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Returning to "The Drummer's Prayer," pt. 1

This song, which I consider my best release to date, is getting a music video, and its first filming day is 24 February 2023! Ahead of filming, this post covers the storyboard and concept artwork I drew.

A drawing of me playing drums, view from above
A hypothetical storyboard image I drew.

I know I've written at length about The Drummer's Prayer in two separate posts; these covered the process of making the track, as well as the feelings that went into that track. Translating these feelings and intentions into visuals is tricky, especially considering that we have a finite amount of space to play with -- filming is intended to be carried out at Soundskills. Given the amount of props, poses, and shots I have covered in the images in this post, this will require more than one filming day.

The recording of the drum kit will need to be done in another, separate session -- and it is worth mentioning that the Soundskills drum kit is the same one I use for my session work and recordings. It is currently damaged -- weather damage to the building caused damage to it -- and it in the process of being maintained and reskinned.

Today, I would like to talk about a selection of these images. The full list of them can be viewed on Newgrounds; I am in the process of slowly releasing them on both my Twitter and Cohost pages.

A drawing of a foot striking the bass drum pedal
This is merely hypothetical at this point, but I spoke to our lead filmographer and asked if a "drum cam" would be possible -- view from above, from another angle, and especially from close to the bass pedal.

A drawing of a girl reading some signs
I drew some A5 signs with symbols on them; this is a shot that I believe should feature in the video, where I read and meditate on one sign above all the others.

A drawing, with explanatory text, of a dance I plan to do with one of my drums.
Fun fact, a slowed-down version of this shot, where I held a headless tambourine, featured towards the end of Mio/Homura, my first full music video, which was filmed and released in 2017. I figured it would be nice to include it here again.

A drawing of LED bulbs encased in balloons
This is one of the lighting options I considered for the set of The Drummer's Prayer. This video relies on the art of building set pieces, and the general notion we are going with is "small lights in the darkness."

A concept drawing of the set piece for the video of The Drummer's Prayer. Here, my hands are folded, my hair is blown by the wind, I am lit by the front. I am wearing dangling star earrings, a blue jacket with gold stars on it, a moon pin badge, a white shirt, shorts with a belt on, and a crucifix. Some props I plan to use are in the background: some star lamps, string lights, and those A5 signs I drew.
This was not intended to be a storyboard image; rather, I drew this to give the filmographers the general look and feel of the set piece. Some of the props are things I own or that I have bought for the video; others, like the giant star lamps, are things that Soundskills owns. In the background, those A5 signs I referenced earlier can be faintly seen.

The video ultimately took on the colour scheme of blue, yellow, white, and black, because our film crew were aiming for a cooler colour scheme than the previous music video recorded at Soundskills, which was At the Ends of the Earth. That video also relied on building set pieces, so we have some experience with this for the upcoming video.

Full disclosure: this video, At the Ends of the Earth, and Mio/Homura were filmed by the crew from Soundskills, through the Alison Project. If I understand correctly, the Alison Project receive council funding (though, I currently do not know if it is from Preston City Council, or Lancashire County Council, or both) to undertake creative projects for those in the community of Brookfield and in the greater area of Preston, and especially for those who do not have the means to fund such projects.

When Mio/Homura and At the Ends of the Earth were filmed, I was still an asylum seeker, forbidden from taking employment, and therefore I had no means of income. The Alison Project gave me the means of expressing at least two of my songs visually. I planned these videos together with the film crew; from these planning sessions, I gained the confidence to storyboard my own videos. As my skill for drawing grew, so did my confidence. I am now able to work, and able to pay for at least some of the things that are going into this video, but I don't think I'm able to fully fund a project like this just yet.

I am now in the headspace of preparing for the music video for The Drummer's Prayer. I have been in that headspace ever since we agreed upon the first filming date. The first filming session, at least, is going to be an hours-long affair. I am keeping both a text checklist and a mental checklist of the props I need, the makeup to gather and bring with me, the instruments I need to bring with me... it is going to be exhausting perhaps, but certainly fun. I look forward to it, and I hope you all do too.

I hope to get some behind-the-scenes footage or photographs for the next post that I write about this. I feel it would be nice to share and demystify the process. No guarantees on that one, but I'll certainly try!

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