A friend of mine asked him to run second camera video on a charity event he had got involved in, I thought it might be an interesting experience so said yes straight away. It was going to be a bunch of independent midwifes and young mothers recording a song for the charity that backs independent midwifes called the Independant Midwifery Trust.
I said yes straight away as it was my first day back from a holiday and what better way to get back into working than helping a friend and playing second fiddle in a recording studio.
What I didn’t know was this band of midwives was very well connected and that the recording would take place at Tim Rice-Oxley’s studio the main man of the group Keane in Sussex.
My friend Mike picked me up at 7am and we discussed the possibilities of what he would like to shoot and what we might be able to shoot and how both of us as film and image makers often got a picture in our head prior to an event or shoot of what we expected to find when we got there. Generally these imaginations are normally way off the mark and reality comes crashing in and the professionalism in both of us gets to work to make the best of what we are presented with.
I’d commented that studios, which I’d worked in several times before tended to be much smaller and messier than one expected, but this time all our hopes and imaginations lived up to expectations. As the main song writer for Keane and keyboardist Tim Rice Oxley had a wonderful retreat in the countryside around Eastbourne with enough space for a two storey 3 bedroom type house studio complex.
The rock and roll life style of manic excitement and excessive living was soon put to rest by the chickens in the yard and the children’s toys scattered around the garden. He was just a friendly normal chap who wanted to help out a charity good cause.
The studio was about the size of a 3 bedroom house with the downstairs split into the control room and the recording area, it had French doors that when pulled back allowed a wonderful amount of natural light to flood one end of the studio area but the control room was a lot darker which is not surprising when you think it’s an area to concentrate on screens and the like since most stuff is done on computers these days.
Mike and I after having a discussion with Tom the sound man to find out where he planned to have the ladies recording reviewed our plan. Due to the wonderful back light we were going to need some extra lighting bounced into the subjects faces as they would be standing with their back to the light and facing the control room.
As the ladies started to arrive we decided on which cameras would be used where, one close to the sound desk linked to get a sound feed mixed by an expert and one camera covering the control room and another for the action in the studio. In between takes it was also important to capture the mood of the day and the fun that the ladies were having in this new environment, especially with so many babies present!
As a boost to the ladies charity Studio owner and Keane keyboard player Tim Rice-Oxley added an endorsement interview relating his own experience of independent midwifes and their place in society.
The recorded song and making of video will no doubt appear in due course on the Independent Midwifes web site at http://www.independentmidwives.org.uk/ which is worth a look at for anyone interested in the rights of women to chose their method and location for birthing. And who knows maybe in the near future we might be seeing these lovely ladies having a Brit award of their own!
By Brian Russell