Craig Ward got in touch earlier this week to show me his first music video for Ryan Teague's new track, Cascades. He explains the fascinating process behind the video (to accompany the behind the scenes images and video):
4 months in development and shot over 4 days in a basement in Pennsylvania I teamed up with Linden Gledhill (a bio-chemist cum macro photography enthusiast) and Jason Tozer (a kinetic still life photographer who I worked with on the You Blow Me Away series) to capture footage we're proud to say has never before observed outside of niche academia...
The dancing, contorting trees you see at the beginning of the video are ice structures - most no more than a fraction of a millimetre across - which were grown on the tip of an electrically charged, motorised needle. The individual fronds follow the paths of electromagnetic field lines generated by the charge of 2000 Volts coursing into the needle. When the trees became heavy enough for gravity to take its toll, they would begin to grow downward, bending and twisting as they went, to eventually meet with fronds of frost that had grown upwards from a chilled metal base along the very same field lines.
These extreme macro sequences were shot using a Hasselblad with two lenses (one macro and one magnifier) connected by two sets of billows and a digital back which allowed us to capture images less than 3cm wide at 9000 pixels in size. So, while we in fact only generated 7 minutes of footage over the course of 4 days of continuous shooting, each shot contained effectively 12 screens of information (at 1920 x 1080HD) and we were able to use each sequence in different ways, cropping in, following the random crystal growth as if we were able to predict and track it.The rotating structure you see throughout the film is in fact a superfine glass capillary attached to a motor. While the tree structures grew relatively quickly, the spindle shots would take in the region of 6 or 7 hours each (making just one or two rotations in that time) and would mostly be left overnight with a Canon 5D firing every 30 seconds.
A beautiful directorial debut I'm sure you'll agree.