In depth blog post with video BTS on new music video “Bitten by the frost” shot on the 1DC

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Olly Knghts and I now go back just over 2 years. Our first music video together was for his band Turin Brakes, and it was called “Ascension Day”. Shot on the Panasonic Af101, it was pretty much a performance video set in a really cool house and cut back and forth. All shot in one day.

On the set of Ascension Day with Olly and Gale

It was a huge pleasure working with him and Gale. After this we kept in touch with plans to do more, but without any new songs, it was hard to do new music videos. Turin Brake released an EP a couple of Christmases ago, and one of the tracks was a haunting cover of the Dick Van Dyke track from Mary Poppins “Chim Chim Cher ree” (you may have heard it used on the FOX Fringe promo) I made a video for it in Amarillo Texas, shooting on the Red Epic, consisting of intimate close-ups of homeless people. The proceeds of all sales went to the people featured in the promo and other homeless charities.

Frame from Chim Chim video
Frame from Chim Chim video

By this time we had become good friends. Whilst chatting over a drink after my London Workshop last year, Olly told me about his solo project. An attempt to re-discover his love and ability to write songs. I said we need to make a documentary of this and of course we did! This documentary and the above mentioned videos can all be seen at the bottom of this post.

To promote the first track to be released off the album which was given away for free, the title track “If not now when”, I shot a few narrative scenes to cut in with the documentary performance part to create a simple but striking music video. This was all done on the hoof, utterly spontaneous. Doing things like that are fun. Just going out and seeing what you can get. This is all fine for a little video made for a friend but not practical or possible if you are working for a client/ label. You can’t just say “let’s make it up!”

The first proper single release from the album is the track “Bitten by the frost”. We first talked about a music video for this back in November when it was yet to be confirmed whether it was going to be released or not. We had some vague conversations about what we could do, but nothing that excited either of us apart from the possibility of shooting on an available RED Epic Monochrome. No idea/ concept though! Then work and other stuff took me away for quite some time, returning early January. By this point the release was confirmed, and Olly wanted us to make the video.

I honestly hadn’t given it much though whilst I was away, but now it was thinking cap time. I had an idea. I went over to Olly and Rachel’s house for a curry and explained it to them…below is the result of that conversation and two behind the scenes videos by intern Jack Daniel Mills. After them I will go into more detail about how the idea came about, the pre-productions, the issues, the shoot and the edit.

Bitten By The Frost from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.


Behind: Bitten by The Frost – Day One from Jack Daniel Mills on Vimeo.

Behind: Bitten by The Frost – Day Two from Jack Daniel Mills on Vimeo.

 You can buy the track and the album by clicking the album cover below


The team!
The team!

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First off this from Olly…

For me “Bitten by the frost” is about what all my songs are about, the current angle on my human condition and maybe in some ways everyone else’s. It’s about the ying\yang of desire and drive fighting it out with the emotional numbness and mundanity of the sheer plod of every day. The video plays on these ideas…

I knew I wanted something that felt a bit Lynchian (is that a word)? I loved lost highway and so many others, those moments that are so close to mundanity yet offer a glimpse of a surreal and darker side.

Phil clearly has a hugely cinematic eye, in fact I think he’d find it hard not to make something look like it belongs to a movie, but with this idea he was really stretching his own directing talents and was very serious about making something more ambitious than before.

I can link back to your previous blog about full on music videos with massive budgets and crews, as for me I didn’t want the lack of big label support to stop me making something special, it was just at my own cost, which as a creative I wanted to do. 

Thoughts about the shoot and of course how it turned out as this of course was a high concept and the way I shot it meant it would either work or fail. No middle ground.  Maybe the foley?

 The shoot itself was actually really quite draining, I never realised how tough just standing still could be, so many set ups and such quiet intensity, plus as usual we had basically no budget at all, which required the usual heroic amounts of energy and invention (not that having a big budget doesn’t require that too, but you might have a little more luxury around)

 I loved working with the small but super talented crew, especially James Miller, who I think is a fantastic artist in his own right and works so well with Phil, also the actress Hannah Franklin who was as cool as a cucumber (but prettier) having been slung straight into the deep end last-minute, she was brilliant!

 We had to rely on friends and family too, my wife Rachel and the wonderful Sarah Estela both went beyond the call of duty to make it happen, the kindness of virtual strangers was also required and as often can happen when approached positively and politely they were more than willing to help out!

 I love the video, I truly do I kind of can’t believe it worked, considering how many things could have cocked it up, the endless locations with little to no control over them? I had to trust Phil implicitly, and he pulled it off…

 The foley being added was a big concern as I wondered what it would do to my song, I reserved judgement until Phil could show me a version and when I saw it the strengths were obvious, it added a new depth and pushed the video more into short film territory which I loved!

 My only question is what next???

1st AC Ryan Prout in the background!

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The idea

I wanted the video to show the mundanity of everyday life that the song plays on. My idea was that his life is so mundane that we are literally passengers in it, and we drift through days with little changing, until the whole thing just becomes an endless cycle.

To show this, I wanted Olly to stay in the frame in the same position in every single shot. Only the background would change and I needed his performance to be quietly intense but without too much expression, as we are going for a mundane life type feel. I also needed real everyday things for him to drift through. Bed, breakfast, tube, work etc. But with a twist being that things go a little differently on one day…

With Olly being in each frame, the sense I wanted to feel was that life was passing him by without even noticing it and especially without moving! He would sing the song, and as he does it his we run through his whole week . To emphasise this, the edits wouldn’t be on line breaks but during words at times creating a really fluid feel as we run through the 7 days.

There were four rules for the concept.

1: Olly was always in shot.

2: Olly was always facing front

3: He never moved his arm but either had it flat to his body or holding something in the same hand in the same position.

4: He never moved in the frame

I broke each of these once deliberately. Number 1 was broken on Sunday when my cat Percy was on the breakfast table, showing that Olly hadn’t got out of bed.  Number 2 was the peeing scene with his back to us. Number 3 was the flowers scene and number 4 was the penultimate shot when he got up to take his wife to bed. Each was done for a very specific reason and only ever broken once.

The video begins and ends on “Monday,” effectively creating a looping video where his week can play out on an endless loop if you have the video on repeat. Essentially, this week could be played back for the next 30 years of his life the way things are!

So a simple idea but with a strong reason behind it. Simple ideas on paper are not always that simple in practice. To make this work, a lot of pre-production work had to be done, breaking the song down and figuring out what his week would be and where he would be at a specific point in the song.

With a no-budget music video, you don’t have the luxury of a location scout or production manager. My main roles were Director, DP and Editor, but I also acted as script supervisor and  production manager. Rachel, Olly’s wife volunteered her mother’s house for bed scenes and the front door scene. My house was the bathroom, kitchen and TV location. Olly and Rachel’s local pub was the Cinema, Exotic Dancing place, Men’s room, Coffee shop, Restaurant and of course pub. This location was hugely helpful as it gave us 6 locations in one. Huge thanks to the Gorringe Park Pub for their generous help!  After all, we actually needed a fair few locations and a number of variations of shots at each location. For example, I needed 9 shots on the tube, not 8 not 10, 9!  Our locations needed were:

Bedroom, Bathroom, Fridge, Breakfast room, Tube, Office, Dinner table, TV lounge, Park Bench, Pub, Men’s room,  Exotic dancing place, Street, Doorway, Restaurant, Cinema, Bus stop, High Street, Coffee Shop and toilet.

Everything was completely mapped out. Completely. It had to be. I couldn’t get Olly to perform the song in each place and then decide in the edit what I was going to do. I had to know when and where each line would be sung exactly. In total we actually had around 68 shots. I actually dropped 4 shots in the end. Due to one technical issue, an incorrect shirt on the wrong day, and a couple as they were not needed.

Orginally it was to be Olly’s wife as an out of focus wife never fully appearing, then I decided late in the day that I had to have a proper leading lady. I had a huge response even though it was not a paid gig from many actors and agents…we were lucky enough to get Hannah Franklin. She was amazing. Perfect for the role, beautiful without being utterly out of Olly’s league ;), patient and gave a terrific performance in what is a very understated part. I cannot recommend her enough. You can reach her through here  her agent below

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Jack Daniel Mills filming BTS in my kitchen
Jack Daniel Mills filming BTS in my kitchen

I didn’t do a storyboard as I felt it was unnecessary, as Olly was in the same position each time, but what I did do was break down the song into time, lyrics and what shot goes where – number each one. You can see a rather mashed up page of my breakdown below. Click on it to see it more clearly.

BBTF shot list for blog
Click on image to see it bigger

Each day was assigned a letter and each shot a number for that day. For example on day one there were shots A1 to A13 as there were more shots on the first day to establish the concept, but on day two and three there were just 7 shots each day. The two most mundane days.

Olly was to sing a particular part of the song on each shot with each shot averaging about 2 seconds in length, sometimes longer, sometimes a little shorter…To give myself a little bit of flexibility and for Olly to lip sync easier, he sung a line before and a line after, and we did roughly 3 takes of each. This meant we were able to be fast. As mentioned above, doing the whole song would have taken too long and been a waste of time. This was scripted and it needed to be followed. If I hadn’t done this, it wouldn’t have worked. Apart from my bit of a buffer, I gave myself absolutely no get out of jail free shots. I needed to have confidence in it working, only with that confidence could it work. Scary! Yes reshoots could always be done, but nobody wants that. The only get out of jail I could have done was to shoot Olly looking at camera in each place and not have him lip sync whenever a lyric came on. Not ideal and not what I wanted in this video.

Hopefully the right shirt for the day! Hard to keep track!
Hopefully the right shirt for the day! Hard to keep track!

Before we filmed it. Myself, Olly, Rachel and my top man James Miller, who was going to operate, came over to test a few things – in particular how wide/ tight the shot should be. Too tight and we wouldn’t see what was going on around him. Too wide and we wouldn’t see enough of Olly. In the end, we settled on a framing and to keep it around 10% wider than we wanted in case of mis aligning of the shot. Shooting in 4K on the 1DC gave us the ability to easily re-frame, but I still wanted to master in 4K so I didn’t want to lose too much. In the end it averaged to about 4% of reframing.

James put some film over the 5,6″ TV Logic monitor and traced round Olly standing up as our base framing, including where he would be. This would be our rough guide. Again, this could be tweaked in post.

The TV logic monitor with trace of Olly around it.
The TV logic monitor with trace of Olly around it.

Although we had mostly solid locations, some were not. The tube would have to be guerrilla. We also had no office.  The public places were also always going to be risky. I tried to remove as many risks as I could to make it as smooth as possible. Nobody wants stress on any shoots, especially really complex ones like this.

We did eventually find an office. Rachel and Sarah went out hunting about 4pm in Tooting on our 2nd/ day and found somewhere, thankfully! The tube was done by ditching the Miller sticks, taking my lightweight Gitzo and starting at the beginning of the line, using our crew as extras, and when it got too busy went back to the start of the line and carried on! We had to shoot this all on a tripod or it simply wouldn’t work!

So although there were a few variables and chances of things going wrong, I was utterly confident it would work.

Our lovely actress Hannah Franklin with her fetching black wig!


Anally getting those glasses lined up


Cameo from Turin Brakes’ Gale Paridjanian


Clearly showing Hannah how to move properly! 🙂


James “Popeye” Miller with my Miller DS20 Solo 3 stage nice and high!


Hannah was brilliant!


Losing my directing position to Ruby Knights!


The opening bed scene I junked to go for flat down like the rest of the video


Cheating the bed scene..yes I know it looks really big on camera! That’s the problem with the wider shot!


Some of the gear!


Bert took a shine to Jack! All three of my cats appear. Percy clearly on the kitchen table. Bert briefly on Hannah’s lap early on and Noodle in almost every TV scene!

P1000800 P1000857

Everything was lit artificially apart from the tube, the mens room, the pub and the street scenes. They were all available light. I used 2 x Litepanel 1x1s and 2 x Dedo 150 watts. The TV scene was lit mostly by the TV (a music channel gave us enough change of light). We kept the ISO to around 640 on the 1DC for the most part. The morning bed scenes were all lit at nighttime to simulate day, and the lighting of the restaurant scene was lit to match the dinner at home lighting.

The joy of the 1DC is of course the 4K, but it’s also small. Putting it in the fridge was no problem. Keeping it solid was my V-Bag and we viewed remotely with the HDMI transmitter the terrific Paralinx arrow.


In my fridge with the V-Bag
In my fridge with the V-Bag


We also used a Miller DS20 tripod which was great for getting really high and low and nice and lightweight.

Most of this was shot on the 24-70 Canon L series V2, the Samyang 24mm F1.4 and the Canon 50mm F1.4. I used a Helipoan Vari ND filter for outside.

I used a Zacuto rig to mount the TV-Logic monitor.

Cards were the Komputerbay 128gb 1000x

If you want to support my blog please consider buying any gear through my affiliate links like Amazon below and if you fancy a 1DC B&H below. it all help keeps my site running! Thanks!

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Although I had enough cards for the shoot easily, I always put the card straight into the NEXTO DI to give me a simple backup quickly in the field. I DO NOT reuse the card. I offload at the end of the day. This is a simple confidence backup. I now have the newer NEXTO DI air. I like it for its wifi abilities and it has a 500GB SSD rather than the old 750GB so it’s more reliable for me (not that the other one ever gave me grief) and it’s also much faster.

The edit was pretty quick to be honest. I converted all the rushes to ProRes LT 2K using MPEG streamclip and cut it in Premiere. The 2K version is the one you can see above. For the 4K version, I simply changed the name of the folder with the ProRes in and then created a new 4k sequence and relinked all the shots to the MJPEG originals and rendered out as MJPEG original in media encoder. Easy!

I graded it with a mixture of Magic Bullet Colorista II for colour correction (20% off with code bloom20 at checkout at but mainly in Photoshop of all places, with a LUT wash of two layers once the colour correction had been done. I am trying to add filmconvert at the moment but having issues with the watermark even though I bought it!

All the audio apart from the fridge opening was done in post. I didn’t re-record anything. I just took sounds I had or stuff from and created audio for the shots. I wanted this as it added an extra layer/ dimension and made it feel like a short film/ music video cross over. Thankfully, Olly agreed as it took me A LOT of time to do the foley.

Hopefully you enjoyed the video. I am sure I have missed out loads, but any questions ask away below!!

Don’t forget to buy the single/ album! 🙂

I will soon be making a 4k version available via It will have to be heavily compressed I’m afraid as the original is 22gb. Please download the 2k version from Vimeo for optimum viewing! 🙂

Here is a link to the download of the 4K version….heavily compressed of course!! Download here!


Turin Brakes: Ascension Day from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Turin Brakes: Chim Chim Che-ree. RED Epic from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

If not now when: The documentary from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Olly Knights: If not now when from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.


  1. Lovely work Phil, so simple but yet so complex and deep… Love it! I have one question regarding the Heliopan vari ND.. I also use a Heliopan var ND but too often I get nasty green reflections when shooting outdoors! Have you ever had the same bad experience?

    Keep up the good work, love your blog!

  2. Hey Philip,

    First of this music video is amazing!! Not only is the cinematography stunning but the tempo of the edit feels perfect with Olly’s song. I am always very inspired by your work! I had a question about your video being in widescreen. Is that something you add in your edit in premiere? Or is that added on the export by doing a 16:9 export? Thank you so much for all you do! If you ever come around San Francisco you have to let me buy you a beer.

    Nathaniel K

  3. Really great work, love the simplicity of it. Looks like it was a lot of fun to shoot. What did you use to create the projector lighting, a projector?

  4. Always enjoy and learn things from your posts – Thanks – I’d be curious to hear what your thoughts are on Film Convert.
    Have you used Rgrain? Thanks for taking the time to share…really appreciate it.

  5. This video has such a strong sense of style. Really great stuff. I’ve seen lots of your stuff. This might just be my favourite. You seem to be becoming more and more of a director (not to negate your skill and style as a DP). Keep them coming 🙂 (Tell Olly to keep writing)

    1. Loved it!. Great interpretation of the lyrics. One question, with the 1DC, do you still need to do dual sound, or do you feed audio into the camera? Get some sleep, you really deserve it!

  6. Hey Phil, thanks for sharing as usual and taking the time to explain your various choices.

    I have a question for you regarding your workflow. I noticed that on most of your shoots whether it’s the 1D-C, the C300 or the Epic, you tend to work very light with minimal gear (No matte boxes, no large shoulder rigs, no crazy battery setups with counterweights, etc…..

    I tend to work the same way as I like to work light and fast (I own an FS700). I’m finally at the point where I am shooting legit DP gigs for network channels (the lower budget gigs, but still, it’s pretty cool for me). I almost feel this strange need (or insecurity) to trick out my camera a little bit more, such as adding a Matte Box (for studio / sound stage stuff only) – which I feel is one of the most useless pieces of equipment for such a large weight penalty (The FS700 has built in NDs). Flares are pretty easy to kill with a simple lens hood or a Dinkum Flag. But producers are producers and they like to see big, bloated cameras.

    What is your opinion on stuff like Matte Boxes? Do you feel that the huge weight / work flow penalty is worth it for some flare protection? Or do you prefer to work more striped down so you can just get stuff done faster? Does your setup change a lot for your run and gun stuff vs. more studio type work?

    Thanks for any advice.

  7. Philip, I haven’t got a good sense on what you think about the 1dc even after reading all your reviews and stuff on it.

    From 1-10, what do you think of the camera overall?

    Do you think it gives a more filmic image than the c300? If you had to shoot a short indie film with one or the other, which would you choose?

    Lovely video btw, keep up the great work! From all your fans here in the US.

  8. Hey Philip, great blog post. I was just curious, you mentioned you created your rushes using MPEG Streamclip. Why not use Adobe Media Encoder since you are cutting in Premiere? Does MPEG Streamclip do a better job of transcoding? Again great job. I think that it’s awesome you share your workflow.

    1. hi charles!

      i was only converted so i could edit it, proxies essentially. Everything was then relinked to the original MJOEG files so it’s irrelevant which software you use to convert. Does that make senses?

      1. Absolutely. Thanks for responding! I was more or less just curious if you had a preference to either one and why you chose MPEG Streamclip. Does it transcode faster? I use both, but never really thought about using MPEG for a batch transcode. But as you said, if you’re just making the clips for an offline then it doesn’t matter what you use. Thanks again for sharing your workflow and taking the time to respond!

  9. Highly artistic work. From pre to post, thanks for sharing all of the steps. This is simply invaluable and I have enjoyed watching. The simplicity is the genius as it’s tempting to include slow-mo or fast ramps in concepts like this. I really enjoyed watching and thanks once again. The part where the light was changing really worked; I loved it as normally this has a tendency of looking like inconsistencies in other narrative work but it worked perfectly in this video (given the concept) and the wash of colors from the TV was just brilliant!

  10. Great work!

    (Lynchian’s definitely a word – I recommend David Foster Wallace’s BTS essay for Lost Highway. He dedicates a lot of pages trying to get to the bottom of what “Lynchian” means.)

  11. Hi Philip, Wonderful work!!

    I am thinking about getting this camera but I am still not very clear about the post workflow when you mentioned above: “I converted all the rushes to ProRes LT 2K using MPEG streamclip”. I downloaded the MPEG Streamclip for Windows, and couldn’t find any conversion option for ProRes LT 2K as you said. Is ProRes the Quicktime format in MPEG streamclip? I only see in Export to Quicktime the 2880×2160 (4:3) which is closest to a 2K. But I know it’s supposed to be ARRIRAW version. This seems to be the only hurdle for me to get the camera since I would like to do what you did.

    I highly appreciate it if you could drop a few lines to enlighten me. Thanks a lot.

      1. At the end of your post it says, “Most of this was shot on the 24-70 Canon L series V2, the Samyang 24mm F1.4 and the Canon 50mm F1.4.”

        So I was asking why you would use the Canon 50mm f/1.4 over the Canon 50mm f/1.2L. But looking back at the pictures it looks like you were using the Canon 50 f/1.2L in which case I’m guessing you saying 1.4 was a typo.

  12. Phillip-
    Just AWEsome. The vid, info and your work. I cannot thank you enough for how amazingly helpful you are to the community at large.
    A question:
    I don’t understand this: “For the 4K version, I simply changed the name of the folder with the ProRes in and then created a new 4k sequence and relinked all the shots to the MJPEG originals and rendered out as MJPEG original in media encoder.”

    Why would you render back out the final as” MJPEG original”?
    Why not render 4k out as 4k in a different format for net?


    1. Thanks very much

      Why render out to mjpeg at the end? It’s the original format for maintaining the quality. Rendering out the final version just for the web makes no sense. Converting for the web from a super high quality master is the way to go. After all I had a 4K DCP made of this for 4k projection. You need your master copy of anything you no matter what it’s final distraction is to be super high quality. Hope that makes sense!

  13. Very nice. This piece is more than just an average music video, it really adds story to the song.

    When there’s many other options, was the lens choice a practical more than aesthetic choice? Seems you mostly used the Canon 24-70?

  14. I think this is one of the best videos you have made. The 4k isn’t viewable on my PC. The regular vimeo video in HD isn’t viewable on a Boxee media player ( I hope this gets fixed so I can see 1DC footage on the TV. Is there more shadow detail in the 4k compared to the 2k and Vimeo HD or is that a grading choice you made. Knowing you were working with limited resources, what are your thoughts on the slight shifts in his placement between cuts versus having used a method where the size and position of his body is seamless from shot to shot? Do you think this would have strengthened the narrative or did you see the shifts working in a different way and adding something of their own? What made you decide to shoot him at an angle in the tube instead of keeping those shots square like the rest of the video?

  15. Excellent foley Philip — i can see it would have taken ages, but it was well worth it as it adds another dimension to the song. By timing it so well with he music that you’ve added extra rhythm and drama in many places. Kudos to Olly for going along with the idea — must have been hard at first to think of sounds being put on top of a song he’d crafted.

    I would be interested to know the symbolism of the stripper and the wife in Bitten by the Frost. Are they one and the same person, with the stripper being an imagined, sexier version of the wife?

    Olly and Philip – I think you’re doing great work together, from Ascension Day to If Not Now Then When and now this. A real bittersweet vibe running through the last two films, with the images perfectly reflecting the mood of the music and the lyrics.

    I wish you every success with your future collaborations and look forward to seeing what you come up with next.

  16. Philip, if I have roughly $15,000 to spend on a camera body… would you recommend the 1DC, Scarlet or C-300?

    Seems that the 1DC is the best bang for the buck… But I wanted your opinion since you’ve worked extensively with each. Or… maybe there’s another option I’m not considering.

    Currently, I shoot 5D mkiii… and while I still love the results with the camera, I’m a bit fed up with the limitations in post.

    I’m also tempted by the blackmagic cam w Davinci Resolve… But I’m not a fan of not having an option to shoot overcranked footage.

    Any input will help. 🙂

  17. Based on all your LOVELY hard work, I’m planning on renting a 1DC for a short I’m shooting. Knowing that I’m only intending on a 1920 by 1080 finish, which approach (using Premiere) makes the most sense and will give me the best quality. I’ll make this easy – you only have to punch one number in your reply! Thanks in advance:

    1. Shoot 4K, transcode ProRes 1920 by 1080, edit and finish.
    2. Shoot 4K, transcode ProRes 4K, edit 4K, output 1920 by 1080 via Media Encoder.
    3. Shoot 4K, transcode ProRes 4K, edit 1920 by 1080, using auto scale and resize (output using maximum render?)
    4. Shoot 4k, transcode ProRes 4K, edit 1920 by 1080, manually resize (output using maximum render?)
    5. Screw it, simply shoot S35 and be done with it!
    6. Something else, I have no idea what I’m talking about!
    PS – Compressor 4 seems to do a lovely job creating the ProRes files (I tried using your generously provided 4K clip from Brighton Pier). Why all the talk everywhere about mpeg Streamclip?
    Thanks again.

  18. Brilliant music (I’ve seen Turin Brakes live myself and they are great), brilliant film making, amazing behind the scenes write-up and videos. Philip (and team) what you do is extremely helpful, I really do appreciate the time you put in to sharing your work and experiences. This blog/post in particular has been of great value to me. Although I’m fully booked with jobs for many weeks to come, your work inspires me to improve constantly. Do you ever sleep? 🙂 Thank you.

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