In November 2022, students from a range of creative subject areas took part in a collaborative project. They produced a music video for Los Angeles-based artist, Alexa Villa.
Alexa travelled to the UK with friends Ra Dreyfus (a professional director) and Zachary Williams (her guitarist) and worked with the students over five days to produce a music video for her latest single, ‘Bored’.
The sense of unity among everyone was strong as they worked towards the same goal and was a great example of how the setup of the Hi Tech & Digital Centre really lends to collaboration across different subject areas.
The three guests started the week of production talking to the students about the music video business, from the point of view of the performer and the director, how that relationship works and how the business works.
From there, the Film students pitched their ideas to Alexa, Ra, and Zachary and they went with one idea from each of the students to kick-start the project with a collaborative spirit.
With only five days to film this music video, time was of the essence and on the second day the students moved straight to planning and production and the third, fourth and fifth day were purely shooting the video.
The input from students was incredible, with each subject area bringing their skills to the table. The Arts group designed outfits and accessories, Performing Arts students featured throughout the video, while Engineering 3D printed and manufactured props for the video like the giant claw for the claw machine in the arcade that Alexa finds herself inside for one of the scenes.
Robert Alway, Wesley Lang, Rio Peynado, Luke Rice and Emily Marriott were part of the FdA Film and Photography cohort, and a few of the many students part of this project.
Wesley said: “It was enjoyable and fun, but also a lot of hard work and there were a lot of things to keep track of at once.”
Luke said: “We had to adapt to an environment that we had only worked in theoretically, and it was a really enriching experience to put that knowledge to work and see first-hand how it translated to the real thing.”
Emily said: “It was so refreshing to work with Alexa and Ra because they were so friendly and ready to collaborate, which is always my favourite part of being on any film set. Making a music video definitely surpassed my expectations. I’m more familiar with scripted, narrative based projects but I had an absolute blast and by the end I felt sad to say goodbye to such talented individuals as Ra and Alexa. It reignited a strong passion for filmmaking that I hadn’t felt to that extent for a while and I enjoyed being so hands-on with the project.”
Rio said: “What made it even more helpful was that we got to work alongside professionals (Ra and Alexa) from the industry. They demonstrated and taught us how to make the best product possible. It is clear that they have had years of experience and they helped us enhance our practical skills throughout the week. The experience forced us to work as a team to ensure the video fulfilled its true potential. We were lucky enough to work with many different departments and it showed the collaboration capability of the University and the College.”
Robert said: “Our group was very lucky to gain this hands-on practical experience with the experts, and I am grateful that we had the opportunity. A big thanks is owed to our tutors who organised this years’ activities!”
On Instagram, Alexa said as part of her recap on the whole experience: “These students were brilliant, passionate, and amazing! It was the coolest set I’ve ever been a part of. I really felt like we were all in this together and I’ve gained 30 new best friends.”
As of Friday 20th January 2023, the music video was made live to the public. You can see the full music video below:
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