Nope, it's not a joke. This really happened.
On a hot, sweaty, bug-infested day in July, history was made in Southern Alberta.
Well, okay, maybe not history. But a little music video was made.
We decided we needed a challenge. Something to take us out of our usual day gig of shooting corporate videos, promotional videos, and training videos. Not that we don't love doing these, but sometimes you just need to step out of the box and do something that is just, well, fun as heck! This is actually the third video we have shot for Punch Drunk Cabaret and they are always a blast.
So, bright and early on July 25, 2016, the boys from PDC, a fine actress/model named Nina, a fantastic drone operator (and all around nice guy) named Larrie, and a crew of two from POV all hopped in a van and headed to Hanna, Alberta. Well, actually Delia, Alberta to be exact. If you've never been, the landscape down there is breathtaking and was the perfect backdrop for the story we were shooting.
Speaking of the story, the treatment for the video was dreamed up by Bandmeister Randy B of PDC. It follows a Beekeeper (and a couple of odd friends) in search of his bride, the beautiful Queen Bee. The three embark on a day and night journey that takes them through fields, forests, hills, and even through a vast canyon in the Badlands. The video will also have scenes of the band performing the song, titled "Beard of Bees", live in an eclectic "barn turned stage" setting. These scenes were actually shot in June at Randy's family farm located just outside of Wetaskiwin, Alberta. Randy and his wife Debi worked tirelessly to turn a boring old barn loft into a stage fit for rockabilly royalty (which of course PDC are!). And their efforts paid off - it looked great on film!
So, back to Southern Alberta. It was hot. Like 29C hot (over 30 with humidity. Oh yeah, it was humid too!). There were bugs. Soooooo many friggin' bugs. And in this environment, we lugged camera gear up steep hills, through swamps, forests and fields, and even down into a mountainous canyon. Our "cast" endured these conditions while in full costume and makeup (with both Randy and Capt. Sean E. Watts in full 3 piece suits, and Terry "Sawbones" Grant in a long, heavy Clergyman's robe and hat). Our poor bride, "Queen Bee" (played by Nina May Laderoute) had to climb a very steep hill in the height of the hot afternoon wearing a long dress, veil, and a whole bunch of makeup! All four of these people were nothing but professional. I never once heard a grumble or complaint. It was so nice to work with a crew of people that were just focused on making a great video. In the end, it was so worth it! The shots we were able to gather look amazing, purely thanks to the setting we were shooting in. It's pretty hard to make something that beautiful look bad!
Oh yeah, and speaking of the landscape, what better way to catch some of it than from the air! That's where Larrie Thompson came in. Larrie is an old friend of the band, and also happens to be a very accomplished photographer. He also owns himself a drone! The original plan for the video was to only include a couple of drone shots for effect. But the country was so beautiful, the weather so perfect, and Larrie did such a bang-up job shooting, that we will likely be using many drone shots in the final edit!
I also mentioned that there were two of us from Point of View. Tagging along to help out was my right-hand woman (who also happens to be my wife!), the one and only Crystal of Crystal Puim Photography. She is always a great help, and this day was no different. Even though she was feeling a little under the weather, she stepped up and helped out with lugging equipment, coordinating people, and most importantly, keeping me fed and watered! I couldn't do these long shoots without her!
All in all, it was a long (very long - 20 hours to be exact), hot, sweaty, exhausting day. One that called for an 11 pm celebratory feast at the Drumheller McDonald's. The night time drive home brought close encounters with deer and foxes, and a lot of winding through many of Alberta's secondary highways. But we made it back to Edmonton around 2 am (we left Edmonton at about 6 am the previous morning).
I want to take this time to thank everyone involved for their dedication and hard work. We are in the heavy throes of editing now and so far, it looks great!
Stay tuned for the final product some time in September.
Until next time,