In the past month or so I have been travelling all around the world (Miami, Hawaii, UK) and have been working on several interesting projects that I'm very excited to share with you later in the upcoming months. Today I decided to write up a behind-the-scenes article about our trip to Hawaii.
Me and the two brothers from Los Taipales had been planning on a vacation-trip to Hawaii for a few months now, and about two weeks before flying overseas, Warner Music contacted me about a music video that they wanted me to produce for Pete Parkkonen. I had worked with Pete on his first set of photos and his first music video for his first single called "Mitä Minä Sanoin", so it felt natural for us to continue the co-operation on this second single as well. The problem was that Warner Music needed to have the video produced during the time that I was planning to be in Hawaii. Well, we started throwing some ideas back and forth, and came to the conclusion that the best idea would be to fly Pete over to Hawaii, and shoot the video over there. We felt that the sunny weather and beautiful nature of Hawaii would suit the story and feel of the video very well. Once we had decided on that, I started the pre-production process.
We had written a script for the video together with Pete and his A&R manager Lasse Kurki. Based on that script we needed to find two actors from Hawaii. One adult actor to act as "the mother" and one child-actor to act as "the child". We'd also need to build a cross and find an indoor-location for the first part of the video.
I had the Taipale-brothers helping me out with the production - they have a lot of contacts in Hawaii, and know the islands much better than I do. With their help we managed to find the amazing Brooks-family that was willing to help us out by acting in the video. Tiffany, the mother of the family, was the perfect fit for her role, and her daughter Seilah, was an adorable little girl who I knew would melt the hearts of everyone watching the video. Tiffany's husband Davidson agreed to play the part of the "dead husband" - which was a tough role to play as well... ;)
For the cross we figured the best way to do it was just to head over to Lowe's and buy some materials and build it ourselves. Daniel and Samuel did an amazing job with the cross.
When we arrived in Hawaii we started the location-scouting process. We drove all around the Big Island in search of the best locations. Our main concern was finding a good indoor-location for the first part of the video. Finally, the day before the shoot, we managed to get access to this amazing house called King's Mansion that is owned by YWAM. It was exactly what I was looking for. And while we were driving around looking for the indoor-location, we found this beautiful field next to the ocean that I thought was perfect for the final part of the video.
Once we had taken care of finding the actors, locations and had the cross built, it was time to start the production!
Pete arrived in Hawaii, together with his producer Joonas about a week after us. We had decided to reserve three days for the production.
On the first day we shot some "back-up" material of Pete singing and walking on the rocky lava-fields. I had decided to shoot this material mainly as a back-up - just in case we felt the materials from day two and three weren't strong enough to carry the video all the way through.
The second day was the "indoor"-day. We arrived at the King's Mansion in the morning, and shot the first half of the video on that day. We also had to shoot the family-photo that we'd have in a frame in the second half of the video. Working with kids is always an interesting experience and this was no different - but the day went by quickly, and we got everything shot, and I was very happy with what we were able to get done on this day.
And then on the third day, we drove up to the field and shot the final part of the video. I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful golden light from the setting sun, so we arrived at the field about 2 hours before sunset. Having only two hours to shoot before loosing the sun, meant that we'd have to be very effective and get everything done in one or two takes. This required a lot of effort from everyone on set, but we managed to get everything done, right in time.
Because we were working on a very tight schedule, I actually made a first rough cut of the video the day after finishing the actual shoot. I showed it to Pete, and together we felt that it was going to turn out great. Then about a week later we flew back to Finland. My schedule was quite crazy as I had to fly out to England (to teach a workshop and give two lectures) 4 hours after landing to Finland - so I decided to make the first proper cut of the video on my laptop, on our flights back from Hawaii. Once we landed in Finland I drove back home quickly and while I repacked my bags for England, I uploaded the video on my server and sent it over to Warner Music for comments. I received the comments in my email as my plane landed in England. Based on those comments I tweaked the video a bit, and sent it back over to Warner. We were almost ready. I flew back to Finland four days later, and on the next morning drove up to the Warner offices, and sat down with Pete to do the last final tweaks for the video. Finally, the video was done, and ready for publishing! :)