I have been known to come up with crazy ideas for videos… and then try to execute them with minimal budget. It’s something I do to myself to keep things entertaining. ;) This video for Ellen Doty’s song ‘That’s Love’ was no exception. I had a vision of the Ellen singing straight at camera while the rest of the room spun around behind her, similar to a POV on a Disneyland TeaCup ride. Adam Thomas, who I’ve relied on for many of my videos to help construct sets and workarounds that can make these crazy ideas possible, built a rotating 6×6 circular platform out of plywood and 20+ wheels. The video was being shot in Calgary at the Palliser Hotel Ballroom so we couldn’t test out the platform until the day of the shoot… that’s always a bit scary. With a lot of ‘tetris-ing’, I managed to fit this bulky platform in the truck with all the other light and camera gear we’d need for the shoot and we drove to Cow-town. Unfortunately, once we loaded in our gear and tried out the rotating platform we realized that the Palliser diningroom’s luxuriously thick carpet proved to be kryptonite for our wheels. The test footage was shaky and the spinning inconsistent. Foiled! As a few of us sat around discussing alternate solutions, Craig Newnes offhand (and mostly jokingly) mentioned “If only we had a giant lazy susan!” A hotel server who was bringing in tables overheard and said, “We have a giant lazy susan!” A bunch of crazy rigging and an hour later, we had a workaround: a restaurant lazy susan under a 6 person circular banquet table with a mini plywood fake table screwed on top. The balance was precarious and required careful positioning of sandbags to keep it stable but it worked like a charm! Since the lights and camera were all mounted on one side of the table, we had to run 100ft of power cables and slowly unwind them as the table spun – all the while making sure that any crew stayed on the camera side of the spinning platform. The result is something different and fun that really expresses the feeling of falling head-over-heels in love.
We were extremely blessed to have use of the Palliser Ballroom and an incredible group of professional dancers who just happened to be natural actors. I was also really lucky to have the incredibly talented and resourceful Dave Tomiak who played many roles and worked his butt off in the creation of this video. Enjoy the ride!