Friday, January 28, 2011

Get To Know Derek Woods!

Did you enjoy Christopher Dallman's brand new "Gimme More" music video which was released earlier this week?

All that filming and visual ideas is in no small way due to the skills and imagination of director Derek Woods.

CDC got in touch with Derek, who was more than happy to do a short interview with us!

CDC: For those who are not yet familiar with you, how did you get into film production?
Derek: The thought of wanting to make movies never even occurred to me until almost the end of my last year of high school. I was doing photography ALL the time, and then a teacher asked if I thought I could make a film to go with a video lecture the school wanted to try experimenting with. The idea kind of struck me like one of those cheesy "AH HA" moments where a cartoon light bulb pops up over your head. For me it was a really interesting synthesis of photography and literature; which have been the largest passions in my life.

CDC: How did you get to know Christopher Dallman?
Derek: I actually was brought into contact with the fantastic Mr. Dallman about 9 months ago through my manager. They have a mutual friend and so we were brought together through him. I got a call one night and my manager said "now don't hang up on me, but how would you feel about doing a music video for a Britney Spears song?"

I laughed a bit, and then found Chris's song, expecting to listen to the song and just not be for me at all. But I listened anyway and I immediately started seeing how the video would look. I listened to the song about 20 times in a row and right there wrote out the whole treatment of how I hoped it would look.

Met Chris, loved him, and then we were in business. His version of the song is just so damn awesome, that it was one of those opportunities I couldn't pass up.

CDC: Could you share with us how the visual idea for the video came about? What made you choose the location, setting, the editing style, etc?
Derek: The idea just came from the song really. The song is a very simple build, starting mellow with one voice, one guitar and then building to a fantastic crescendo. I am a total sucker for that kind of build and emotional rise, so I felt the best way to give Chris "More" was to have the video actually construct itself as it went on. More instruments. More frames. More cuts. You get the idea.

CDC: Was there any aspect of the filming the video that was particularly challenging?
Derek: Actually, it was probably the smoothest, easiest shoot I've ever done. The most challenging part I'd say was to get the overhead piano shot. We just had to build a quick little rig out of some C-Stands and a tripod. (see the behind the scenes pic above)

The real challenge of the video was animating all the frames, and getting a smooth interesting feel to that movement. It was one of those ideas that I saw in my head, but really wasn't sure how to make it happen, until my friend Jon Wilson took the editing into After Effects and did his magic.

CDC: Tell us more about Propaganda Films.
Derek: It is the production company I created under which I make my films. It is primarily intended for narrative films - the first of which was "Making a Killing" and then the second "Suppressant".

CDC: Do you have any other projects, things going on in the pipeline that you want to share with us?
Derek: Yes actually. Christin Mizelle, who produced the "Gimme More" video, as well as everything I do really, and I are putting together a feature film slated to shoot this year as well as a couple of other music videos.

Therrreeeee's Derek Woods for ya!

You can scope out more info about Derek through his websites:
- Official website with director's reel
- Vimeo

CDC has also managed to get Christopher's input about the "Gimme More" music video. Just hang in there and look out for the next blog post!

While you wait, enjoy the "Gimme More" music video *AGAIN* on the lovely new splash page of Christopher's official website. Thanks to webmeister, Sean Akers!


Credit: Special thanks to Derek Woods for both the pics used in this blog.

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