Dan le Sac v. Scroobious Pip are well known for creating intriguing, and visually compelling music videos. While this particular video isn’t a) their best, or b) particularly groundbreaking I wanted to share it because they posted a making of documentary along with it, and that I have embedded as well.
What the combination of these two videos brings to the table is that filmmaking, whether that be commercial, documentary, feature, TV, music video, or cinematic journalism (all of these terms mean the same to me these days) relies on 2 things: Telling a story visually, and solving problems on the fly.
Creative problem solving is one of the most important things that a filmmaker needs to learn and embrace. In many ways I feel that it is almost as important as being able to recognize and tell story for the simple reason that being able to adapt, change, fix, and embrace problems as they occur will give you the ability to actively accomplish telling your story. My favorite example of something going horrifically against plan, but working to the advantage of the filmmaker is the story of Bruce (the shark in Spielberg’s Jaws). In short, the animatronic model of the shark would never work properly, and was costing the production too much time, money, and Spielberg was under incredible pressure to complete the movie. Spielberg made the decision that the shark would not be visible throughout most of the movie, and that they would use the idea that what you can’t see is scarier than what you can see to it’s full effect, and historically Spielberg made the right choice, as an entire generation of people found themselves unwilling to go in the water after the success of the film. Spielberg and his production crew creatively solved a problem, and in doing so they created a movie that is far more memorable for harnessing people’s emotions, and expectations.
While the Dan le Sac vs. Scroobious Pip video doesn’t have near the amount, or scale of needed problem solving, it does highlight that on the fly in order to get the shots the crew had to come up with inventive ways to shoot, edit, produce, and create. Keep the idea in mind that no matter how much preparation you do, no matter how well thought out your shoot might be, something can and most likely will go wrong, and be prepared to solve the problems creatively.