Lewis Carter 10 April 2018

Casting is always a challenge, especially for a music video with no dialogue. In this blog, we open up the casting process for our latest project.

#MusicVideo #Casting #PreProduction #ScriptWriting #SetDesign #Lighting #ChemestryRead #Actors #TheCreativeEndeavour

When a musician or band comes to into the Fine Rolling office, we always promise them the same thing, a ‘music video with the high-end production value of a short film.’ This is not simply a promise to deliver on the visuals, but also to include character, narrative, and tone in a compelling balance on screen. It’s when these things combined with a new track by a talented musician, that a truly cinematic music video experience is created.


For our latest music video, we crafted a shooting script which heavily relied on the chemistry of the two lead actors. Therefore, we knew that the casting process would make or break the video. So, we found ourselves facing the same question we face each and every time we take on a music video – how to hold a chemistry reading with your actors when a music video contains no dialogue

Over the years we’ve tried many different methods to overcome this particular challenge. But, due to the importance of the relationship between our two lead actors in this video, we knew we needed to take a deep dive into the casting process for this particular project. So, our head writer crafted a bespoke, scripted scene, featuring the characters from the main narrative of our music video, specifically for the purpose of casting.

It quickly occurred to us that we could use this bespoke ‘sample scene’ for a multitude of experiments as well as simply casting. So, we rented a small set in a local townhouse and used the space as a means to test out our ideas for set dressing, costume design, and lighting plans. We were even able to enlist the help of some crew members that we plan to use on the actual shoot, to access how they reacted to the aesthetic and tone we wanted to create.

The whole process of crafting this sample scene was invaluable to us as filmmakers. The challenge presented numerous creative obstacles to overcome, such as, how to distill the look and feel of the final music video into a single location. In the end, the best scenario came from blocking the scene around the natural key light from the location’s only window, the subtle use of one fill light, and the tactical use of a cheap, red bed sheet from Tesco for some creative diffusion.

Thanks to shooting this experimental ‘sample scene’, we are now entering production on the actual music video with our two leads full of confidence in their character choices, and a crew that is already motivated by this creatively fulfilling casting process. We can’t wait to share the final video with you. But until then, we hope you enjoy the incredible performances from actors Polly Tregear and Jake Burnside in their bespoke sample scene below.

Like anything to do with trust, in any relationship it emerges. You just know whether this is someone I like to be with whose interaction with me I believe in.

– Ralph Fiennes