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New Music Video “Time vs. Money”

Our new music video “Time vs. Money” is here!

This video was directed by Shaun Clarke (who also directed our interactive video “How Does It Feel to Be in Love?” in 2011), and it features two extremely talented dancers, Kirsten Evans & Alex Lantz, with choreography by Viktor Plotnikov.  We could not be happier with how this video came out.  The amount of talent, time, effort, and love that went into creating this is truly amazing.  Thank you so much to everyone involved!

In the next few days, we’ll be doing a “Making of” series of posts on our website, with words from Shaun, Viktor, Kirsten and Matt on how this video and song came together, so keep an eye out.  We really hope you enjoy the video.  Please help us share it with everyone!  And be sure to download the song for free if you haven’t already.

Making of “Time vs. Money” Part 3 of 4, Shaun Clarke (Director)

Shaun Clarke, director of “Time vs. Money”, is someone we’ve worked with a few times now – first when he directed an interactive video for our song “How Does It Feel to Be in Love?” in 2011, and later when he worked as cinematographer on our short film “Every Little Thing You Love” in 2012.  Everything we’ve ever seen from Shaun is beautiful – he has an amazing eye, an admirable work ethic, and is an all around good dude.  He’s written some fantastic insights into the making of our newest video here, so let’s get to it:

I am a big fan of The Bynars, and “Time vs. Money” ranks up there with one my favorite songs that they have produced. I first chatted with Matt and Mike about a second collaboration back in November of 2013. While we sorted through a number of different ideas/concepts, I kept returning to the use of dance in this project. “Time vs. Money” is a dance song, and given my past work in making dance film, I felt that it could turn in to a successful project if I found the right dance collaborator.

Enter Viktor Plotnikov. I had met Viktor while working on another film project that featured his equally talented wife, Larissa. Over a cup of coffee, I asked Viktor if he would be interested in experimenting with me: choreographing and shooting a traditional ballet dance to The Bynars’ modern pop/dance/rock song. While he was skeptical at first, he decided to accept the challenge.

It took many months for Viktor, the dancers and my schedules to align in order to start production. Viktor spent a few days working with and prepping the dancers in Providence. He would send me video clips of each of the dance sequences as they came along. I appreciated that there were elements of traditional ballet, but also some funk-ed up, non-traditional sections too.

We travelled down to Providence on Wednesday, May 28th. I had only a loose concept of what I wanted to do at that point, and knew that we were going to have to improvise once we got the camera and dancers in the same room. Kirsten Evan and Alex Lantz (both members of Festival Ballet Providence) are fantastic dancers! Even for someone who still feels somewhat ignorant about the intricacies of dance, it was immediately clear from the videos that Viktor sent me, and their warm-up routines that they were talented, and would bring high level of energy and beauty to the choreography. They were also troopers throughout the production, performing the routines over and over again throughout the day.

Daniel Jacobs (camera operator) and Jean-Paul (JP) DiSciscio (lighting operator) were all- stars during the production. In order to keep the images dynamic, I insisted that the camera never be placed on a tripod, which meant that Daniel (who also graciously loaned his c300 for the shoot) was running all over the place to keep up with the dancers. For most of the piece, we also took a similar approach with the lights: instead of using lighting stands, JP would hold the lights and move with the dancers. This allowed not only the camera, but also the lights to interact with the dancers and choreography. Norman McLaren’s “Pas De Deux,” a masterpiece of dance film, heavily influenced the stark, backlit lighting approach.

Editing took me a couple of months. I would make a cut, then send it around to the crew and some trusted peers for notes. Qinshu Zuo took an evening to do the color correction on this piece, making the images really pop of the screen.

All of this work results in a minimalist piece: one camera, one studio, two dancers, two lights, black and white, light and shadow. The lighting renders the dancers almost entirely faceless. Instead, we are left to focus on the dance moves. And all of the elements (dance, camera, lighting, editing, music) combine to create something unique. At least that is my hope…

But, whether or not the piece is successful is for the audience to decide. I am just grateful that I once again got to collaborate with such talented group of artists!

– Shaun Clarke
Watch “Time vs. Money” music video.

Making of “Time vs. Money” Part 2 of 4, Kirsten Evans (Dancer)

Next on our “Making of Time vs. Money” series is Kirsten Evans, one of the dancers in the video.  She and Alex Lantz both work with Festival Ballet Providence, where we shot the video. Words that come to mind: talent, professionalism, enthusiasm, focus, stamina… they danced a full six hour session shooting this video, and brought their A game the entire time.  Kirsten has a blog called Setting the Barre where she chronicles her life as a dancer.  She posted a few entries about her experience shooting the “Time vs. Money” video.  You can read them all here – check out the excerpt below:

“What time is it?”

“You know what, I have absolutely no idea.  We’ve been in this black hole for so many hours…is it still Wednesday?”

-A and I at 3:30 pm 3 Wednesdays ago, volleying exhausted sentiments at the end of a 6-hour dance day.  The studio that we spend our lives in had been completely blacked out for our video shoot.  Dark curtains covered the big windows, the fluorescent lights were extinguished- there would be nothing for the strangely live dust bunnies to cling to but the fierce lights that spotted us, most times from behind.  With the free Seven Stars lunch (possibly the highlight of an already exceptionally interesting day) still fresh in our gracious mouths, A and I pondered the allusive hour, realized what a long time we had been working for, and exchanged an unplanned nod of pride towards each other.  We had one segment left to shoot, and it was, without a conference, our favorite.

Stepping back into the center of the studio, we took our positions for the “spinny sequence”, between a backpack-sized camera and one blinding spotlight.  As we danced our last section, the two objects moved on human legs, slowly circling around us, mimicking our revolution.  Now this is a real black hole, A and I agreed with our eyes.  Just keep spinning, one more take, and we might be released from it’s spiraling suction.

“That’s a wrap!”, the director led our celebratory applause before embarking on his round of handshakes and high fives.  It was the second week of summer and already we’d filmed a music video- talk about starting off the new season with a bang.

– Kirsten Evans
Watch “Time vs. Money” music video.
Follow Kirsten’s blog, Setting the Barre.