Film & Video Production Blog

King No One – Toxic Love

King No One – Toxic Love

Our latest music video is here! As you know our music video production service has been a little quiet over Christmas but we’re starting the year off with a bang with the new music video for King No One – Toxic Love. We’ve been collaborating with King No One for a few years now and it’s great to say that the creative partnership is constantly evolving, pushing us into weirder and more wonderful territory every time. This latest music video was inspired by tarot cards, Japanese woodcut work, ink drawings…and a little bit of Sin City too! Here it is for your viewing pleasure:

This black and white music video was a one day studio shoot in Manchester. It’s safe to say that the idea of flinging a load of black paint around in a white studio was something of a concern for our producer but we managed to pull it off without making too much of a mess! It’s amazing to think what can be achieved by a fairly large watering can, a kid’s paddling pool and a very game lead singer.

Everything in this music video production was captured on Sony Cameras. We shot three cameras at once – two Sony A7S MKIIs and one Sony Fs7 using a variety of lenses and an Atomos Ninja Flame monitor. All of the post-production work was carried out in house at Cosmic Joke, as part of our regular video post-production service. We’re thrilled by how the final video turned out and super stoked to say that we were featured for a second time on PromoNews.

If you’re interested in our Manchester Music Video Production service then you can find out all about it here. Or, if you’e blown away by the graphics and you’d prefer to just book us for some post-production work, then all of that info can be found here.

King No One – Toxic Love – A Cosmic Joke Music Video.

Sally Caitlin – You Are My Weakness – A real Manchester music video!

Sally Caitlin – You Are My Weakness – A real Manchester music video!

Now this one is a real Manchester music video! Sally Caitlin – You Are My Weakness. This is the final of five videos we’ve been working on with Sally Caitlin over the year and it’s her most intimate and stripped back track. When we had a chat with Sally about what direction to take the video in, we wanted to do something that felt a little bit more personal and raw – we’d spent the previous four videos throwing all kinds of effects and lighting tricks all over the place! We decided to bring everything home – literally! – for this final video and showcase Sally in her hometown of Manchester, alone in a city at night without any tricks or gimmicks, just a raw performance. Take a look how it turned out below!

As you can see – a proper Manchester music video with the city looking her absolute finest! The whole video was shot on a Sony A7S MKI with an Atomos Ninja Flame monitor/recorder capturing everything in ProRes. Image stabilisation was achieved through a DJI Ronin-M Gimbal and we shot this on an old school Canon 50mm 1.4 lens – nice and fast! Our favourite bit about the whole video is that we were able to shoot everything in slow motion – big shout out to Sally who had to learn to sing the track at double speed for us to pull off this effect! The rushes are quite insane as a result…but it means we have all that lovely, dreamy slow-motion footage of Manchester at night and a perfectly synced music video too!

If you’re impressed with Sally’s video and want to make your own Manchester music video then check out our Music Video Production service where you can see all of our other work and find out how to book us for your own!

Post Production Manchester: Importing R3D Files into Premiere Pro CC

We here at Cosmic Joke love music videos. Watching music videos, making music videos, dreaming about music videos…

Most recently we had the pleasure of filming a music video for The Dunwells latest single, We Are The Lucky Ones. The band wanted a video that matched the sincerity of the song, a video that told a story of hope and triumph through adversity. So we brought them out pitch, about a young boy obsessed with swimming who, against his fathers wishes, pursues his dream of competing in the local swimming competition (stay tuned for our Production Blog coming soon!)

Still from music video from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog

As the music video is entirely narrative based, we knew we needed to film it with cinematic qualities in mind. As a result, we got our hands on the new Red Phantom, capable of shooting in 4k resolution and at 100 frames per second. With this weapon in our arsenal, it meant we could capture the swimming shots in wonderful slow motion.

Still of Red Camera from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog

But as the Notorious B.I.G once said, “Mo Money, Mo Problems”, and so it was important for us to ensure, prior to shooting a single frame, that the workflow would not suffer.

For those who don’t know, Red cameras create footage in a format called R3D files. These files are very large in size, and have a particular file structure. In their own words, R3D files “…seamlessly auto-segments into 4gb files”. What this means is this: to ensure that the files the camera creates are compatible with partition limitations on HD’s (such as FAT32, which only allows 4gb files or less to transfer), the clips will split into multiple files. So for example, if you’re shooting a dialogue scene which lasts a couple of minutes, you’ll find the clip has been split into multiple pieces automatically.

Screen grab of segmented clips from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog

Whilst this is great for moving the footage around, it can be a faff when it comes to actually getting the clips into editing softwares and editing them. Thankfully, we found a workflow that suited importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC.

There are many ways to import footage, easily the most popular way is to hit Command I and select the files/folders you want to import, or imply drag it straight from the operating system window. Doing this with R3D files, however, can create a mess, as it’s bringing in all the information as it appears on the operating system (that is to say, clips that have been segmented due to length). This results is multiples of the same files being imported, a general lack of order within the bins themselves. The last thing you wanna do after shooting, dumping and logging your footage is to have to THEN manually go through it all within Premiere Pro CC.

Still of messy clip bin from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog

Thankfully, theres a simpler way, and it’s by using the Media Browser. The Media Browser is a way of accessing you entire operating system info, including external HD’s, from within Premiere Pro CC itself.

Still of media browser from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog

Once more, because it’s reading from the point of view of Premiere Pro CC, it automatically acknowledges what date it needs to bring in, and what it doesn’t. As a result, if you navigate to where you R3D files are, you’ll find that it ignores all the excess metadata clips, and instead registers them as one solid clip, just as if you’d shot it on a DSLR.

Still of clips in media browser from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog Still of Imported clips from Post Production Manchester Importing R3D files into Premiere Pro CC blog

Lovely isn’t it? We love when a plan comes together.

Special probs go to this guy for showing us how it was done! Stay tuned for another blog about shooting the music video for The Dunwells, and click here to check out all our previous music videos.

Music Video Manchester: 5 Best One Take Music Videos

Music Video’s are a stable of Cosmic Joke’s diet. We love making them, love watching them, and generally just being all consumed by music videos. As a result, we know a thing or two about what makes a video unique, and one take music videos are among our favourite.

So sit back, relax and enjoy Cosmic Joke’s rundown of our pick of the Best One Take Music Videos!

1. Kiesza – Hideaway

Beginning with the most recent, Kiesza’s music video for her smash hit Hideaway is pretty much perfect. With enough 90’s style denim to occupy the next Blur reunion, it’s chock full of youthful energy. The dancers add vibrancy to the rather bleak landscapes, and the video ends with the classic she-gets-back-in-van-that-she-arrived-in trick. All of course, in seamless one take.

2. Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy

From the most recent to the originator. All one take music videos owe a debt to the pioneering Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack. The genius of this music video lies not in the performer, but in the background action. As Shara Nelson walks purposefully and directly down each street, she seems to attract a number of strange characters; a homeless man here, a parent and child there (Pay special attention to a man with no legs pushing himself around on a skateboard).

3. Taylor Swift – We Are Never Getting Back Together

Flipping straight back to the mainstream, Taylor Swift cottoned on to the one take music video trick with We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Shot completely in a studio, and utilising some impressive set and design work, Taylor Swift charms her way through what could easily have been a mess. As it is, it’s a beautifully cheesy romp.

4. Radiohead – No Surprises

Back again, to a classic. You may not think that looking at Thom Yorke’s face uninterrupted for nearly four minutes would be appealing in ANY WAY, but Radiohead’s No Surprises proves you wrong. Shot entirely in close up, Thom Yorke’s head is enclosed in some sort of fish bowl, slowly filling up with water. During the breakdown during the song, his head is completely submerged, and finally when the final chorus comes in the water is drained. It’s actually Thom’s desperate gasps for breath that convince so much, and make it so entertaining (*Cosmic Joke do not employ sadists, we promise*).

5. OK Go – Needing/Getting

If Massive Attack we’re the pioneers, OK Go are the masters. Pretty much all their music videos are shot and designed as one take, but their music video for Needing/Getting takes the biscuit. Featuring all the band members in a rally car, lead singer Damien Kulash then drives them through a route featuring hundreds of instruments, all tuned to a single note, that when struck with sticks protruding from the car, string together to create the melody of the song (to which the band sing along to in the car). Unlike most one take music videos that strive for effortlessness, this one revels in it’s ruggedness, and wears it’s DIY nature on it’s sleeve. Touche’ OK Go, touche’….

So there it is, our pick of the Best One Take Music Videos! Click here to watch a playlist featuring all the videos mentioned in this blog. If you’d like to contact us about making a one take music video for you, you can find info on our music video page.

And as always let us know whether we’re wrong! And if you liked this blog don’t forget to share!


Indie Filmmaking: Treasure Trapped Screening Nottingham

Our debut feature film Treasure Trapped was a mammoth undertaking, and we had our fair share of challenges along the way. But once the film was made, we moved onto our greatest challenge of all: how to get people to watch it!

Thankfully, with the power of indie film distribution, we’ve managed to make our dream a reality. Once we finished the film, we added a Treasure Trapped page to the official Cosmic Joke website, and created a system whereby people who wanted to watch the film could request a screening in their city.

Screenshot of website for Indie Film Distribution: Treasure Trapped Nottingham blog

It’s a distribution strategy used by a lot of indie films, most notably the classic documentary Indie GameThe Movie, and has been a huge success for us. By letting our audience choose where and when they get to watch Treasure Trapped, it’s not only broadened our horizons in terms of making contacts with independent cinemas, but also truly shown the power of our audience. Based purely on audiences demands, Treasure Trapped has now been screening across five different countries, with many more to come!

Screenshot of website for Indie Film Distribution: Treasure Trapped Nottingham blog

Most recently we were asked to screen Treasure Trapped in Nottingham. The city has a huge live action role play community, many of which were in attendance at the screening, which was held in the Savoy Cinema, a chain of independently run cinemas stretching across the country.

Still of Savoy Cinema from Indie Film Distribution: Treasure Trapped Nottingham blog

The trip gave us a great opportunity to visit Nottingham, and do some guerrilla marketing (another staple of indie film distribution). We visited, and some would say defaced, famous landmarks…

Picture of Robin Hood for Indie Film Distribution: Treasure Trapped Nottingham blog

…took trips to relevant companies to promote, handing out flyers at places such as Forbidden Planet and Page 45….

Picture of hanging loose outside Forbidden Planet for Indie Film Distribution: Treasure Trapped Nottingham blog

…and of course, in a city boasted the oldest pubs in Britain, we had to sample the local tipples in Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem!

Image of pub for Indie Film Distribution: Treasure Trapped Nottingham blog

*Cosmic Joke would like to confirm that we do not employ alcoholics. We only have one…*

Still of Beer and tea from Indie Film Distribution: Treasure Trapped Nottingham blog

Ultimately, Treasure Trapped trip to Nottingham was the perfect example of what indie film distribution can do. Don’t get us wrong, if Miramax come knocking we wouldn’t shut the door, but nothing beats having a pint with a few fans in their own city!

If you’d like to book a screening of Treasure Trapped you can do so on our website. For more information on our Nottingham screening check out this cheeky little video we made of day!

And as always, don’t forget to share this with a friend if you enjoyed!

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Cosmic Joke Ltd
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