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How we shot 70 music videos in 3 hours
If there is one sport that instantly evokes a sense of dignity, it's undoubtedly chess. Two players silently sitting at a table for several hours straight is not exactly the most visually arresting performance (at least for a non-chess person) – and it's probably this seeming lack of action, the drama that remains invisible to the outsiders, that makes a chess match special.
The 2018 edition of the World Chess Championship took place in London, and the night before the tournament Victoria & Albert Museum hosted a very fancy black-tie opening party. The organizers invited us to create an interactive space where the guests could act silly – yet in style – and dance in front of a camera, and get a shareable video (that looks suspiciously like a professional music video) some hours later.
We wanted the guests to go through something new and special; something that hadn't happened to them before, no matter how exciting their lives are. We wanted them to feel like they're on set – on set of a movie – and not as a bystander, but as the lead. The guests would stand in front of the wall covered with chess-themed videos, they'd be surrounded by a film crew, and the director would instruct them what to do – so that they feel comfortable and act naturally. (Which is admittedly hard when there's a crowd watching right next to you.) The resulting videos portrayed them as though in a different reality, largely created by the abstract, illusionary background.
For the design of the space we borrowed a lot of ideas from the visual language of chess (not surprisingly), and threw in plenty of Esher-inspired optical illusions to follow the Surreal Ball theme of the evening. The vastly acclaimed identity of the championship developed by Shuka Design (our fellow countrymen) served as a separate inspiration.
Director & Executive Producer — Denis Astakhov
Director’s Assistant — Dmitry Pavlov
Art-Director & Motion Design — Anton Novosad
Executive Producer — Steve Bliss
1st Unit DOP — Evgeny Arkhipov
2nd Unit DOP — John Fisher
1st AC — Gary Long
2nd AC — James Tylyard
Playbacker — Finn Sheriton
Editors — Tim Beeston, Anton Arkhipov
Gaffer — Matt Howey Nunn
Technical Production — Bespoke Events
Case Study Video:
Camera OPs — Seth Finegold, Poppy Rogers
Editing — Anton Arkhipov
Score — waveme.pro
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