BTS: Reuben Hollebon, 'On & On', Music video

After shooting a short documentary for Reuben Hollebon (pictured below) in the summer of 2016, Other Brother studios were asked by his record label, Bright Antenna Records, to make an official music video for his song 'On & On'. 

Other Brother Studios went to work finding a Director who we thought could bring an epic and meaningful interpretation to the production. James Slater was the perfect fit for the brief, which was loosely based on a robot themed short story that Reuben himself had written many years ago. Not only is James an acclaimed music video director, having made videos for artists such as Kaiser Chiefs, Daughter, Major Lazer to name but a few as well as winning an NME award last year for his 'Zombie' video for Jamie T, but he also had the perfect vision for the video. Other Brother Studios spent some time with James, initially choosing a location in Dungeness, well known for its post-apocalyptic appearance. It's quite an eery environment, with a large nuclear power station, old deserted fisherman huts and abandoned ships. 

After choosing the location, Other Brother Studios went to work finding the crew; it was a tough ask for someone to transform Reuben into a robot and we asked the incredible Natasha Lawes to get involved. Natasha is a creative designer, make-up and hair artist, tech-FX costume & mask maker and special-FX & model maker. She's basically one seriously talented individual capable of putting her hand to anything, no matter the task at hand! Natasha initially did a head cast and arm cast of Reuben (after he shaved his hair and beard off - committed to the cause), and then created a number of moulds and subsequent realistic models and robotic details which we used in the shoot. 

(Left to right, inside Natasha Lawes' studio) Reuben Hollebon, Natasha Lawes, Reuben Hollebon's robot, James Slater

(Left to right, inside Natasha Lawes' studio) Reuben Hollebon, Natasha Lawes, Reuben Hollebon's robot, James Slater

In terms of rigs, Other Brother Studios did a few tests with the Sony FS7 attached to the Shape shoulder rig. We needed a Directors monitor for James so we used the Odyssey 7Q+ (a firm favourite at Other Brother Studios), which sat atop the camera via a magic arm connected to a Shape top plate. This gave us a freeness to the shooting style but James wanted a bit more control so we ended up using a Vario 5 Easy Rig from Feral Equipment hire, which allowed quasi handheld / steadicam feel to the shot.

(Left to right) Director James Slater, Reuben Hollebon, DOP Matthew Lawes, 1st AC Gregory Nice

(Left to right) Director James Slater, Reuben Hollebon, DOP Matthew Lawes, 1st AC Gregory Nice

Lenses wise Other Brother Studios used the excellent Cooke S4i lens set from Feral Equipment hire (14mm / 21mm / 28mm / 35mm / 50mm / 85mm), which were simply superb. As the Sony FS7 has a super 35mm sensor there is a crop to the image, as it's not full frame, so we had to bare that in mind. At times we would have liked to go even wider, but in hindsight that was probably down to James and I having watched and loved the Revenant prior to this shoot! The lenses are really fast, meaning that we had to stop down with the inbuilt ND filters most of the time at 1/64. At times, mainly at midday when the sun was really high, it would have helped to have a matte box with additional ND filters - a couple of times we had to keep the aperture at f/4. Although mostly these were landscape wide shots, so mostly suited to what we were shooting. 

The shoot day itself was a long one. A 04:00 start for Other Brother Studios in Brixton then travel to Woolwich for 05:00 where Reuben had most of his make-up applied. We arrived at Dungeness at 06:00 and set-up our gazebo and Natasha Lawes and Ruth Pease finished the make-up. We started shooting at around 20:00 and finished around 21:00. All in Other Brother Studios got back at midnight, so a nice 20 hour day.

Rather than explain every detail of the day at length, here is a BTS (behind-the-scenes) video shot by Jenny Broad of the day:

The edit was completed with James Slater and Reuben Hollebon at Other Brother Studios studio in Brixton. It was edited on FCPX with a Koji Advanced grade applied. The Cooke S4i lenses were beautiful to grade with. Here are some images from the grade and finally the video itself:

Staring - Reuben Hollebon
Director - James Slater 
DOP - Matthew Lawes
Production - Other Brother Studios
Camera Assistant - Gregory Nice
Editor and Grader - Matthew Lawes
Makeup and Tech-FX - Natasha Lawes
Makeup assistant - Ruth Pease
Runner - Joe Bulmer
Production Assistant - Jenny Broad
Audio mix - Ben Hillier




Other Brother Studios - 2016 in review

Everything I read on the internet at the moment is doom and gloom… so screw that, I’m going to blow a big fat celebratory trumpet (in the key of Emaj7)! What a year 2016 has been for Other Brother Studios!

Technically speaking, our London based production company officially launched in March 2016, but before that we were wrapping up post-production on our short animated film The Song of Wandering Aengus. After an intense 6 months working on a 4-minute film, it was time to think about the film festivals we thought could love our little short. Thanks to the Ex-Animo Foundation, run by Marlena Hellebø, we were able to submit to a huge number of festivals. More about that in another blog post but needless to say 38 official selections, 15 award nominations, and 8 award wins, across 12 different countries, has been a fantastic start, and we still have 6 months of the international film festival run to go! Before the public release of The Song of Wandering Aengus in 2017 you can view the trailer, which features narration by Liam Cunningham and original music by David Holmes & Keefus Ciancia:

Other Brother Studios' first official film was with Lenny George, an old pal who wanted us to film a piece by well-known Cornish comedian The Kernow King for their event 'Kernow in the City'. We also made the promo film for the night, which you can see here:

We then embarked on an incredible job for Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Art Links, in collaboration with Director / Producer Lewis Wickwar, to make a charity film ‘Talking Care’. The film focused on carers in Norfolk and aimed to raise awareness of the Carers Assessment that all carers are entitled to, which can help to support them. Meeting these brave and extraordinary people was a real honour. They all spoke candidly about their experiences and what benefits had arisen from the Carers Assessment. The full 10-minute film can be seen here:

We then launched straight into production on a couple of really interesting architecture films for Cullinan Studios, in partnership with Warrick Manufacturing Group, Innovate UKHolovis and The Hyde Group. We used a mix of live action and animation for the first film to explain BIMspace, an idea developed by Cullinan Studios for clients, architects and contractors to collaborate effectively on projects within a space designed specifically to accommodate for BIM and everything it offers. We incorporated talking heads into the BIMspace, along with drawings, flythroughs and pixilated animation silhouettes of people to illustrate the use of the space.

For the second film we interviewed four individuals from various stages of the construction process and added in supplementary b-roll to the footage to explain 'Immersive Visualisation in Construction'. Initially, the film looks at what WMG's history is in immersive visualisation, then how the IVIC project came into being, then we look at how immersive visualisation is used in construction and at the next 10 years for immersive visualisation! VR is the future, embrace it! 

Around this time I heard from a friend, musician Reuben Hollebon (in photo below), who told me all about his new album 'Terminal Nostalgia'. We decided to travel to his hometown in Norfolk to make a short documentary about his upbringing; where his album had essentially come from. This was a really unique experience, at times often very revealing and sad but ultimately it was a chance to capture someone at an early stage of their career who I think is going to have a lot of success. The documentary is not available online just yet but will be out very soon. 

The documentary was met with such a warm response from Reuben's label, Bright Antenna Records, that we were asked to produce the music video for his track 'On & On'. We put together a bit of a super team; including NME award winning Director James Slater and creative designer and make-up artist Natasha Lawes. The video was shot in Dungeness on our Sony FS7 with Cooke S4i lenses. We will cover the video in full in another blog post, the video is available to view here: 

There was a first this summer: we shot a wedding film. There was an air of trepidation, but if there is one thing that we love it's a challenge! Filming on Alex and Sami's big day went flawlessly in the end and the edit was great fun. One happy bride and one happy groom later, do keep us in mind as your wedding videographers as we loved making this! You can view the wedding trailer below to get an idea of our style:

We got another call in August from Director/ Producer Lewis Wickwar who asked us to be involved in producing a new film with him in conjunction with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Colchester and Ipswich museums, Gainsborough's House and the Museum of East Anglian Life. The film highlights a course called 'Creative Heritage in Mind', taught by artists at galleries and museums in Suffolk, which allows adults with mental health issues to explore therapy through art. Lewis always offers great filming opportunities and this project was a real honour to be a part of. You can view the edited film below:

In October we started working with Andrew Mills of School Reel, who make promotional films for private and comprehensive schools around the UK. With our experience of teaching in schools, this seemed like a perfect opportunity. We ended up making two films with Andrew this year, both of which we are very proud of: 

Two very exciting commissions came to us in December, one for Nissan (which we can't show you yet) and one for Volkswagen, who were launching their new brand Moia at TechCrunch London. A 5am start and a midday turnaround the next day for a highlights video was quite a challenge and it was a great film to make. We love the idea and can't wait to see what happens next!

If you've made it this far, then you've either scrolled to the bottom (fair enough) or you have watched all of these films (well done)! It's been quite a year for Other Brother Studios and we couldn't have had a better start to our new venture. In total, we have made 32 films this year, not all of which are shown here, and we've worked with some incredible clients, agencies, brands, schools, charities and individuals who we would like to thank very much for these opportunities! 

We'd also like to thank our tirelessly, talented crew who have worked their socks off to contribute to all the content you see here at Other Brother Studios.

Wishing you all a happy and fulfilling 2017! We can't wait to see what happens!