We got in touch with director Dom Lee, who worked alongside David Salas, to create the music video for Awakening, the first single from the Sound of the Sirens’ album This Time. But first, here are Abbe Martin and Hannah Wood, the Sound of the Sirens themselves what inspired them…
Sound of the Sirens
The video came about from an initial idea of Thelma and Louise and trying to recreate this, and this naturally evolved into possible other duos. The list became endless so we have plenty of scope for future videos: Tweddle Dum and Tweedle Dee, Ant and Dec… We welcome any other duo suggestions.
We both chucked in ideas and then turned to the power of Google. Abbe loves dressing as a man and so it was an obvious choice… apart from John and Yoko. Hannah wasn’t letting anyone near that beard.
We came across Dom Lee from his short film ‘Fort Box‘ which we loved. We wanted to work with local people in the local area. We picked… just outside my house as the location as we couldn’t get anymore local if we tried.
David and Dom were brilliant with suggestions, direction and endless equipment placement. We had such a great time.
The idea of using famous duos driving in the van came from Hannah and Abbe and GoPro’s were the obvious choice to film these sections. Other bits like Laurel and Hardy loading the van and John and Yoko in bed together came from me and David and were filmed on a Canon 5D. What was really great about making this video was that it felt like a true collaboration between us all where we all chipped in with ideas.
In an attempt to be time efficient, we filmed all of each duos’ bit in turn to avoid them changing costumes too much. All of the footage of them driving around in the van was filmed on one day and the opening scenes at the Exeter Phoenix on another.
Each duo was anywhere between 1 and 5 takes. We had some technical issues monitoring what the GoPros where filming so had to keep reviewing the footage after each take to check the video back. This did take time but was worth doing to get the best shot possible. The first duo we filmed was Thelma and Louise so we had the most takes of them. Once we had sorted the GoPro position the speed we filmed at greatly increased.
Sorting the GoPro position was really the biggest difficulty we encountered. A more positive challenge was choosing which sections of each duo to use! There was so much great footage which didn’t make it into the finished video.
They are both incredibly natural performers and it was really great seeing the differences they brought to each character. They watched videos of each duo they were playing before setting off and recreated their mannerisms.
We filmed the van sequences on a Friday and I put together a very rough version of it the next day before we completed filming on the Sunday. This was to get a feeling of how it was working – thankfully it did!
It was a really fun thing to edit together, of course when you’re editing a music video you hear the song repeatedly so it helps that it’s a really good one! I do genuinely love it. They’ve certainly got a knack of writing highly catchy tunes.
The editing approach was quite simple. I went through it duo by duo, lining up each take in sync with the song. You then begin to look through it and pick out the best moments. We had a rough idea of when each duo would appear in the song and whilst it changed it a little it was a useful starting point.
Once you’ve got that rough edit in place it’s down to fine tuning, checking through for alternate moments, rearranging the order of shots or tweaking the timing it cuts to a different duo. This took a few days – the video premiered at their show at Exeter Phoenix the next weekend. It was great to see the audiences reaction to it. We thought we’d made something quite funny but it was reassuring people were laughing!
The video was made in about two and a half weeks, from meeting Abbe and Hannah for the first time to planning, filming, editing and then screening and releasing the video. It was definitely one of my favourite filmmaking experiences I’ve had.
The Sound of the Sirens are looking for people to take part in their new video, directed by Dom Lee. Check out the details on the Facebook page.