The M.D.A. Music Video

It’s always great supporting local NI bands and it’s always great to see bands taking the music video side of things seriously. The MDAs contacted me a few months back about making a music video for their track ‘Stop Out Friday’. I always insist the band give me a rough concept for the video before I even begin writing and developing a script. They really liked the idea of having a Groundhog/ reoccurring element and that was all I needed. If you were to put a tagline down for the music video, it would read ‘Groundhog day with a Ninja’. Originally it read ‘Groundhog day with a Fat Ninja’ but I was struggling to find a male actor kind enough to play the role :)

Photograph by Kitty Crawford

So, I handed over the first draft and the band accepted it immediately. We swapped emails and the pre production stage began. For the story to be believable we required believable props and costumes. This is where Ciaran Larkin from ‘I Make Anything’ comes in handy. I’ve used him on two previous projects and have been extremely happy on both occasions. I gave him the task of making the various ninja props, costumes and weapons for the character. Within several weeks he delivered the goods to the studio and I was a happy camper once again.

Photograph by Chris McConville

One of the biggest challenges that I have found with filming anything in both Ireland and the UK, is getting good access and permission to use locations. I required a school location for the band sequences and the narrative element of the music video. The band were up to the task of finding such a location. Two members of the MDAs were former pupils of Lismore Comprehensive and I was gobsmacked that the school was going to give us two days of access over the Easter holidays. For me, this was amazing news and we could really get the finer planning elements ironed out.

Photograph by Kitty Crawford

Photograph by Richie Lavery

If it’s possible, I always insist on a two day shoot at least on any music video production. On the first day I can get all of the band performance sequences filmed in a more relaxed working environment. The next day is filming the narrative and then that’s when everything usually gets a bit crazy :) I had Rick Trainor on set as usual to act as DP and Kitty Crawford came down from Belfast and covered the Behind the Scenes element. I also had help from Jamie Lee Sterritt and Chris McConville who snapped and filmed away for more BTS. I also wanted to include SFX in the video to add a bit more depth to my work. Just to be safe I got Jonathan Gaston down for a few hours, who i put in charge of the SFX scenes, to make sure I was framing and my set ups were correct.

Photography by Chris McConville

I think what The MDAs picked up on most, was how laid back and relaxed the working environment was. They told me that they thought I was going to rock up on set and start bossing them around. Quite the opposite. It was a positive experience had by all parties and I wish them good luck for the future. Check out Kitty Crawford’s BTS video here:


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