The Humble Mocha Music Promo
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Music promos – over the years they’ve been an ever-present in Mocha‘s output – or at least the next one has never been too far away.
Not always the most commercially viable of projects, the humble music video has nevertheless been a close friend of ours for the last 14 years.
A recent search of the old external hard drive cupboard uncovered a few early ‘gems’ from Mocha’s early days including a spaghetti western studio all-nighter with Wiganers, Moco (Baby When You Die), puppetry hi jinks with Blackpool’s Jack Cooper (Turn The Light Off) a british legion jam session with Half Cousin (The Diary Fire) animated espionage post production fun with LNM Projekt and Bonnie Bailey (Everywhere) a beer crate tour of old Manchester haunts with I Am Kloot (Over My Shoulder) sci fi special effects on Route 1 ft Jenny Frost (Crash Landing) pure comic book hilarity with Bermondsey boys Fierce Girl (What Makes A Girl Fierce) and more all-night studio shenanigans with a film-noir’d Moco (Early Liz Hurley)
Ah memories! Not all pleasant.
But this eclectic mix represents some of Mocha’s early forays into the world of music video production. A world of shoestring budgets, DIY set builds, all night studio shoots, playback nightmares, marathon edits and late night MTV airings.
The music video market is one of the most highly competitive around. It’s where many new-comers to production cut their teeth. It’s where many directors and DOPs make a name for themselves. And sadly it’s where many production companies disappear.
But despite the commercial fragility of the music promo world, and a few years away from it to grow our agency’s commercial portfolio, there has always been a fondness at Mocha for the music video format – and in recent years we’ve gone back for more – this time in glorious HD.
I Am Kloot re-approached us in 2010 to produce the promo for their single Northern Skies. An open brief and the promise of a guest appearance from Mocha’s favourite Doctor, Christopher Ecclestone, led to a narrative-driven video and a shoot culminating in cast and crew litter-picking on a North Wales cliff edge.
In 2012, we were asked to provide a production solution for Newton Faulkner’s new single. A collaborative project, Mocha recce’d and negotiated the Merseyside locations and were a major production partner with Crewroom in Manchester and Park Village in London for the tilt and shift loveliness that is the Luke Losey directed Clouds.
Next up, we were set the task of sourcing a unique location for the shooting of a series of three promos for Northumberland folk group The Unthanks. Two intense weeks of urban exploration later, and we were shooting Ship Building, Great Northern River and Black Trade with directing duo GeorgeLucas, producer Mikey Levelle and an upright piano in a crumbling derelict mansion in Lancashire.
And then bringing us up to date, late in 2013 two of our old Moco friends, now part of Wigan 6-piece The Shookups recently asked us to rekindle our love affair with all-night studio shoots for slow-mo tastic Been On My Feet All Day.
Music and video have always, and will always be, close bedfellows. And the music video format is one which has been an important factor in the development of our business over the years. It has taught us huge production lessons – in budgeting, scheduling, locations, art direction, creative vision, overtime, and much more besides.
Bring on the next one…