Behind the Scenes: ‘A French Evening’

*Please watch the video linked above before reading this post*

Hello everybody!

In this post I decided to try something a little different, and write about my latest video. I thought that it would be fun to start posting little ‘behind the scenes’ of my YouTube videos, and talk about my thought process and creative process.

So this video is called ‘A French Evening’, and captures one of the beautiful evenings that I experienced during my holiday in the south of France. The video is formed of shots that I collected within about half an hour of a single evening. In the days previous to this, I made sure that I was aware of the passage of time as the sky changed, and so when I went out to film I knew what time I should go and when the most ‘action’ happened in terms of colour and mood change. When filming I wanted to keep the camera very steady and so used a tripod rarther than simply holding the camera. I did this so that when you watch the video you are not distracted by the movement of the frame, and can focus on the shot itself, such as birds flying or the wind blowing the plants.

The song that I used is called ‘Maia’ by Halehan. I chose it because I wanted to use a song that was not so well-known to emphasise the isolated nature of where I was in relation to the rest of the world. I also wanted a song that was fairly minimalistic and which had a slow tempo to create a relaxed and laid-back feeling to the video. The song, to me, also sounds hazy which, again, helped to make the video feel calm and almost nostalgic. The music gently builds throughout the video with the use of extra backing vocals and instruments, and so reaches a crescendo as the evening ends and the sun sets. I did this to help give the video a narrative, and, along with the actual shots that show the sun setting and the mood shifting, it feels as if time is passing.

This is getting quite specific now! Another thing that I liked about the song is the minor chords, first heard at 0:06 at the end of the first line, along with a shot of swaying telephone wires which match the ‘twanging’ sound of the music. This chord subverts the instinct that the viewer might have had when clicking on the video: that the video is simply happy and relaxed, and just a look-back on a holiday. Although admittedly the video is partially that, the minor chords feel somewhat sad and nostalgic to me. I like the feeling that they give: that what you are watching is in the past, and is a wistful reflection on the past. However, at the end of the second line, the minor chord is replaced with a more optimistic sound that brings the video back to a happier place. I liked this because the video isn’t meant to be a sad or negative video, and so I didn’t want the music to imply that. I just wanted a song to illustrate feelings of nostalgia mixed with the happy memories of a beautiful holiday.

This video isn’t the biggest project I have done, however a lot of thought went into each aspect of the video and I am happy with the result. The music was a big part of the video for me, and was an illustration of how important sound can be to either create or enhance a mood.

Thank you for reading this little post. I’ve really enjoyed writing it, and talking about the process. If you would like to re-watch the video after learning about some of the thinking behind the final product, the video is linked with the post!

Thank you,

Ella xx

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