Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Making of a Music Video

Mark and Jeff
Last weekend we had members from both my family and George's family come together for an artistic 'vision.'  Our nephew, Jeff Howlett (from George's side), and his friend, Mark Covino, fresh off the success of their documentary A Band Called Death at the Los Angeles Film Festival, got together with our nephew, Sam Lagos (my side of the family), to film a music video.  Sam is currently in a band called Bambery along with Alexa Toro, Ryan Scanlan and Jeremy Bambery (his brother Ryan Bambery is the group's manager).  Sam and Jeff hooked up after Bambery began posting some of their songs to, ta-da!, Facebook.  Jeff thought their song "Rainstorm" just screamed for a video.

Soooo, Mark (who came all the way from Burlington, Vermont) and Jeff (who came from Charlotte, North Carolina) journeyed to Tampa for the filming.  They had been in contact with Sam and already had a blueprint for where and how they planned to shoot.  Sam had been scoping out local sites with the help of Uncle George.  Naturally, since it's August in Florida, you can expect rain almost every day.  Seriously.  Along with thunder and lightning.  Since most of the filming was done outside this did cause a few problems which called for some improvising on the part of everyone.  They decided to film most of the outdoor shots in an area called Oak Park which is just down the street from where we live.  When the rain finally settled into a nice little drizzle, they got ready to shoot.  Naturally, this meant protection for the main camera used  for this.  I found a vinyl zip bag in a  closet and Mark cut a hole for the lens and, voila!, Jeff had a way to film and keep the camera dry.  The result is pictured on the right.  Hey, whatever, works...

Since the first day Jeff and Mark were here was spent filming Bambery in a studio with a 'white' room that had to be rented, the outdoor filming was pretty much left for the next day.  As I mentioned, the rain was basically a drizzle by the time the band ventured into the woods in their costumes and make-up (courtesy of Sara Cottrell).  George had bought a bunch of cans of mosquito spray because the woods and the rain are what the little buggers love.  However, everyone still ended up with bites.  Even while wearing repellant with a lot of Deet.

Photo: Sara Cottrell
They managed to get the shots they needed since Oak Park is really picturesque with beautiful old oak trees (hence, the name) but there was an unfortunate incident with some yellow jackets.   Jeff was scouting around a bit away from the rest of the group and, unfortunately, stepped on a nest of yellow jackets.  He was wearing knee-high rubber boots that he borrowed from George but the yellow jackets managed to climb down inside his boots (he was also wearing shorts).  It probably would have been even worse without the boots but, let's just say, it major-ly sucked to be stung so many times.  Jeff assured us that other than the stings being very painful, he wasn't having any type of reaction (mine and George's biggest concern).  What a trouper!

The last bit of filming involved an underwater shot.  Since it was too difficult to find a clear spring without tons of people swimming in it, they decided to use a swimming pool.  My sister, Carol (Sam's mom), has a pool and the filmmakers and band did their thing while Carol served them pizza and brownies for dinner.  Jeff took the shot of Sam hamming it up in the pool.  (Not part of the video.)

Later that night, Bambery played in a club in the Latin quarter of Tampa, Ybor City.  Jeff and Mark went to see them perform live, although they knew from their experience filming live gigs that filming the band would be a logistical pain.  So, instead, they had a good time and got back to our house at, um, well, I don't really know.

Sam and the rest of the band are really grateful for this opportunity and were so happy to have Jeff and Mark take an interest in them.  When the video is up, I'll post a link here.  Good luck to Bambery and Howlermano Productions!

Bambery at the Crowbar. Photo by Victoria Archer.

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