‘Every enticing moment of the track has a close-up, directional pan or swaying sweep paired with it.’
Music Video Feature: Silent Natives: Love It
Released to accompany their latest track Love It, Essex based trio Silent Natives bring us a music video that proves COVID restrictions aren’t a barrier to creativity. Filmed back in June – just as the easing of lockdown happened and the 2m rule came in – the final video is one that would have you thinking there was a whole crew there. But there wasn’t. Fully utilising their skills set outside of songwriting and performing, all the filming and editing was done in-house resulting in a final cut that really proves what is possible. However, as frontman Steve told Listen to Discover, even with the advantage of bassist Rich having previously done professional work as a cameraman, the process wasn’t entirely straightforward.
“The biggest challenge was the wind.” says Steve, “It blew dried mud around everywhere and by the end of the shoot us and our gear were caked in a nice layer of earth!” However, as you would expect with creating a self-shot video, the camera work proved slightly problematic as well: “The logistics of controlling the camera with me, Rich and Chris in shot proved a bit of challenge at times too.” If you’ve already viewed their ‘Making of…’ video you’ll know just how tricky this was, but if you haven’t it’s well worth a watch over on the Silent Natives YouTube Channel. As it turns out though, that behind the scenes video doesn’t tell the whole story.
“Getting the footage took about 4-5 hours. Once we were on location, we worked out the logistics of it and what shots we could achieve with it being just the 3 of us. Someone’s got to control the camera after all!” So how about bringing it all together afterwards? “The editing [process] was actually relatively straight forward. As it was all done to a click track, it was just a case of me [Steve] lining everything up and choosing the shots that worked best.” As I’m sure most of you will know, a click track is crucial when it comes to a live performance style music video being created. No one really wants to watch something out of sync. But aside from this, there are other learning points about both location scouting and the importance of versatility that should be taken on board, especially in these ever-changing times.
“We’d been thinking for a while about creating a music video in these huge tractor sheds close to where we rehearse, and with the easing of restrictions imposed with Lockdown 1, we we’re like ‘They would be perfect! – under cover, yet all open plan.” This of course is the ideal balance for now and as it turned out, luck was to be on their side too: “We found a day when it wasn’t raining – as it would’ve been too dark to film otherwise – and went for it. They [the sheds] were empty when we arrived so we cracked on!” However, even with the clear advantage of already knowing what the location was like and the expertise at hand, realising the vision for the video was another matter.
“We had a rough idea of how we wanted it to come together so checked out the location the day before filming. This meant we could work out some options with cameras and gear.” A solid plan indeed. But as can be the case, and as Steve tells us, plans sometimes have to change: “Originally we were going to use a drone [like we did for 2017’s release ‘On The Run’], but on the day it was so windy that we binned the idea and opted for a zip-wired DSLR. This actually allowed us to have more control and meant we could get the really nice wide angle vibe that you see in the final video.”
When you consider everything that has led to this point – with the release itself and the video creation happening in the midst of incredibly challenging circumstances – you really have to hand it to them. The result truly does make all the effort worthwhile and it could very well be classed as the best video Silent Natives have produced. The sense of energy in the track really is matched within the visuals. Each moment of what you’re hearing has an equally enticing close-up, directional pan or swaying sweep paired with it. By any standard it’s an incredible performance style video. Above all though, what really comes across in both the behind the scenes footage and the final cut, is that the trio truly took the opportunity to create a real moment. A moment that is best summed up by Steve himself: “It was amazing to be “physically” a band again, all be under the same roof and to be working together creatively.” And lets face it, any chance to produce something creative right now should definitely be taken.