ENSIFERUM: The Making of Twilight Tavern, 24.09.2009

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Denis Goria is not just an outstanding and rather popular French photographer, but also our good friend. His latest works include Pain’s “Monkey Business” video, the complete set of artwork from Hypocrisy’s latest album, the Nightwish Made in Hong Kong booklet, promo shoots and video trailers for Amorphis, and the list goes on and on.

The Musicalypse crew got a chance to attend the video shooting for Ensiferum’s upcoming “Twilight Tavern” music video by Denis, to observe the work through the lens of our own camera. Now we are going to raise the curtain and let you take a peek at the pictures from behind the scenes.

Denis kindly agreed to tell us more about the video.

“First of all, it’s important to mention that I’m not a movie/video director. I’m a photographer. I met Ensiferum earlier this summer at Jurassic Rock Festival in Finland. The manager of the band asked me to join them, as we already had different collaborations earlier. After a few beers and sauna, the band and I established a friendly relation, which is always good for possible common work in the future.

I was about to return to Finland to work with another band when the manager and I decided to make a new video for Ensiferum. The opportunity to use the first gig of the European tour seemed to be the best, fastest, and cheapest way to produce it.

A few days prior to the show, I was working on the song to de-crypt different parts of it to see what kind of footage I could make to “fit” in the video. I had in my mind an old video by Dire Straits… I don’t remember the name of it, but it shows the band and the roadies setting up the stage. Then I got the main theme of the video. The first part: setting the stage, the second part: the band’s rehearsal, the third part: Ensiferum hanging out backstage, and the last part of the video: the last minutes of the same song from the live performance!

Early in the afternoon I came to Nosturi (the venue where the band was playing the show) and started filming all the settings, sometimes following the band members with a small steady-cam, like a dog running after the paperboy! Later on, the guys told me they didn’t understand what my idea actually was. I wanted to show the “human” side of the band; how funny and great they are. I don’t like videos full of all kinds of computer effects and green wall in the background. I think it doesn’t show the band as it should be. It also eliminates the art of filming. Everyone focuses too much on special effects to add to the green wall and forgets about the band. Usually the CGI effects are really crappy, depending on the video budget of course! As a photographer, everything on the screen is really important to me: the emotions you can see on band’s faces, also the light, the dynamics, the editing… That’s why I prefer to focus on all of these aspects and not just the effects.

It’s always difficult to work in such conditions, because everybody is very busy, and there’s not so much space to move around, especially with a camera. But it’s a part of the job!

I couldn’t be everywhere during the show to shoot from the different angles. In this case, using different footage from the settings and backstage for the first part of the video helps to keep people from getting bored. Only two cameras were used for the last part of the video: me with the steady-cam and my assistant with a cam on a tripod, so it gave us only two angles. To make it more dynamic, I used a few extra sequences from other songs which have the same BPM to make the third angle. During the editing process, the illusion turned out to be perfect. Later, Sami (Hinkka, bass) asked if I have footage from the beginning  of the show with the fireworks. As the cam on tripod was used to record almost the entire gig, it was easy to add those parts into the video as well.

I had only a little time for the editing process, as the management wanted the video to appear online 5 days later. It might’ve turned out even better if I could have had more time.

With the conditions and budget provided I think the video gives a vivid picture of the personality and talent of the band.”
– Denis Goria

Official website

Check out Ensiferum’s “Twilight Tavern” here:

Text: Tanja C. | Photos: Jana Blomqvist | Ed: Amy Wiseman

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