Sep 15, 2013

Director: Prad Senanayake





Director: Prad Senanayake
Artist: Jinja Safari
Video: Dozer

How were you approached for the job?

Conrad Lloyd and Josh Kellet from Universal got in touch and asked me to submit a pitch. 


What inspired you on your idea for the video?

I started off wanting to work with the whole concept of relaxation, and all the strange and absurd things that people do in order to achieve it. 
This led me to research new age groups of the 1970's and their bizarre combinations of science, spirituality and psychology that they had going on back then. Naturally, this led me to invent my own weird little sect. 



When doing your research, were there any sects that stood out?

There were a few. The Raelian's: who are big into their UFO's and study things like human cloning and 'Sensual Meditation'. There was also a book published in the 70's called 'The Secret Life Of Plants' which had all sorts of strange psudeo-scientific spiritual stuff in it, such people connecting electrodes to ferns and communicating with them. 


What was the budget?

Is it ok to omit this question? Only reason why, is that this was a passion project for me, budget was pretty average but I liked the song so I pulled a bunch of favours to get it done. 


Tell us about the production process?

We started with the concept of 4 distinct scenes going on in the commune, including a fake band performance. Using this as our foundation, I worked closely with the DP and Art Director too bring each area it to life in it's own way. 


What were the limitations you faced with the production?

The biggest was location. We had to find one that really had character. To me mid century modernist design seemed a perfect fit for the story.
We went everywhere and even put callouts on architecture blogs. At the 11th hour we found the Boyd Baker Residence tucked away in country Victoria. It ended up perfect, from the colour pallet to the authentic furniture. 


Were the owners of the house open about the shoot?

They were totally fine. I think a family trust owns it. They found what we were doing quite fascinating.


What was the turnaround?
 
From memory 2-3 weeks


How long was the actual location shoot?

It was a one day shoot on location.


Who were your key collaborators?

I frequently collaborate with the same people. I got my regular DP/Drinking buddy Liam Gilmour on board, and between us we developed a measured and considered shooting style for the day. I also worked closely with the art department/stylist Christina Remnant, which was fun because we got to pretty much invent a cult between us.  


Have you worked with any of them before?

I work with Liam on most of my videos when he is available. Only worked once before with Christina. 


What did you shoot on? What lenses did you use?

Arri Alexa with vintage Pancros. 


Tell us about the casting? Where did you find everyone?

Casting was mainly done by digging through people that had already applied for other jobs that were not cast but I always wanted to use for a project. 
I always keep a bank of interesting 'faces' on file for jobs like this. 


How did you get everyone in character?

I burned some Nag Champa and gave them individual massages. No, in actuality as soon as they got on their costumes and had a few run throughs, they got into the vibe pretty easily. I got the 'leader' of the band to study the mannerisms of Eastern celebrity holy men from the 60's and 70's, like the Maharishi Yogi.


Do you feel that the client understands the production process? How involved were the band and label?

The brief from the band and label went something like: "This kinda reminds us of a pool party before Coechella full of hot girls...sorta" that was about it.
So you could say it was pretty open! I  I had free reign to let my ideas go wild. 
I think the label and band had only 2 small changes to the edit and we were good to go. 


If you had a chance to approach it again, what would you do differently?

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Lately I’ve been trying to boil down my ideas to express them as concisely as possible with no fat. 
Which is tough because I am maximal by nature. 


You can see Prad's other work at his website.











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