BACK WITH MRNVDB ON THE DIRECTION OF THE VIDEO FOR ” MORE ” BY IT IT ANITA. THE BAND RELEASED “SAUVÉ” ON APRIL 2, 2021.
I think it started with a message from Damien on Slack saying “You wanna make a video for MORE? It’s due in two weeks.” I obviously replied “Come on!”
The initial pitch was: a simple and effective idea. Very quickly we came up with the idea of breaking things because the song is about excessive consumption and we needed something strong at the climax, as the song is built upwards. Then if possible to have a motorized two-wheeler to make a nod to the “Moto Break” (that’s the codename for that guitar part Mike plays at 01:40). The ideas came in all directions. My Production Manager persona thought “Ok, we don’t have much time, we can’t go on a wild goose chase that will take us more than a day to shoot”. So our different scenes had to be shot in the same area.
By some celestial trick, I think back to the trailer in which my brother and I used to hang out during our teenage years. I hadn’t been back there in ages, so there’s no guarantee it’s still there. I asked my mother to go check because she’s still living in the area and she answered: “Which trailer?” (I had at least the confirmation that our hideout of the time was perfect). No choice then, two days later I made the round trip. The trailer was there, it hadn’t moved an inch and it was even more beautiful than I remembered, because nature had continued to gain ground. At the time it was obvious, we had to shoot there – then my practical side was delighted because we had within reach this trailer but also a field, a grove, a vacant lot and the family house for the lunch break. Now we had to start from there, the location, to build the story with these different elements.
Two buddies in the countryside who are zoning out, getting pissed, breaking things and who, with adrenaline, end up hooking up. Well, all we had to do was to find these two buddies for a rock Sunday in the countryside, in front of our camera. (Oh, yes, and find things to break). In the equation there were still many unknowns: the actors, but also the weather (which everyone knows, in Belgium, in March…), the farmer who owns the land, that we could not reach to get an authorization, and who could show up at any time to put a gunshot in our face, and all those things like a shard of glass in the camera or in the eye that could make this shooting go completely wrong. One could say that luck was on our side. And let me quote Orelsan: If you want to make movies, you just need something that shoots. I was pretty relieved when we said “It’s a wrap” but we weren’t quite there yet.
In the end, between the script and the final result, there is only the bare minimum left. First of all because during the shooting we let ourselves be carried away by the energy of the moment and we were quite confident that we had enough interesting shots even if we left out almost half of the scenes. The same goes for the editing, some filmed sequences were skipped because more than a story that goes from point A to point B, going through this or that stage, it is a general atmosphere and a build-up that we wanted to achieve. But as I said, the core is still there. As it is a co-direction between Damien and me, we wanted to stick together in the editing (in the same way that we passed the camera to each other on the shooting). It is, I think, an unorthodox way to do things in this business, especially on such a short video, but I think we managed to bring out the best of each other. We were each responsible for a part of the video and the other one came to make adjustments, suggest ideas, etc. As he obviously has a different knowledge of the song than I do, his contribution on the rhythm of the editing was also considerable. And then he dealt with my moments of doubt and stress, and that too was considerable.
Once we agreed on the final cut (and after pulling my hair out on a rough color grading because it’s clearly not my job), I was happy but not entirely satisfied and couldn’t figure out why. We prepared the upload as it was, anyway at some point we had to let go, accept that on a piece of work, whatever it is, we always have the impression that it is not finished, and that we could probably do better, and anyway, the deadline approaches, etc. Until I woke up at 5am a few days before the release with an idea… Everything has to be cropped to a 4:3 aspect ratio (that’s the aspect ratio I’ve always preferred to shoot with a little Hi8 I’ve been lent for a long time). It makes more sense with the way we want to tell this story – in fact, it’s striking because when we cropped the image, nothing interesting was happening on the edges – and that was how we filmed (unconsciously). So it was clear, we tighten everything up and we finally find ourselves at the right distance from our characters. We are with them. Damien follows me on this one. It is good, this time, we let go.
Here is the result: