You'd be very hard-pressed to find anyone who'd say working during the pandemic is cake, let alone directing a whole shoot from lockdown. But living through such troubled times raises the question: What can artists give back to the world when the world feels like it's in shambles? When a project presents itself during a pandemic, how can a director adjust and adapt in order to continue doing what they love?
Free The Work sat with eight wonderful directors who broke down their remote directing experiences and encapsulated their highs and lows during the process. Read Fiona Jane Burgess' interview here
Shards & Isolation Choir - Inside I'll Sing (Official Music Video)
With this project, footage from an older shoot was repurposed for a song that was written during quarantine. Can you tell me more about how you became involved and how the idea of recycling footage came about?
Fiona Jane Burgess: My friend Kieran Brunt is a composer and he impulsively wrote this amazing piece of music to bring the music community together. I was originally just supposed to sing the song with a bunch of other musicians. He'd asked everyone involved to film themselves singing along to the song. I sent a clip to him and he said, "To be honest, most people haven't sent me a video and I'm not sure if it's going to work. Do you have any thoughts about what we can use for visuals?" Suddenly I just thought, and I was like, "Oh my God, I've got this hard drive sitting in my house with this footage I filmed last year."
It also seems like the footage was made for this time in that it's in an empty house and the dance itself was between two people who are separated for the majority of the video. What was the footage originally intended for?
The footage was originally made for a music video of a very new artist. After filming, she decided not to release the song. It's funny how now it's almost like the footage finally found its real purpose. And all proceeds from the video goes towards helping musicians, through the charity Help Musicians UK.
How was the editing process and what software helped you?
Jo Lewandowska at Cut and Run was our editor and we used Evercast, which made it feel like we were really editing together. I think it probably helps that we've worked together before, but at the same time it was quite a smooth process really. And the same goes for working with Richard Fearon at Black Kite Studios, who graded it on Baselight and used ClearView Flex Pro from Sohonet.
How has working from home impacted your outlook on the creative work that you do?
Being with kids 24/7 is incredibly demanding. But it has actually also positively impacted my creative work because childcare reignited the passion, drive, and curiosity for my work. This is a deeply unsettling, and worrying, and devastating time for everyone. But I do think that creatives can play a role in responding to the world in a thoughtful, hopeful, and human way.