Most recently I got to be apart of yet another first for me… Filming a music video with a band called, Fake Problems. Their song, “Songs For Teenagers” had a storyline for the music video that the band was out on the water and think they spot a mermaid and dive in to actually see one! The project was shot on a cinematic camera that is known as the “RED” -it’s the type of high budget camera you would see on the sets of high budget block buster movies and to add an extra wow factor, it had a custom underwater housing that holds a price tag higher than what most of our houses cost!
Without getting to technical, the RED camera has an element of filming in such depth and clarity that in it’s raw format can be adjusted much like a picture to change the brightness, contrast, and other details that would make a picture be brought to the next level -only this is moving images!
Behind The Scenes:
The shoot was a rush 1 week prep for both making tails to have a requested feel for the Pirates Of The Caribbean Stranger Tides feel to it, and organizing the endless details of storyline, how it would be shot, who is going to be apart of the shoot, to the location to be chosen. Eric and I spent hours a day on the phone going back and forth to essentially pull this entire project together by involving many of our own connections such as a very talented crew for filming. Hector Oriz who is known for his videos conceptualized for the Black Eyed Peas, and Kim Ashdown who among many projects is known in the mermaid community for her clever Doritos commercial ad featuring mermaids.
The Day of the actual shoot was scheduled to be a 4 hour production.
One thing I have learned is they are never as short as one may hope or plan for! We prepped the day before with rehearsals and were doing last min touches up until 3:30am. We woke up at 6am to then get ready for an 8am call time. The project took 10 hours on the water and a grand total of 12 hours to actually wrap up and leave the docks for the evening.
The element of adding water to any project leaves room for much unpredictability. Cameras can over heat, fog up, lens can get a tiny drop on the inside which then makes the camera focus on that instead of the wide angle view of the mermaids in the background. Then there is wardrobe malfunctions, dealing with the fact that the band is not trained to be underwater performers, so the scenes had to be repeated dozens of times in order to get that one shot.
Hours of my eyes open underwater exposed to the stirred up, murky sandy water made my eyes completely blood red. The way the green in my eyes glowed from irritation, made me look like a siren more than a mermaid!
Thankfully from previous mermaid shoots, I have learned that the reapplication of sunblock is essential. A new lesson I learned from this project, is to get out of the water between shots that may take longer than 10 minutes to set up for. I spend half my day shivering to the point it felt like my teeth were going to shatter! I did take comfort in knowing I wasn’t the only one feeling this, as the band surrounding me had purple toned lips, pale flesh, and a hint of vampire look to their waterlogged look that we all laughed about.
At the end of the day (quite literally) we were all happy with the results and mostly relieved it was over. When you put that much of yourself out their and dedicate your time to these projects, they become apart of you. The struggles we go through in life are how you achieve great things. It is a way to earn that moment to feel proud of what you accomplished and a sense of strength that wasn’t otherwise there before, begins to build within you. The music video is currently airing daily on both MTV & MTV2. I wish the band continued success with their music career and I think we can all appreciate their love for mermaids!