Shooting In A Pandemic? No Problem!

 

Thinking on our feet. Thanks the key to the whole “End Of A Love Affair” video.  Let me explain. 

It was our most complicated shoot, and expectations were high being the 4th Video from the chart topping “Vegas Breeze” album and after such acclaim for the When In Rome video, (which we shot in Rome itself), we knew we had to get it just right! 

And all this in the middle of a pandemic? Luckily we had already shot extensive footage at the legendary Toronto after hours Club 120  in Feb just before the first shut down… It was an extravagant affair, featuring my band onstage (Michael Shand, Russ Boswell & William Sperandei) and an invited “audience” of 11 friends and family to be create at the sophisticated atmosphere where our leading lady arrives at a Jazz Club and we begin the “Affair” in question! :)

A moment to introduce the singular powerhouse Laura Desiree. An internationally beloved Burlesque entertainer who day job is anchoring “The Naked News”, you may recall Laura as one of the classic showgirls from our “Thats Life” video! Laura and I have been kindred spirits for a while but during the rehearsals and shooting of this video we really found our groove as creative soul mates!  I cannot thank her enough for how much she has contributed to this “Love Affair”! 

 

The next member of the creative team you should meet is the wonderful Choreographer/Director Dayna Tekatch who is the resident Director of  “Come From Away”. Dayna choreographed the latin dance sequence in the video, rehearsing Laura and myself as we sweated to get it just right upstairs in the Mirvish Studio’s on King Street in downtown Toronto. Dayna understood exactly what was needed to tell the emotional story and just how to teach the details to Laura and took time away from her busy schedule to coach us on our 2nd night of shooting at the Club 120.  My Co-Producer Leonardo Dell’Anno and our director Carlos Coronado strung the pretty lights and manned the fog machine while Laura and I worked hard to bring the choreography to life and not slip on the wet floor! 

 All told we had two nights of filming  in the can when the 1st lockdown ground us to a halt! But it gave us time to sit and think. When all was said and done we had some hard decisions to make. The Dance sequence looked & felt great. Dayna’s choreography really told the story of the “Love Affair”.  However the performance footage from the “Jazz Club” sequence had turned out just “ok” and we knew that the visual images had to match the lush musical arrangement of the track.

Over the long pandemic summer I kept trying to solve the problem in my head, eventually landing on a change in narrative direction and creating a whole new shoot to capture the performance sequence you now see (in the white jacket and bow tie). We dropped most of the “Jazz Club” sequence and planned to have me performing in a giant imaginary Vegas Showroom filled with the disappointment of an affair gone wrong… tortured by images of Laura floating in my head. How romantic ..and how the hell to pull that off?

 

Come the opening of restrictions in the fall, we were able to bring in award-winning Theatre, Film and Concert Lighting Designer Kimberly Purtell to help create the imaginary Vegas Showroom for the new performance footage.   Of course we had to wait until the first “lockdown” was over before gathering cast and crew but with no live theatre it meant the legendary alternative theatre venue The Theatre Centre would be available for us to shoot in!  I started my career acting and writing music for many of the companies  at The Theatre Centre  right after graduating high school so it was especially sweet to be able to shoot there! And as soon as magic makeup lady Lorna Thibodeau and hair wizard William Hume came on board I knew we were ready to make some real magic happen! 

For our final shots we used the stage door of the legendary Elgin/ Wintergarden Theatre with Dundas Square standing in for the lights of Sin City as our singer walks away haunted by his romantic memories. 

Im proud to have co-produced our most intricate and complicated video shoot to date, (…with 6 locations & over 7 shooting days!) and must thank each of my team and everyone of you from the bottom of my heart for having supported this video. We're feeling deeply blessed and very grateful for the response!

Shooting in a Pandemic? No Problem! :)

 

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