Breathe

January 2019 ––
The fine folks at Michael Sershall Management, frequent collaborators on projects all things Eric Prydz, reached out to the Munky once again, this time with an interesting brief. They had a stellar track in Breathe, ripping up the UK dance charts and produced by a rather emergent artist Camelphat on Prydz’s label Ministry of Sound –– and wanted to craft a music video that explored themes of depression, solitude, emergence, self-realization and ultimate growth.

Produced by the rad folks at Teenager and Munky’s shiny new live-action reps at JOJX –– it was a production to remember. They called on the favorite renegade crew, including the ultra-superstar Zakiya and mad scientist DoP James Medcraft, and plunged into a freezing warehouse in downtown LA — pushing hard for about 20 hours of passionate work to make beauty –– and in the end producing a promo that had an unique voice and aesthetic requisite of the dedication that these more modest-budgeted passion projects entail.



The Film

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The Concept

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The concept and narrative was about battling depression through illumination, and finding strength through movement. By stepping back and taking a fresh look at prior established visual palettes, choreography and character development, there was an exciting opportunity to take this amazing track and infuse more humanity, emotional resonance and ultimate beauty into previously established tropes. The promo sought to create a narrative arc as she emerges through breath, cleansing and radiating strength through her dynamic movements – emergent and stoic – the narrative arc a reminder of what once was – and is no longer.
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The Process

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The bathroom sequence was filmed using a multitude of animated Sky Panels and addressible LED tubes to bring a kinetic lighting feel to the scenes. It was an unusually cold winter day in Los Angeles, and Zakiya braved a very frigid set to perform the scenes – those shivers essentially being authentic because of the situation. The director became obsessed with Z dunking over and over again in the tub – capturing her struggle in vivid detail as she thrashed about and literally soaked every piece of electrical equipment in the room. 

The falling scene was the most challenging. The team spent many hours during pre-light agreeing to the best technique to allow Zakiya’s body to plummet through the air gracefully – and in the end the secret was to embrace gravity, not fight it. They sequenced a wall of Sky Panel lights projecting a fast array of colored patterns, controlled in Touch Designer and saturating the sensor with enough light to shoot the scene at almost 1000 fps using the Phantomflex 4K. 

The drone sequence was filmed 5 stories below the streets of Islington Green, London in Collins Music Hall during the summer of 2018. Four screen-wielding drones, the first of its kind produced by the fine chaps at Flying Screens Ltd were the heroes of the show. To light the surrounding coves of the subterranean space, dozens of LED strips and several strobe lights provided the illumination to compliment the drones. A speaker system was installed to play the track and was tightly choreographed by the great Aaron Sillis and performed by the most fabulous dancer Zakiya.

Four drone pilots controlled the drones and matched their flight paths to a 3D previs animation produced by Call Me Clark. Once everything was in place, Zakiya would take the stage and vegan soul-mate DoP James Medcraft operated the camera – which was an Alexa Mini with Cooke Anamorphics. The piece was filmed with a multitude of camera rigs, ranging everywhere from a steadicam operated by Matt Allsop, to a variety of dollies and a 23 foot crane peering down from the top floor.  
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Director

at JOJX
for Ministry of Sound
Breathe Credit List

Production Company: Teenager
Director: GMUNK
Director of Photography: James Medcraft
Talent: Zakiya Wellington
Assistant Director: Ryan Lippert
1st AC: Shaw Fisher
2nd AC: Drew Barnett
DIT: Dalton Price
Gaffer: Elliot Travis
Key Grip: Tim Finn
Best Boy Grip: Brendan Riel
Best Boy Electric: Joel Reaves
Steadicam: Parker Brooks
Phantom Tech: Brian Williamson
Process Photography: Peter Clark
Production Designer: Arne Knudsen
Art Director: Steve Tobler
Hair Makeup: Mayra Godoy
Stylist: Chaine Leyendecker
Production Assistant: Francesco Camuff
Production Assistant: Karis McKay

Production

Teenager: Jesy Odio
Teenager: Sam Cohan
JOJX: Joe Care
JOJX: Jackson Morton
Label: Liam Tomaszewski
Label: Sony / Ministry of Sound


Post Production

Post Production: Electric Theater Co.
Executive Producer: James Drew
Editor: Brian Raess
Colorist: Jason Wallis 


Music

Composer: CamelPhat
Composer: Cristoph
Featuring: Jem Cooke



Copyright © 2019 GMUNK INC.
Made in ︎ San Francisco, California