Making of: Jontte Valosaari feat. Brädi (Universal Music) - "Selvää Jälkee"

Universal Music & Rähinä Records approached me in June 2014 and commisioned me to direct and produce a music video for Jontte Valosaari's (feat. Brädi) new single "Selvää Jälkee".Below you will find a short making of -video that shows what happened behind the scenes on the day of the shoot. If you've ever wondered what I do on these shoots, this video will answer those questions pretty well. 

The official music video:

Jontte Valosaari - Selvää Jälkee feat. Brädi

Director: Lauri Laukkanen
Screenwriting: Lauri Laukkanen
Editor: Raimo Saba
Colorgrade: Lauri Laukkanen
Production assistant & making of-footage: Matias Koskinen

Production stills

Making of: Pete Parkkonen / Warner Music - "Mun"

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. 

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The Assignement

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.

Pre-Production

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... ;)

Our two amazing actors.

Our two amazing actors.

Building the cross from scratch...

Building the cross from scratch...

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.

King's Mansion
The room we shot most of the indoor-stuff in.

Once we had taken care of finding the actors, locations and had the cross built, it was time to start the production!

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. 

lavafield

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. 

Shooting in the beautiful golden sunset-light.

Shooting in the beautiful golden sunset-light.

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. 

Post-production

Sitting at the Warner offices - applying the finishing touches.

Sitting at the Warner offices - applying the finishing touches.

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! :)

Final Video

Pete Parkkonen / Warner Music - "Mun"

Directed, shot and edited by Lauri Laukkanen
Production assistants: Samuel & Daniel Taipale, Joonas Angeria

Making of: Suvi Teräsniska - "Vaiettu Rakkaus"

In this blogpost we take a quick look at the "reality" behind a music video shoot. 

I got the honour of producing Suvi Teräsniska's new music video for her second single "Vaiettu Rakkaus". The video was released today. We had a truly great team working on this project. Samu Amunét from Brother Studios directed the piece, and Janne Amunét acted as the DP. The guys from Cinepic were in charge of the aerial shots. And I had casted my good friend Samuel Taipale as the lead male actor for the video. We also had Hani as the stylist, and Laura Andersson as the HMUA.

Lauri Laukkanen - ST Vaiettu BTS-4.jpg

Before we get to the differences between the "reality" and the "end result", make sure to check out the music video, so that you know what I'm talking about. 

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It's funny to see a shoot in progress, and notice how the end result - the music video - can look all nice and peaceful, even though the day of the shoot has been super hectic and FAAAAAAAR from peaceful. 

Below you will find a quick video that shows a small preview of how the "reality" and the "end result" are usually quite different:

As you could see from the video, the snow that we used was fake, and we had two guys throwing it around, to make it seem like it'd be snowing. This is just one small example of how the reality often times differs from what the final product looks like. That's one of the reasons I like these shoot days so much. Below I've gathered some BTS-photos from the shoot - enjoy! :)

Lauri Laukkanen - Suvi Teräsniska Musavideokuvaukset-2.jpg
Lauri Laukkanen - ST Vaiettu BTS-8.jpg
Lauri Laukkanen - ST Vaiettu BTS-11.jpg
Lauri Laukkanen - ST Vaiettu BTS-3.jpg
Lauri Laukkanen - ST Vaiettu BTS-12.jpg
Lauri Laukkanen - ST Vaiettu BTS-7.jpg
Lauri Laukkanen - ST Vaiettu BTS-10.jpg
Lauri Laukkanen - ST Vaiettu BTS-13.jpg
Lauri Laukkanen - ST Vaiettu BTS-2.jpg

Making of: Jenni Vartiainen & Nelonen Media - "Mustat Lesket"

In this blogpost we are going to take a quick look behind-the-scenes of a videoshoot that I got the honour of directing for Nelonen Media & Warner Music. It was a great day filled with creativity and good jokes. :)

Before we go into the BTS-footage,  here is the final product that we shot on the day:

The Assignment & Team

In the end of November 2013 Warner Music and Nelonen Media (the largest national TV-channel in Finland) approached me about a combined tv-advert/music video that they wanted me to produce and direct. When I heard the initial idea of combining a music video and a tv-advert in the same video I got very excited about the project, and we started working on it straight away. The tv-channel had already shot and edited the tv-series and the trailer that would be later combined with the music video/studio-footage that I was responsible of producing. 

The artist in the video would be Jenni Vartiainen, which made this project even more exciting, as she is probably the biggest star in the finnish music-scene at the moment. It was a great honour to work with her on this project. 

Once we had settled down on an idea for the video, I called my good friend, Janne Amunét (DOP) from Brother Studios, and together we went through some lighting references, and decided on the look that we were going for. Janne managed to get Jere Korppoo and Ville Tolvanen to work on the lights - I must say that they definitely are the two best upcoming lighting-designers in Finland, and it was great working with them! Jere had done a great job with the lighting of our previous project - Pete Parkkonen's music video, and it was great having him on set with us again.

Janne's brother Samu Amunét joined us on the day of the shoot and assisted me with the direction, and had a vital role during the editing/cutting process - it was great having him in our team as well. 

Working with two clients

Working with two clients simultaneously can sometimes be challenging, but this project went very well. Both clients had the same end goal in mind, and there was great synergy between both of them. My job as the producer and director was to talk the ideas and visions through with both of the clients, and find a working compromise that pleased both of them. When both of the clients are pleased with the ideas and references, like on this project, working with two clients is actually very pleasing. It's just very important to keep both sides informed about everything that is going on, and making sure that all we do, is ok with both of them.

Making of -video and photos

Making of: Jenni Vartiainen / Warner Music & Nelonen Media  - "Mustat Lesket / Suru on kunniavieras"