Two days ago, Montreal pop singer Emmanuel Travis released his new music video Vendredi Sauvage that we put together for him. The video is about people letting loose, unwinding from reality, and releasing their animal side through physical transformation, dark behaviour, and even erotic urges.
The production process behind the video was actually quite complicated as we ran into some difficulties during our shoot. Our initial concept was to have a large crowd of people around a giant bonfire, who were going to be celebrating and progressively get crazier, letting their animal side take over them. The scene was going to be extremely out of the ordinary, consisting of anything from fire breathers in animal costumes to wolves and poisonous snakes. So we put together a treatment and were ready to shoot a few weeks later. Now, this was indeed an independent video production, so no, we did not have the budget to shoot the next Kanye West & Jay-Z music video… we thought up creative ways to shoot the concept we wanted with the resources we had.
7:00 am, we arrived at our shooting location which we had scouted and prepped beforehand and began setting up. We set up a tower of wood, a tent for actors and gear and the rest of our props.
We spend the morning doing tests. Camera tests, bonfire tests and experiments, slow-motion capabilities of capturing the movement of the flames etc. We were ready to go and, in fact, early enough to be waiting for our actors, extras and the rest of the crew to show up when… it started to rain. The weather forecast had lied and was being its usual unpredictable self… Rain and now cold was invading our music video shoot.
It didn’t take too much time for our phones to start ringing and buzzing, and before we knew it, 85% of our cast was asking if we were cancelling the shoot. We decided to wait it out a little, but the rain and cold got worse…
We had heaters and giant tents set up for the cast and crew already on set, but decided to cancel the shoot for everyone else who was supposed to be arriving within the next hour. It was a good thing, too. As soon as the sun was beginning to set, we lit our bonfire, to quickly realized that the firewood had gotten extremely moist and wet. We were also getting wet and cold as we attempted to soak cloth and paper in gasoline and ligher fluid to get the fire up and going. It would have been a disaster for everyone in costumes in the rain.
But, Emmanuel was on set with a few actors, so we decided to make the best of the situation and shoot some footage. We eventually got the fire going and kept it alive with gasoline. Everyone on set started throwing around ideas and was helping out to make the best out of what we had, so we could shoot some interesting footage for this music video. The night was filled with filming a lot of different things, most of which didn’t end up making the cut, but everyone was extremely helpful and we ended up having quite a good time. Here are a few screenshots of scenes we filmed that didn’t make it into the video.
The next obvious step to take was to schedule a second shooting date. We needed more footage and decided to give our video a larger variety of scenes by going a complete different route and shooting a few indoor studio scenes. We wanted to keep the human/animal concept for these scenes, so we contacted Natasha Nebula, a performer from Black Snake Circus who came on set with her gorgeous snake companion. She also helped us out cast the two other models seen in the video, Maiko Starr and Vanessa Seguin. Things fell into place and we were ready to shoot our second scene.
Many hours of post-production later, the video was completed and ready to be launched. The challenges faced during this production led to our team finding creative ways to use the resources at our disposal to make this video come alive, which is the beauty of filmmaking. Check out the video bellow, give us your thoughts and comments, we’d love to hear them!