Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Making Of "You Run Away" by the Barenaked Ladies

"You Run Away"
by: Barenaked Ladies
directed by: Phil Harder

About a month ago I was cast as an extra in a music video for the Barenaked Ladies. They are coming out with a new album soon, and touring with it all over the US. Most recently, they played during the pre-game of this year's Super Bowl.

I was waiting to post any behind the scenes footage until the video came out so as to not ruin any surprises.

We started shooting bright and early (7am) and continued for a solid 12 hours. The way this video was shot was really interesting actually. Instead of using a typical film or video camera, the director used a regular photo camera (although, quite a good one I should add) and took millions of stills.

All of the actors/models had to hold a pose - frozen in mid action - for about 15 minutes, while the crew worked their way through the scene taking stills, like a stop-motion animation. This sounds simple enough, but try holding an animated pose like walking/talking/laughing perfectly still for 15 minutes.. in heels. You don't notice how much you switch your body weight until you're not allowed to move a muscle.

Everyone did a fantastic job though, which in turn made the whole process go a lot smoother. God forbid anyone had to sneeze.. we'd have to start all over again!

The same actors are used over and over again in the film, which you may or may not notice. As the camera man worked his way through the scene, and passed a group of people out of frame, they would circle back around and appear again at the end of the scene. The band was constantly moving around - try and see how many times you can find them! It's like a "Where's Waldo" game.

We shot several different scenes throughout the day, including quite a few outside. Might I remind you this was shot in Mpls/St Paul in January... so we were freezing our butts off! It was about 5 degrees that day.. typical.

I only shot once outside. What can I say, I'm a wuss! We actually had to hold our breath as the camera rolled by so that you wouldn't see a bunch of steam coming out of our noses. Luckily, they were on a dolly outside so they moved much quicker, so we really only had to hold our breath for about 10 seconds at a time.

There was also an airplane scene that they shot at the end of the day:

The only part of the video that was shot as actual video was for when they taped the band performing.

It was very cool to get to hang out with the band all day. They are all super nice guys. They are coming back to the Midwest in May on their tour. They play Davenport, IA on May 16th, and in Minneapolis on May 17th. Hopefully I'll be around to make it to the show!

Thanks to everyone involved who made this project happen, it was great working with you all! Good luck to the Barenaked Ladies with their new album. I wish you guys much success!



Brooke said...

Thanks so much for posting about how this video was made. I love BNL, and their new video, but I had no idea how they made it. Thanks for the great info and pictures -- and for starring in the video! :-)

Karen O said...

You're very welcome! One of my favorite parts about watching films is learning how they made it.