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The art of a one-shot film

March 2020
written by Hatti Rex

One-shot films are no easy feat. It's essential to go in with a smart but achievable idea, involving undeniable organisational and cinematography skills that take into consideration every aspect of production in minute detail. Without the ability to take a break, one wrong line or dodgy shadow could throw off the whole production, but when done right, the results are immensely phenomenal. 

"It's a challenging process because you need to plan everything," explains Jeremie Brivet, the one-shot director of two recent live sessions performed by Joseph Lawrence & The Garden. Both videos closely follow Joseph's every movement, stopping briefly to focus on the surrounding actions of supporting musicians or capturing poignant lyrical moments from a carefully thought out angle. "What I like about it is the challenge of making everything happen in the shot, and I like the sense of surprise you can create as there are no cuts, as a viewer, you're not necessarily expecting something new to appear because it's a performance-based video."

With access to the incredible Hackney venue, EartH, Jeremie uses the vast space to his advantage by placing unexpected figures amongst the shadows, revealing themselves only when the camera sees fit. The best advice he could provide for anyone attempting the technique, but not wanting to come across as amateur, is smart planning. "The nice thing about it is that you can actually try and think about what you can change or add to create something new." 

Working as a translator before graduating from film school in Paris in 2018, Jeremie moved to London this past Summer where he met friend and collaborator, Benjamin Leggett. 

Brand new to the UK film scene, Benjamin brought him on set as an assistant camera hand before coming together to develop ideas together across various projects, with Jeremie as Director, and Benjamin as Director of Photography.

After struggling slightly to find UK artists to work with, Ben suggested that Jeremie should turn to Creative Commission to find acts looking for music videos to build his both portfolio and contact list. And he did. 

"It was one of the first briefs I applied for," Jeremie admits when asked how he discovered the brief that led him to work with Joseph & The Garden. "Most of the time, you can listen to the audio on the briefs. If you're going to make the video for it, you obviously need to like the music, and it needs to speak to you. So when I listened to it, I immediately wanted to direct the videos for his songs. I wasn't really that detailed in the treatment when I applied; I just explained I really liked the music and I had an idea for the video, and I'd just love to work with them."

"I liked the energy of the songs and Joseph has a way of singing that's really powerful." The sheer watchability of the performance is testament to this. "He gives a lot, he's really honest in the way he sings, and you can see it, so it's really exciting to film."

Everyone involved with the sessions was thrilled with the results, and it's easy to see why.

"We're very, very happy with it. Basically, we had £1500 budget at first, but we pushed to double it for the video, we managed to talk the manager into putting a bit more in". 

It isn't evident from the impeccable production quality, but there wasn't a massive initial budget involved in the making of these two live sessions. With a strong portfolio and a clear vision, the team pushed for a bigger budget to achieve the necessary results. "It was really worth it, and we had the venue, and we could have the video look like 20k."

Though the sessions have already filmed, edited and released, the story doesn't end there. 

Having become big fans of each other's work, the team have plans to further collaborate in the coming weeks. Still, most surprisingly Jeremie has picked up another job directing a music video from meeting Kyra, one of the choruses on set. 

"I'm applying to briefs on CC daily. It's a great platform." We really love to hear it.