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A Scottish band with an emotional video using Belgian locals from Pedro Chaves

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6 years 10 months ago | Work

Universal You describes themselves as sounding like what would happen "If Madonna, Calvin Harris and John Frusciante jammed the night away in a hot basement club". Based in Scotland they commissioned Pedro Chaves in Ghent Belgium for their latest video.

Pedro is a seasoned Radar director, He tells us that "Working with Paul from "Universal You" has been a pleasure. Since day one, we had the same vision of what we wanted to accomplish with the music video. Paul provided me with all the creative freedom I wanted.

I decided to shoot the video in photogenic Ghent, Belgium and use locals and people working in and owning local businesses to sing the song. It was fun working with people I have known for a while and meeting other inspiring people. All of them willing to let me film them during their daily work. For the guitar solos I chose to show a ballet dancer (the talented Laura Maya Rosiers). Gracious and light movements in an old city. Everything in black and white, which we felt would fit a song such as Nothing Else Matters.

Everything was shot on a single set up: Canon 7D, SmallHD monitor and for 90% of the shoot a Canon 50mm 1.8 lens was used."

Paul from Joesoap Records tells us about using Radar for the first time "Working with Pedro was a dream compared to others we have had! Once we had ourselves lined up on the agreement we just kept in touch on email and a few phone calls to cover specific ideas before he shot and edited the video. Our video was shot without Universal You band members and for that reason it was able to be shot anywhere in the world. So we are in Scotland and Pedro is in Belgium and with that you have to have a degree of trust and good communication, and we did.

The Brief was to shoot a video without the band and use ordinary people to lip sync the vocals of gi the singer. Male, female, young, old and in different situations. We also hoped for a good location that would support the track. As it was we chose Pedro who suggested Ghent in Belgium which is great as it has a medieval flavor perfect for the mood of the track. We agreed on a black and white shoot which only came into color when a girl ballet dances in the street during a guitar solo. This was the directors idea and the kind of suggestions we love.

Pedro had to do some work to find people in different situations to sing the words, people in shops, bakers, street vendors, tailors etc and of course our ballerina! He didn’t take shortcuts and made a real effort to provide a variety of people. We are grateful to them all for providing such natural parts for our video and hope they share it around their friends! Universal You really likes the video.

The video has only just gone live and in the first hours we picked up around 500 views which is great. I think using a slightly unusual setting will help spread the word. People in Ghent certainly like to see their own town in a music video from an artist that is not their own and Metallica fans have so far (!) approved of the track and the video. Hopefully its seen to be all tasteful and classy as that is what our concept hoped for.

We heard about Radar through the industry and thought it a good place to try out. So much time is spent searching for good people these days that using something like Radar that brings the resources together for you is a great idea. It also consolidates the brief together and asks all the correct questions that a director would need to know, at least initially.

Using Radar was very easy right through the whole process. We have done many videos in the past for Universal You so we are quite experienced in the type of issues that arise in the making of them but the online Radar process lays it all out front and is easy to follow in putting the Brief together etc.

We already had the outline concept for our video so I think for that reason we didn’t get that many pitches. All were of a good standard with plenty of previous examples of work etc as I think you need that to have some comfort on directors.

The process has been so good that we already have another Brief posted on Radar for the next video of Universal You!"