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BTS of Everything

The Creative Process for STS Everything Music Video

entry no. 13

In pre-production, we decided to plan this project to be less about a scene by scene narrative, and tell the story instead, through metaphor, art, and light.

Ross (Director), had a short story pre-written, that oddly fed great into what was needed for the B-roll of this video, so we decided to adapt it into a more simple direction for the video. We played with lighting to represent emotions, built a futuristic set by hand and used a clear barrier (glass wall) to symbolize a divide physically and symbolically. Often times relationships suffer from a number of barriers and this added to that idea in a more playful way, given our overly-modernized set.

Upon first glance, the B-roll seems to be not much other than artsy shots, playing off the classic "relationship struggle" trope. But, digging a little deeper, we got to add a sci-fi twist behind it all. The base idea is that of the female character, playing the part of an "AI" who is programmed to love it's human counterpart (male character). While this is a story that has been told before, we see it played out from the side of the AI, and what it's like to be used.

Given there's no dialogue we wanted the environment to be a surreal setting for where she's "trapped" and what she's feeling. This is where the light comes in to play. Pink signifies her happiness and "love" feeling, whilst blue is cold and bleak for when she is sad or alone. The overall idea here with this B-roll is to mirror what a real life relationship can sometimes feel like. One person feels more "trapped" in the way they love the other, thus feeling more used than cared for. One of our more intricate stories behind B-roll for a music video thus far, and it was exciting to pull off.

Moving the idea of glass a little further we also introduced a prism for singular shots. Light and glass creates a cool futuristic look, but also still fits into the idea of diffraction and how outside elements can change your feelings and mood. With these shots we wanted to create a feeling of connection to the audience and add a little more vulnerability to both characters.

Mixing in with Ross’s vision for the project, we started with a new approach to set design. This choice was partially because we wanted to build something completely fresh and to add in a futuristic touch and modern design. For lighting to channel the emotion effects, we decided on mixing the KinoFlo Select series units and Quasar Q25’s, which allowed us to use practical fixtures in frame and simultaneously, change our mood out of frame.

The KS were set up through the Luminaire app and programmed for different scenes that would play out given characters different movements/interactions. We maximized our time with talent by pre-programming our scenes before they arrive on set. This gave us more time to get the shots we wanted and focus on the directing, given this is all more emotion/physically played out. We love DMX for this reason. Every production we incorporate it in, we find that a little extra time prepping our lighting, lets us find a groove faster and move quicker. It’s great finding the groove on set and not having to stop in the midst to change things, therefor never losing it.

With shooting the actual story shots, we decided to take a new approach that we typically look past. We chose to shoot it all in slow motion, at 50fps. Most cases we love the epic look of 120fps, but thought 50 might be more fitting and push us to break our typical mold. We felt a little unsure, but after the footage arrived in post, we were happy with the results, because it feels more caught in emotion, sitting frozen in time. This aligned much better with the story.

This was a much more in depth look at our production for "Everything".

We hope you enjoyed ta few extra details. Projects are all about looking professional in the end, but we have a good time crafting each one up.

The “Everything” music video is below if you would like to view the final product in-full.


Ross Theisen | Director + Art

Josh Emerick | Cinematographer + Editor

Taylor Tigner | AC + DIT

Matty McClelland | Gaff, G&E + DMX Light FXs

Mikaya Collins | BTS Video + PA

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