By and By Q&A

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How did you come up with the concept for this music video?
As always, we draw inspiration from the song we’re working with. We felt like the heroine in this song is the controlling figure that is manipulating the person’s life that she’s singing about / to. So we started working with the idea that she somehow was superior to, or above, this world. That’s how the seed to the concept was born, then it developed through a few stages and ended up in this place.

When did you first come across the mini-planet idea? Was it something you knew you wanted to include in a music video?
We’d been playing around with creating “Mini Planets” out of still photos for a while, it’s a fun technique that we stumbled upon on the internet and we were just fooling around with it. Then we started thinking: “What happens if, instead of doing this to single still images, we do it to sequences, timelapse and live footage? So we did a few tests and the results were so fun we figured we needed to do something with it. Around that time we were approached to do the video for Lay Low, they loved it so we went for it.

Can you tell us a little bit about the film-making process? Was there anything special you needed to do to shoot the panoramas?
The shooting of the panoramas was very much a trial and error process, they’re timelapses, mostly 1fps, shot on a Canon EOS 1Ds, the camera was on a fluid head to create very slow and smooth camera moves in the shots. The “growing” of the planets is created in camera by tilting up into the sky, the “rotation” of the planets are pans. Other than that the shooting was fairly straight forward, slow, but straight forward.

How was the artist shot? Was that a separate process from the main panoramas?
The artist was shot on a Panasonic HVX200 against green, completely separate process, we shot her on a treadmill to get motion in the performance, then of course that footage got the same treatment as the backgrounds and was animated into the finished piece. To match her to the various backgrounds we created a range of lighting setups so she would feel as part of each scene.

I love the shots of the train, taxis and people walking through the frame and creating their own circular motion. They’re like little clocks, showing us the passing of time. Were moments like that planned or storyboarded? Or did you shoot a lot of material and then play with the results that came out of the panoramic – polar coordinates filter?
None of this was storyboarded but there was a loose sense of a story arch throughout the process, a passage of time and a constant sense of travel. It was very much a free flowing process: gathering footage, running it through scripts to create the polar-coordinates sequences, cutting them together, compositing and finishing. We did shoot a bunch of sequences to test out the effect, figure out what kinds of shots would work, what kinds of shots gave us a certain effect and so on.
Special thanks to Billy at CO3 NY for color correcting.
Peace, Snorri Bros.