Photographers, and creatives in general, often think they are being held back by the gear they have (or lack), the locations available at their disposal and the size of the budget for their shoots.
Sure, having the latest and the greatest gear and all the budget you could ask for might make your life easier and offer more opportunities, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create amazing work with simple gear, creativity and lots of hard work.
Son Lux’s music video, Change Is Everything, is a perfect example of what can be created using extremely low-budget materials – as long as you’re willing to put in the time and sweat.
Keep reading a behind-the-scenes video; you’ll be surprised how painful this project was to create.
The Made Shop conceived and produced this video in about three weeks, using 200 push pins, 500 feet of rubberized thread and several foam core boards purchased at the local hardware store.
Preparing the reference video that was used to help with the placement of the pins for each of the 4,000 frames took a week to create, and an additional two weeks were required to complete the actual shooting.
Nathan Johnson, the director, shared some BTS info and discussed the difficulties over on NPR:
“The first day we knocked out 535 frames (out of roughly 4,000). By day three, the pads of my fingers were so raw that it hurt to move a pin. I didn’t know how I’d be able to keep going, but my wife, Katie found some rubber finger tips at Staples that helped dull the pain (though it also decreased our precision).
We also didn’t realize that the surface of the foam core board would be blown out by day four. We got to the point where the board was so pockmarked that the pins would randomly shoot out and fly across the studio every couple frames. After that, we stocked up on a few more boards and started wearing safety goggles”.
“I’ve always been attracted to art that uses very simple materials in its execution,” Johnson says, explaining that he enjoys seeing the transformation of the ordinary and mundane into something so beautiful and lifelike.
“I love the ‘lots of something little’ approach. I guess, partly, because it means that you can use everyday materials that everybody has access to, which feels really accomplishable. It feels extra empowering to know that the price of admission is only the amount of time and energy you’ve got to spend”, he concludes.