The video for the Grammy-winning band Fun.’s latest single, “Why Am I the One” follows the separate adventures of the band and their luggage, after the suitcase gets misplaced at an airport baggage claim. Life imitated art for the shoot itself: after Director Jordan Bahat and Cinematographer Andrew Wheeler shot the band at Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport, they departed with the suitcase to shoot its story while the band flew to Los Angeles to attend the Grammy Awards, where they collected the trophy for Best New Artist.
With the task of shooting dozens of locations up and down the west coast, the team selected the Red Epic, both for its small size and high resolution– both critical features for the motorcycle and car work the suitcase story entailed. They also selected a non-standard aspect ratio to fit the suitcase’s shape exactly: 2.09:1. “I never felt like the suitcase quite fit into the 2:40 frame,” said Wheeler. “There was some discussion about the fact that it’s non-standard” adds Bahat, “but in music videos at least, standard aspect ratios aren’t necessarily relevant.” (exhibit A: Bahat’s and Wheeler’s super widescreen video for Dog is Dead’s “Teenage Daughter“).
The sheer number of locations and style of shooting set up the creative challenges for post production and final color: “We had 4-5 company moves each day basically and, when shooting a video that is this linear, I just knew that coverage was going to be a luxury,” says Bahat. Resizing the Epic’s footage helped to get the most out of the shots, and aided the rapid sequence of graphic matches that concludes the video, cut together by Jackie London of Sunset Edit.
The color grading was performed by Kevin Cannon at Prehistoric Digital’s offices in Santa Monica, using DaVinci Resolve to work directly from the 5K Epic Raw files. The major task was to delineate the storyline of the band from that of the suitcase, and to show the emotional arc as the suitcase travels from place to place. “It is a long video with several locations so we couldn’t really apply a general look on everything like you can in some videos,” says Wheeler. Many of Resolve’s finishing tools were used to provide extra polish, including image stabilization, sharpening, defocus, animated resizes and extensive tracking windows. “We treated the suitcase like a face, so we put all the same considerations into coloring it that you would a skin tone,” says Cannon. “In the end, the video succeeds because of how people care about the suitcase.”
As for what they’re up to next? Bahat isn’t telling: “I probably shouldn’t say too much about it. What I can say is that it will be a totally different type of video and technology than either of us have used in the past.”
Director: Jordan Bahat
Cinematographer: Andrew Wheeler
Production Designer: Alessandro Marvelli
Producer: William T. Vandegrift
Editor: Jacquelyn London @ Sunset Edit
Color: Kevin Cannon @ Prehistoric Digital
Executive Producer: Missy Galanida
Production Company: Artists & Derelicts