella & Tatjana Green
Photography: Amanda Westcott
Behind the Scenes Photography: Amanda Westcott & Melissa Dilger
Drone Operator: Brent Foster
Glass Effects: Tony Edgar
Cam Assist – Matthew Manhire
Location & Craft: Heinz & Charmain Green