Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always had some sort of visual pop into my head when I heard a song. Whether it was a picture, a music video, or a film. After the thrill and excitement of the last project Sean and I did, we decided to attack another video concept.
Billie Eilish has since completely blown up but I remember hearing this Ocean Eyes remix by Astronomyy for the first time. I remember it being riddled with so many visuals for me. From color, to people, to imagery.
I know everyone has their own stance about Billie Eilish but despite this, her beautiful voice and melodic tones can’t be argued. This coupled with the effects, musicality, and instrumentation of Astronomyy was a match made in paradise.
Moving into the summer of 2018 I knew that this was an idea I wanted to bring to life. And if the last project was something I needed help on then this would definitely be no exception. Once again, I enlisted the help of the creative genius himself, Sean Burns. He was game after our last collaboration to enact operation Burns x Harris part two.
This time the location was very specific. I knew there had to be some sort of water because I envisioned someone falling into a pool. When I envisioned it, the water wasn’t vast but intimate so I knew it had to be a pool vs an ocean or lake. That really narrowed down what we were looking for. Thankfully, Sean’s parents have a pool at their house which was some definite favor. That way we could have flexibility when it came to shooting, timeframes, and schedules.
For casting, the only thing I knew was I wanted a girl with blue eyes to really bring out the imagery in the song… Ocean Eyes. Now I could’ve searched my entire followers list on Instagram or my friends list on Facebook looking for females I knew with blue eyes. But I ended up hitting the jackpot with a good friend, who has blue eyes, and happens to model so I knew she would be good on camera, Gabbie DeAngelis.
One of the many things Sean brought to this project was this idea of a story. He wanted this to be beyond visuals but to communicate something even without words. That story being the idea of a girl being really into a guy but him not really feeling the same. So that presented the need for a male. Fortunately Gabbie is in relationship with a guy who happens to be pretty photogenic so it was easy to cast Edwin Garcia.
Originally Sean also envisioned there being a scene with a pool party but that didn’t quite work out because we didn’t get a big enough response in time. But shout out to Kyle for being down.
Once again, this being more of a visual project, there weren’t scripts. I had the visuals of the girl, a close up of her eyes, her falling into the pool and repeating to the jitter of the beat. Outside of that, I really wanted Sean to own it. There weren’t even a ton of props that were needed this time. I did buy a couple of mirrors from Hobby Lobby because Sean envisioned using mirrors in some of the shots.
We filmed all of it in one day. It was in September but in true Florida fashion it was very hot. I envied Edwin and Gabbie for being in the pool while I was in jeans as if I haven’t lived in Florida my whole life. We did a good amount of takes, alternating between different lenses and cameras. Making sure we got the falling shot right.
The mirrors proved to be pretty tricky because the angles in which Sean had to shoot to not get himself or unwanted scenery were quite specific. We shot in the morning leading into the afternoon.
Sean also shot film while we were on set so that he would be able to utilize them in the video later. He shot on a 3D camera that creates gifs which in the final edit added layers of depth to the film.
- Canon c100 mk ii
- Canon 24-105mm
- Sigma 18-35mm
- Nishika n8000
Sean edited the whole thing on Adobe Premiere Pro. The only thing I made yet again was the title.
This was probably one of the more difficult things Sean has had to edit. As mentioned above, he wanted a story above all and started to feel like he couldn’t create that so it caused him to sit with this for a while.
When he finally did show me what he deemed as incomplete, I felt as though it was nearly finished. We talked through some things and Sean finally felt as though he had the vision to finish it.
I’m so thankful for Sean’s desire to create with excellence and create art that isn’t status quo. He is willing to wait or not release something than put it out there half baked and I think that’s a great quality to have.
There you have it, Ocean Eyes.