Piers Baron “Majesty” Music Video | Dir. Ty Evans | BTS
Los Angeles-based electronic composer Piers Baron pushes the envelope technically and creatively in his latest music video “Majesty”. Legendary director Ty Evans draws the viewer into the ethereal soundscape with beautiful visuals, masterfully crafted, with stunning landscapes, cityscapes and skateboarder footage. The effects create a new reality, with each frame a work of art. We’re proud to say that the VFX were done with Mantra VR in Adobe Premiere Pro. Mantra is a comprehensive set of drag-and-drop effects to transform footage into highly stylized clips, and is used extensively throughout the video. We go BTS with Ty, Piers, and editor Matt Henry to find out more.
PIERS BARON – “Majesty” | Official Music Video | Dir – Ty Evans
Q&A with Ty Evans.
Hey Ty! Your visuals really connect with Piers’ music. We can see that it comes from the heart. How did that collaboration begin?
Ty: We have a skateboard connection and I’m a huge fan of his music, so it feels natural to collaborate with Piers. He composed the soundtrack for my film The Flat Earth. When I first heard the demo for Majesty I loved the 90’s dance feel. There’s lots of energy, and I thought it would be great to edit to. I thought we could visually mimic what we could hear sonically. We took segments of the film visuals as a starting point and built on it from there.
So how do you start a project like this?
Ty: I created an inspiration board, actually an entire wall full of printouts for The Flat Earth. There were all kinds of things, from fractals, geometric shapes to explosions. I brought in Matt Henry to be my editor, and we really drew inspiration from that starting point. And we had lots of footage from my touring around the US and shooting skaters (Jamie Foy, Chase Webb, Carlos Iqui, Mike Pulizzi and Cody Lockwood) for The Flat Earth.
The footage is amazing! Tell us about your gear.
Ty: I used a Phantom high-speed camera for shooting 1000 fps, and of course the Shotover F1 System. We shot from helicopter and I also mounted the same gear to the front of my van so we could drive around and get these incredibly smooth shots with the gyro stabilization. I shot in 8K flat, and also did some 360° camerawork to frame flat in Post. By the time we were done, I had 48 Terabytes of footage to work with. When we finished the edit, we backed up 96 TB.
As you know Mantra VR is available for After Effects as well as Premiere Pro. You can apply the effects directly on footage. What does that mean for you?
Ty: What’s so cool is that you can edit in Premiere instead of roundtrip to After Effects. It’s groundbreaking to have these tools natively in Premiere. It’s a huge time savings for me. Traditionally you could only access tools like this in After Effects and the turnaround would be much longer.
Editing is a journey. I try all the effects and see what works visually. Mantra VR is very very powerful. I used to go from an A/B cut, now there are all these other options.
Q&A with Matt Henry
Matt – You had a massive amount of footage 46 TB. How did you keep track of things during the edit?
Matt: I worked in passes and just kept adding more footage and more FX. Ty organizes the footage by date and his brain is encyclopedic. In the first pass there were longer shots and we needed to make it more intense. I’d mention what kind of footage I was looking for, and Ty would tell me exactly where to find it, and it would fit perfectly.
That’s crazy! What was a typical work day like?
Matt: We’d get into the zone and work for hours, and then notice that dawn was peaking through the blinds. No set schedule per se. It was the most fun I’ve ever had on a project, it was amazing. Growing up I was in love with music videos from the 80’s, and this was an amazing opportunity. When Ty asked me to work on this project, I literally moved into his house in LA for 2 months to do the edit.
Matt: We had a Mac Pro with Maxx Digital Thunder Raids connected to San Link Thunderbolt to 10GbE adapters going to a another Mac Pro, a Mac book Pro, and a couple of iMacs.
And what was it like working with Mantra in Premiere?
Matt: Mantra made the piece. Everything happened because of Mantra. It changed how I was editing and gave me more potential. I’m not an After Effects guy, so being able to apply it and see it immediately was key. When Ty showed it to me – my mind was blown. This was hands down the most fun project I’ve ever worked on.
Q&A with Piers Baron
How did your collaboration with Ty begin?
I originally wrote the demo for ‘Majesty’ and like all my music I always send it to Ty. He works on lots of amazing projects and it’s always a privilege to be involved with them. He instantly loved ‘Majesty’ and understood it totally, I always think cinematically when I’m writing, I wanted to create a piece of music that harked back to the hedonistic and innocence of the 90’s electronic music scene, this was a really important era for the genre.
You really seem to be on the same creative wavelength. That must be great!
Ty totally gets where I’m coming from musically, he was storyboarding his next movie ‘The Flat Earth’ at the time, I wrote the original soundtrack for the movie and we developed ‘Majesty’ around the visuals for the film. Always a pleasure to collaborate with Ty and his team, his ideas are original and his use of technology is of great inspiration to me.
Lastly, what is your music making set up currently?
I’m running Ableton Live 10 on the new MacBook Pro, all running via a Glyph Raid 0 Thunderbolt 3 drive, the bulk of the processing is done by Izotope and Universal Audio plug ins, I monitor with Audeze Mobius headphones and Yamaha NS10 monitors.