Category Archives: video

Music Video for Mark Northfield

We started the planning for this video last autumn. Initially we sought out a studio to film in with a blank background to concentrate on the use of the bull, bear, and wolf masks. However with a tight budget and commercial realities we decided to approach this with a more guerrilla film-making approach. We sourced the locations around London and then six of us turned up to film using a range of very different cameras. Two were mobile phones, one was a consumer video camera, one professional broadcast camera, and two dslrs. We felt that the variety would add to the hands-on approach and six camera persons with diverse filming styles and abilities would produce a challenging result. It was also more exciting to take these diverse cameras in these quick ‘perform and go’ setups. The actual filming was spread over two evenings, one with the dancers and multiple cameras, and one with just Mark and myself.

After the initial edits, Mark would join in to make sure that the activity on screen responded to the audio. It was then that I was to deal with the colour grading – which when dealing with these different cameras – some with auto white balances, that the job became quite involved. It’s a job that requires an edit and then re-edit and then re-edit….all so that the viewer gets that feeling of ‘one-ness’ from the end result.

Anyway here it is – Saturday Night from the forthcoming album ‘European Dream’ by Mark Northfield

Nanagate

There is growing unease over the fracking exploration in this country which seems to be riding roughshod over local concerns, and being aggressively misreported in the press. The government is in a hard place- it has to reduce its reliance on carbon fuels and to some extent overseas suppliers.

However watching the very real concerns unfold at Blackpool and the often facile responses from the authorities, as well as the discovery that a lot of local councillors (who have admitted it) have received payments from Cuadrilla should provoke a considerable sense of unease. Is this really a solution? If it’s such a realistic proposition then is it just nimbyism gone mad by those who object?

This film was shot last week and shows a group of mothers and grannies, and their supporters taking possession of an access field that will be used by Cuadrilla. The security people were quite miffed at being caught sleeping on the job and weren’t at all keen to talk. I don’t suppose it was their proudest day.

This week Reclaim the Power will join in support of this action. Will the usual violent infiltrators ruin it and try to blame Reclaim the Power and the grannies, and use the press to aggressively misreport it? Watch the tabloids later this week and see if big money wins again…

I edited this piece with the Director over the weekend.

Let The Body Go – music video for Mark Northfield

Mark Northfield - Let The Body Go

I vividly recall the first time I heard the instrumental for this piece. It was when we were filming the session music (see last post) and Mark played this piece to which I remember feeling my eyes welling up. I was in grief for my father who had only recently died and my emotions were all over the place. I just thought it was a beautiful piece of music.

Then Mark told me that it was in fact a tribute to his late mother who had died about a month before Dad. What we have here is a touching accomplished piece of work which I was delighted to film and edit earlier this year.

Mark Northfield - Let The Body Go

Mark posted this on his Facebook page and it is more eloquent than anything I could write on the subject.

“Today would have been my mum’s birthday. It’s the first one since she died last July, so it feels particularly strange and poignant. I thought this would be an appropriate time for me to share this song and video, even though the instrumental version was the first of the Cherry Mint Koala videos I shared online last month.

Two days after mum’s death I wrote a song called ‘Let The Body Go’, which was my own way of trying to come to terms with the intense feelings of grief and release. Mum had suffered severe chronic pain for many years, and it had reached a point where everything was a huge effort. The struggle to survive became the only focus, and with no realistic hope of recovery. An impossible situation. And yet, being the incredibly determined person she was, she lived far longer than I ever expected.

But I didn’t want the song to just be about an ending, even though being present at her death was fresh in my mind. Stupid as this sounds, I wanted to undo time, to rediscover the woman she used to be when physical illness wasn’t so all-encompassing. To celebrate the joy of being alive, of physical experience, of music, and of the role that love and memories play in helping us deal with the nature of mortality.

Above all else, I wanted it to be a serene and beautiful elegy for the woman who lost her one and only child, but then raised two others completely as if they were her own. A most precious and enduring gift.

The video for the song is something I worked on with Eva Perdiki Holdsworth (who previously choreographed a duet for Waiting For Green). Most people who know me will know I’m not a dancer, and goodness knows there are enough talented people I could have asked, but as the song was so very personal I really felt it was something I wanted to have a go at, technical limitations and all. The second half depicts scenes from a life – some of which are directly connected with mum, some not – while the first half anticipates these movements by presenting them in a more neutral choreographic way. It was filmed by Simon C Bennett with assistance from James P Goldie.

The song was another piece used in the recent 1.2 dance project at ArtsEd. They sang my four-part arrangement of it in the WW1 context of the piece so unbelievably beautifully, I was moved to tears by the end. The experience of that performance will stay with me for a very long time.”

Mark Northfield - Let The Body Go

With thanks to UniQ Studios for their assistance with the lighting.

Assistant Editor: Sam Watts
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www.marknorthfield.com

Music video for Cherry Mint Koala

I have been working on a series of videos of session recordings for Cherry Mint Koala, a trio of talented musicians who recorded music composed by Mark Northfield. ‘Let the Body Go’ is a work produced at an intense time for the composer and the emotive aspect makes itself quite clear.

Video still by photographer and cameraman Simon Bennett for Cherry Mint Koala music video

This series of recordings will be released as an album entitled ‘Beguiling Transmissions’ later in the spring.

This first track in the sequence – ‘Let The Body Go’ – was written by Mark last summer a few days after the death of his mother, Beryl Brown. Although it sprang from this very personal grief, the song was written in the hope that anyone coming to terms with such a loss might find a measure of solace through it. It is both a serene elegy and an uplifting celebration of life and love.

Mark’s vocal version of the song is the title track of a digital EP being released next month under his own name, and there will be a separate video featuring this.

It’s been awhile

Hello…..yes it’s been awhile since I last wrote. I made a new year’s resolution not to work so many crazy hours and get a life. So since January I have been working crazy hours and still not got a life. I guess I am lucky to be kept busy in these recessionary times although it’s good to know that the bankers are still receiving their bonuses, while the rest of us get steadily poorer. A lot of the last six or seven months has been taken up expanding the skillbase with precision and macro product photography – including jewellery at UniQ Studios. There has also been the expansion of my video editing and here are a few recent videos for Sultanesque. UniQ Studios is a sister company to UniQ Clothing and supplies all the fashion photography for the product lines, as well as now managing the portfolios for several other companies. If you are interested in high class product photography and video then we would love to help. Call us on 0207 987 8444.

New video from Mark Northfield

Last year my work was pretty much all photography but this year my workload has taken a foray into the world of video and editing and is consuming a lot of my time now. Here is the new video from the talented Mark Northfield which I shot with stylist and make up artists Ian Massa Harris and Jae Pii Goldie. Like all videos that are apparently simple to effect (lip synch at normal time by recording with the music running at 50% time to give the hands some ‘speed’ and effect a transformation in the time allowed by the track, it turned out to be anything but simple when it came to matching the music when sped up to normal time largely due to the differing audio/video/web compression rates! What you learn along the way!!!

Mark Northfield – The Up Shit Creek Blues (music video) from Mark Northfield on Vimeo.

http://www.marknorthfield.com/