Rob Ulitski - 4th May 2020

Charlie Winston teams up with Ian Roderick Gray for a unique live-performance visual, filmed in a villa in the South of France. 

Whilst recording at the villa, Charlie Winston noticed the various acoustic qualities of the residence, and the different effects each room/ location had on the sound. So dozens of microphones were wired up around the villa, and Gray was tasked to capture a one-take video - shot with entirely live sound. 

This requred near-perfection from both the crew and Winston. One wrong move, and it would all need to be reset - which happened on numerous occasions, as Gray explains below. Finally, as the sun was setting and the light was fading away, they nailed it... 


Perfect synchronicity was required. Not easy and huge amounts of pressure on all involved!

“The challenge was, how do we make something that looks like a cinematic music video, but is technically a live-performance film? And on top of that, how do we make sure the emotion of the song resonates and the lyrics are not lost? 

"As you can imagine, the recording of both picture and live sound added significant complexity to the production. It meant that three things had to happen in perfect harmony for this to work. Firstly, Charlie and Vashti needed to nail their performance. Secondly, the captured audio needed to be note perfect. Finally, the film recording needed to be faultless, from a lighting, movement and focus perspective. And since this was in essence, a live-recording, there was no option to cheat and get Charlie to mime.

"If one mistake was made by any member of the three essential parties, the entire take needed to be aborted. Perfect synchronicity was required. Not easy and huge amounts of pressure on all involved! After hours of rehearsals and many failed attempts - it is not easy navigating a narrow corridor, whilst walking backwards AND operating a huge Steadicam, (many microphones were knocked! - there was room for one last take before we lost the sun, the beautiful golden- hour light and ultimately the entire mood of the piece. 

"Thankfully it all came together in that final Herculean effort. It was a unique experience for all involved and what was particularly fascinating as that when we nailed the take, all three parties instinctively knew we had something. 

"Then, for various reasons, this film almost did not get a release. It would have vanished into the archives, lost in time as a unique and worthy experiment, only seen by the people involved. However, given the times we are in at present, and with the world adjusting to life in quarantine, this film feels more relevant now than ever and Charlie felt that this was finally the appropriate time to share it and to hopefully lift everyone’s spirits."

PRO Credits


DirectorIan Roderick Gray
ProducerAdham Hunt
Production CompanyGrayscale Productions
Executive ProducerAdham Hunt
Director of PhotographyAlfred Thirolle
Focus PullerMike Hannides
SteadicamThomas Burgess
GafferPablo Dolado
EditorIan Roderick Gray
ColouristJonny Thorpe
Grading companyGlassworks
Post production companyGlassworks
Post ProducerChloe Ensor
LabelSony France
Other creditsSteadicam: Sound Recording And Mix By: Anthony Belguise Additional Engineering By: Bill Cox @ Coxinhell Studios Franck Lobielti

Rob Ulitski - 4th May 2020

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