Lonesome Shack – No Way Back
In this video Ben wanted to challenge perception of space and time to illuminate the meaning of his song No Way Back. In one continuous shot, the camera and crew follow Ben through the grounds of his London workshop as he performs a reverse lip sync, exploring forward and reverse dance and movement while interacting with various scenarios along the way. It culminates in his retirement to a head isolator in the midst of a demolition site, perhaps to awaken in an entirely new place in the future.
Production and Technical information
Lens series: Anamorphic/i SF
Focus lengths: 32mm
Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Camera: Arri Alexa Mini
Rental Company: Emmyland http://www.emmyland.com
Director of Photography: Emily-Jane Robinson http://www.emilyjanerobinson.com
Agent: Wizzo and Co http://www.wizzoandco.co.uk/diary-service/
Production: Lonesome Shack – No Way Back
Producers: Ben Day Todd, Max Openshaw & Emily-Jane Robinson
Director: Ben Day Todd
Colourist: Thomas Mangham
Post Production Company: The Mill http://www.themill.com/
Production Company: Emmyland http://www.emmyland.com
DOP Emily-Jane Robinson on her lens choice:
“ I need to emphasise what an exciting technical feat this film was to pull off, as any one shot is, but this one in particular based on the fact that we knew the whole time that the film would also be reversed in the edit so there was a lot of constant scrambling back and forth in our brains to figure out how any movement would translate in the reverse. We chose to shoot on our Cooke Anamorphic SF Lenses which was a natural choice as they can make any scenario look absolutely beautiful and cinematic even when you are working with mostly all natural light like we were. My rental company, Emmyland Ltd. also owns these lenses so we thought this would be a great way to showcase them as this is still one of the first music promos to be shot on these lenses in the UK.
Ben travelled during the course of the take where there were multiple different locations and lighting environments, so the 32 or 40mm were a necessary and natural choice. After a few tests we ended up going with the 32 as per our operator, James Poole’s suggestion to give us that extra little space to manoeuvre in a very tight shipping container at the beginning (what would become the end) of the shot. All of the environments were lit entirely with natural light with the exception of the shipping containers which we lit with available practicals which made it much more technically challenging as we couldn’t control any of the exposure and resorted to using the iris control unit.
To go into more detail about exposure: we went from T11 at the beginning of shot and then very quickly we pulled to T2.3 as we are coming through first container, so that was challenging to pull off smoothly. Only on these lenses can T11 still look cinematic and full of feeling and not too sharp and digital, so you can really see the lenses come into their own throughout the shot.
Ben and I had an amazing team working with us. James Poole, our Steadicam operator absolutely smashed it- it goes without saying how physically and mentally challenging this was for him to pull off as it also was for Shane De Almeida, our Focus Puller. We were all running together, following James and Ben throughout because of steel structures that were everywhere, so remote monitoring only worked if we all stayed as close as possible.
It’s quite funny when you watch it and also then realise that Ben is being followed by a team of 5 all working tirelessly to perform their specific technical tasks whilst not getting in shot or in the way of Ben… It’s worth mentioning we made this film with a modest crew of 10 and a £2,000 budget so we are really quite chuffed it turned out so well!”