midnight train 2014 remix video

music video to accompany a 2014 remix of the song ‘midnight train‘ by keef chemistry

filmed at stapleton road railway station after midnight, technically the 11th april 2014 between 00:11 and 00:36. last train of the night. it felt good filming out in bristol at night. pity my camcorder isn’t up to low-level lighting, but i like the resulting in-and-out of focus and like all my film-making it’s the surprises that give me the most satisfaction

surprises are the name of the game when self-producing a music video without any training

08-close-up-with-meni love doing anything around bristol in the middle of the night. i chose to shoot at the train station in easton because it’s the local i use and has familiarity to help cut down possible stress points, as i had little idea of what i was going to do. i’d picked my spot a few days earlier and paused on the way to see if there were any trains due. as it was i had about 20 minutes to kill, so i sat at my spot and stared at the scene. first i sussed the vibe and the likelihood of encountering people during the shoot. it looked quiet, but someone might come to catch the last train, or worse, people. my main worry was timing the train arrival well. i had no way of knowing exactly when it would pull in, so I bode my time, slowly setting up the tripod and attaching the camcorder to it, leveling the shot as best i could. it’s an old camcorder and not very sensitive to low-light conditions

i just hoped the footage would be usable, though i’d use whatever i got

keef chemistry with iphonei judged it time to start and set the camcorder going, walked into shot and got my iphone out. i’d forgotten to bring any headphones, so was forced to play the song on speakerphone. i just walked around the platform trying to not show my eyes to the camera, while the song played over my phone. it sounded tinny in the night, but oddly loud and i was terrified someone would hear and come over. i have no control over what happens over the next four minutes or so. keef chemistry with train in backgroundat one point a helicopter flies overhead. as i mime to the third verse i can’t believe my luck, i can hear the train approaching and wonder whether any people will disembark. the song approaches the solo as the train pulls to a stop. two men get off and walk past. the train pulls away during the fourth verse. great timing. the two men stop at the bottom of the footbridge and talk as i try a few close-ups, then make their way over and along the opposite platform. i’ll probably use that, i think to myself. the close-ups turn out to be too close when i audition then later, but the two men walking across the shot has interest

the edit is fairly straight-forward, cueing-up the timing of three clips, selecting points of interest and distributing them along the timeline. effects are minimal, some effort to improve the fuzzy low-light capture and a little time-stretching for interest

the rest is in the edit

keef chemistry in foreground with canthe music is a remix of my 2009 song, ‘midnight train‘. i chose to remix the song, dropping some steady beats and expanding the bass, to tie the music to the timing of the video shoot, which only seemed appropriate to undertake at midnight. i always carry a tune in my head and the night of the shoot was no different, only it was my tune, and physical movement with the internal song playing on repeat later gave birth to the beat that I dropped in to update the track. that’s all i felt it needed, save a few irresistible tweaks to the bass, and i dropped out some percussion to create some space. voila! a song reborn

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