Pete Parkkonen | Photo- and videoshoot

In this article we will take a quick look behind the scenes of a combined musicvideo- and photoshoot that I produced and shot for Pete Parkkonen / Warner Music.

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The Assignment

In October 2013, Warner Music approached me about a project for their artist Pete Parkkonen. Pete had been “undercover” for almost two years, and had been preparing for an epic comeback to the music industry, and Warner wanted the music video and promotional photos to support him and kickstart this comeback. Pete’s first single “Mitä minä sanoin” has a very strong message: “I haven’t given up, and I’ll accomplish my dreams, no matter what”.

The promotion managers at Warner gave me and my crew a few guidelines for the video and photos: they should be strong, edgy and at the same time, they should show the growth of a young boy, who has now turned into a “real” grownup man. 

The IDEA

We felt that as Pete’s new look is pretty exotic and interesting, we should really rely on using his facial expressions and his ability to carry a song and perform in front of the camera. 

So we came up with this idea of “trapping” Pete inside a small room/box. This box would represent the expectations of the world, and all those vague promises of great success that had been given in the beginning of Pete’s career a few years ago. And as the song would progress the box would slowly start to break down, and Pete would rip down the walls surrounding him. 

For the photos we decided to use the same set, and photograph Pete inside the box, reflecting on the whole situation.

Pete sitting inside our box. Photo by Samuel Taipale.

Pete sitting inside our box. Photo by Samuel Taipale.

Making it happen

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We started building the set a day before the actual shoot. We rented out a big van, and managed to get a lot of scrap-wood planks from a close-by construction site. Those planks combined with some nails, hammers, and six men, working all through the night, led to the creation of one of the nicest sets, that I’ve been apart of building. 

While we were building the set, Jere Korppoo, started rigging all the lights for the set. He and our DOP Janne Amunet, had pre-designed the lighting together, and they did an amazing job with it! 

Around midnight, our scrap-wood ended, and we had to stop the construction. We decided to go and get a few hours of sleep and then hit the local construction-store and buy some more wood. After a few hours of sleep, we met back at the studio, and continued building the set. The actual shoot was about to start in a few hours time, so we were in a slight hurry now. But we had learned a lot about building a set like this during the previous day, so the construction went quickly and we had everything ready to go, as our artist, Pete, arrived at the studio.

Adding the finishing touches to our set.

Adding the finishing touches to our set.

Jasmiina Korhonen, from SB Jazz, was our great hair and makeup artist for the day, and the styling had been pre-designed together with Johannes Hänninen. While Pete was getting his hair and makeup done, we did some final lighting tests and then it was time to shoot!

Pete getting his hair done by Jasmiina.

Pete getting his hair done by Jasmiina.

I really don’t have that much to say about the actual musicvideo shoot - I think these BTS-photos will tell you more about the shoot, than my words:

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About half-way through the music video shoot, we had scheduled a time to shoot the photos. We had done the lighting tests earlier in the morning, and I had a pretty good idea of what angles/poses we’d be shooting. We used the same continuous lights as for the video, and I used this specially rigged “triangle”-light as my main-light, creating a triangle-shaped catchlight in Pete’s eyes. 

The triangle-shaped light. Photo by Daniel Taipale.

The triangle-shaped light. Photo by Daniel Taipale.

Once we had finished the photoshoot, we got back to shooting the final part of the video. At around 8PM we had finished the shoot, and it was time to take our “IT’S A WRAP!!!!”-photo, say goodbye to Pete, and start breaking down the set. It’s funny how easy breaking down stuff really is - about an hour of six men smashing the set with hammers, and the set had vanished. :)

IT'S A WRAP!!! 

IT'S A WRAP!!! 

The Final Photos & Video

Below you can find some of the photos that I shot for Pete on this awesome day. And the music video is embedded at the bottom of this post as well. :)

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