Four days after the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, I arrived in France ready to film a music video for a popular American Youtuber. I had been working with a local French production company on all the logistics for the video, as this would have been my biggest project to date in budget and scope I was so excited. It had been a dream of mine to film in France.
Before I left Los Angeles, just two days after the attack, I debated on going or not, I thought, could this be somewhat disrespectful to the victims to film a light hearted music video in a city that was mourning? While it sounds cliche, the French producer and I agreed we didn't want the terrorists to win. I got on an almost empty Air France flight to Paris and didn't look back. When I arrived you could tell the city was on the edge, from my taxi to the hotel I could see the Stadium, Stade de France, where a suicide bomber has detonated his vest only a few days before.
I went on with my job we prepped the crew, hired talent, scouted locations, as I had gone a few days before the artist to take care of all the production logistics. 2 days before we were set to film, the artist called me from the Salt Lake City Airport tarmac very upset. The Air France flight they had been on, had a bomb threat called in and the plane made an emergency landing. No bomb was found, but the artist made the decision to cancel the music video.
So after all that work I had put in, the video was canceled. I didn't blame the artist, I know it was a hard decision for him. We told the crew, let the talent go, and attempted to get as much money back as we could on the video. We got most of it back, except the camera rental, and location. I was in France with an Alexa, a wonderful director of photography, and a gorgeous French Chateau. I did what any director would have done, went to a vintage store and purchased some 1940's period clothing, hired two french dancers and set off to make a short little music film for fun.
The video took a while to complete, as I always thought of it as unfinished. I thought It needed more of a story, should I add voiceover, subtitles, film more footage in Los Angeles to add context? I came to realize the story was always there. It was about the journey to make this video, and the people who turned a dismal scenario into a beautiful piece of art.
I hope you enjoy.
DIRECTOR: ANDREW VALLENTINE
CINEMATOGRAPHER: TANSY SIMPSON
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: RICKY DILLON
PRODUCER: JEAN-DAVID BÉROARD
CO-PRODUCER: JOAN DE CAMARET
TALENT: ROMAN VIKOULOFF
TALENT: JUSTINE GÉRARD
ASSISTANT CAMERA:MARIE AMELIE VILANOVA
COLORIST: THOMAS TAUGHER
MUSIC: BLAKE EWING via Musicbed
Filmed on an Arri Alexa, with Canon K35 Lens