Yesterday, we shot the “dive bar” scene in Nick Marzock‘s music video, and I think it’s safe to say we’re now more excited than ever to get this video finished! This particular vignette presented some unique challenges in terms of lighting and artistic direction. There was definitely a shroud of uncertainty going into the shoot — our crew had a strong vision, but sometimes venue restrictions can threaten that ideal. We arrived at the bar armed with an arsenal of ideas and the hope that those ideas would not be immediately rejected by the bar owners.
Fortunately, the bartenders at Belvedere’s Ultra-Dive were some of the most amicable people we’ve worked with. They gave us free reign to modify the location in whatever ways director Alan Jaskiewicz deemed appropriate, and their support was gratefully received. The ability to swap out lights and re-arrange furniture impacted the video beyond all measure. Set design is a critical aspect to great productions, and unfortunately, it’s an oft-disregarded one. Rest assured, though… when 323 is involved, our locations are prepared with a critical eye before ever rolling camera!
To the folks at Belvedere’s … we thank you for your generosity and look forward to sharing this video with you and your patrons.
To help bring this scene to life visually, we enlisted the help of DP Matt Meehan. Matt is a decidedly skilled Steadicam operator, and his knowledge of advanced lighting techniques really gave us the forlorn look we sought to create. He brought all of the tabletop lamps seen above, strategically placing them in a way which augmented the set nicely. He also brought a Chauvet Hurricane fog machine, which we used to emit some atmospheric haze. It’s the little details that set people like Matt apart in his craft. We’re excited to collaborate with Matt on future projects because he clearly shares our passion for cinematic greatness.
For this particular scene, we needed several extras to play bar patrons. We recruited many of the individuals who were already at Belvedere’s of their own free will. Turns out offering to buy people free drinks at a bar is an effective method of persuasion, and all of them performed admirably in front of the camera. But let’s be real now… the one extra our readers will likely want to know more about is the grade A stunner who played our bartender. Say hello to the gorgeous Kelly Bleichner:
Okay, okay… you can pick your jaw up off the floor now.
Going into the scene, we had hoped to get an attractive woman for the role, but Kelly took that to a whole new level. We made her laugh at Nick’s performance while on-camera, but off-camera she admitted it was a bit difficult because she liked the song so much! By the end of the shoot, she knew all of the lyrics and was even singing along to it! Needless to say, we loved Kelly and we can’t wait to work with her again for another project. Special thanks to Jeff Zoet for referring her to us!
Reviewing the footage from the day’s shoot has confirmed what we knew as soon as we saw it on set: the cinematography for this scene is just stunning. Kudos to everyone on crew, including grips Rob Griffith and Eric Schwartzmiller, for making it all possible. We still have two more scenes (including one in the snow!) to shoot before the video can officially enter post-production. Until then, enjoy an ungraded frame from the camera:
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