Making of: Answer Me - Jakob Burrows' Blog

Making of: Answer Me

The music video for Answer Me is long since finished, and you can watch it here, but I found some making of material that I never posted, so here's a run-through of how we did it! All photos are by Jonathan Norberg.

My song Answer Me tells such a clear story in it's lyrics that we had no other choice for the music video than to simply visualize that story. The song is written out of the perspective of an answering machine that is trying to get the attention of it's owner, to convince her that the guy she's seeing is kind of a dick, and that there are other guys (or answering machines?) out there that are more worthy of her time.

Last autumn I asked my friend and classmate Dennis Kullberg to work on the music video with me, which eventually led to us co-directing a three day shoot over a weekend in March. We were originally doing a very minor production, but a few weeks before the shoot we were lucky enough to get the Daydreamers crew involved. Daydreamers is a group of students at our school that does productions outside of schoolwork; enormously creative filmmaking students who are more experienced with photography and lighting than either me or Dennis (mere screenwriting weaklings). In short, these are the sort of people you want on your side! And it meant that instead of my tiny old Canon HF100 we were shooting the music video on a Red ONE camera. If you know anything about cameras you know that this is a big deal.

The music video mostly takes place in an apartment, and we decided to get all the other shots out of the way before moving to the main location, Dennis' apartment. So on Friday morning we started our shoot at a café in central Falun. The first thing we did was the exterior establishing shot:

Narcissistically enough, this above photo was my desktop background image for several months. Anyway, after that we moved into the cramped little café. Dennis, my ever optimistic co-director, had told the owner that we would be "about an hour" and we'd be occupying "a table or two". Needless to say, we took up most of the café for most of the day.

This picture shows a recurring problem with filming in front of windows in the middle of town: people tend to walk past them. The bastards. Like maybe you're shooting a romantic moment and an incredibly fat woman walks by and stares right into the camera. Awesome.

Last year Lovisa and Elizabeth (right and left) were commonly referred to as Lovisabeth, since it was nearly impossible to see one without the other! They shot and edited this music video.

[there should be a video here]

The video above is a sample of Lovisabeth's endless battle with the tripod! (Please note how instead of helping I whip out a camera.)

After finishing at the café we spent the rest of the first day shooting the outdoors-stuff outside Dennis' apartment. I don't know if it looks it, but it was actually incredibly cold...

In the music video my character is on the third floor balcony looking down. In actuality we shot that on the first floor balcony of one of Dennis' neighbours. That's the magic of cinema, people! The neighbour we borrowed it from didn't really seem to understand the concept of cinema magic though - she kept walking past inside the apartment, looking perplexed and staring right into the camera.

Did I mention that it was cold?

We spent the next two days in the apartment! I spent most of it lip syncing.

On the evening between those two apartment-days we went out and had a bit of a wrap party (who says you can't have a wrap party when you're 2/3 finished?) and we took the opportunity to get this above photograph, which we needed for the video. You should have heard me directing Dennis in the restaurant.

Jakob: "That's perfect! You look like a total douche!"
Dennis: "But I haven't started acting yet."

In conclusion it all turned out the way I imagined it, or often better than imagined! Here's a comparison between the storyboard (as drawn by me and Dennis) and the final product:

(That's it! Now go watch the video and then listen to my other songs!)

November 30th, 2011