planetMitch note: this is a guest post from Alex Douglas • Promotions Manager • Video Producer. This made me smile and I wanted to share it with you so it might brighten your day! You can find out more about the Jive Aces on their Facebook page and more behind-the-scenes and crazy things like Ukulele tutorials on their youtube channel.
We set out to make a kind of spiritual sequel to our previous popular music video from 2011 for the song “Bring Me Sunshine” which now has almost 3 million views on youtube and won seven film festival awards.
It’s not a direct story continuation but more we wanted to create the same positive sentiment and basically cheer people up to counter all the bad news we hear every day on the TV and in the papers etc. We wanted to remind people that you do actually have the power to make people smile.
I produced the video and wrote it with the director, Rachael Durocher with whom we have worked on several music videos together now. While writing out the story we soon realized that we were never going to fit into a standard three minute song length so we decided to go with more of a mini short film feel with the first half setting up the story for the second half resolution which was also the main song.
We shot 90% of the video over two days, one day in Hollywood and the second day in the alley in downtown LA. Coming from England with no real experience in the LA film industry I found it quite a challenge with all the official permits and paperwork you had to have in place but I managed to get everything in order just in time. We then had to schedule in a few pickups on a third day and some a couple of months later with the car and the scene with Jim talking in to the mirror.Click To Tweet
The Jive Aces New Video – “SMILE”
Most of footage was shot on a Red Epic which the DP owned with some B cam stuff on my Canon 7D and another friend had a Scarlet so we were quite lucky. We also managed to get a whole huge grip truck full of goodies from a swing dancer friend of ours we have known since the huge swing scene revival days in LA in the 90s (remember the Jon Favreau/Doug Liman movie “Swingers”?).
We had a Ronin for the alley stuff and the last aerial shot was a custom built drone from Hovercameras.com flying a Black Magic pocket Cinema Camera shooting a Raw DNG sequence. So quite a mixture of footage really!
We were very lucky with the cast. Jim Meskimen has been an actor, voice over artist, impressionist, comedian, painter and many more things for years. we have been friends for a long time and he has appeared in several of our videos. He’s been in Parcs and Rec, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, a load of Ron Howard movies (he grew up with as Jim’s mum is Marion Ross from Happy Days). He was also on America’s Got Talent with his impression act not too long ago. The lady is his real life wife Tamra who is also an actress and acting teacher in LA.
We also talked our friends the Satin Dollz, a Hollywood based vintage pinup singing and dancing group who we tour with regularly and Vince Caso, a local young actor (from the popular web series, “The Guild”). The Chaplin street performer is Ian the lead singer’s wife and the band’s publicist. She used to be an actress in Switzerland before working for the band so we pulled out a lot of hidden talents.
All the extras are friends and friends of friends from the swing dance scene in LA. We put out a Facebook call and dancers love to show off so it wasn’t too difficult to fill the alley way!
After the shoot the project went into limbo for a few months as the director went off round the world on her other jobs and we were off touring in the UK. eventually through another DP friend I found an editor in LA called Mitchell Winkie who could edit the video in between his full time job at NBC. He worked very fast and we collaborated long distance between him, myself and Rachael over three continents until we were all happy.
Produced by The Jive Aces
Written by The Jive Aces and Rachael Durocher
Directed by Rachael Durocher
Cinematography by Jordan Raabe
Additional Cinematography by Kevin Garrison
2nd Unit Director Drew Harrison
1st Assistant Camera Jason Wittenberg
Makeup and hair by Mary Pittman
Gaffer John Kviklys
On set Sound by Rob Filios
Aerial Shots by Hovercameras.com
Editing, VFX and colouring by Mitchell Winkie
Post production by TXL Films
Lighting provided by Penn Lighting
Set decorating assistance by Pat Frey Designs
The Jive Aces
The Satin Dollz
Violin intro by Victoria Yellop (victoriayellop.co.uk)
Violin recorded at Garage Studio (garagestudio.net)
Reese's Vintage Pieces for the Vintage Clothes
Darin Kuna for the 1947 Plymouth
Author Services Inc. for costumes
Mad Hatter Studios for the
technical assistance and crew
Taron Lexton at TXL Films
Kala Brand Music for the ukulele
Trevor James Saxophones for the Tenor
And Remix Shoes for Ian's two-tone shoes
For the locations:
Minn and Stephanie Vo
The Cicada Club
Film LA for The City of Los Angeles
And a special BIG THANKS to all the dancers who came out!
The Jive Aces New Video – “SMILE”
Via Press Release:
Infectious Video Making People “Smile” Despite The Gloom!
The UK’s top jive and swing band, The Jive Aces have announced the release of their new music video “Smile”.
“Smile” is an upbeat version of the well loved and much interpreted Charlie Chaplin song from the film Modern Times which the band have added a swinging twist to.
The Jive Aces decided to release the video at this time of hardship, violence and world conflict, and it has proven to be much needed by those living in these turbulent times.
Ian Clarkson from the Jive Aces said: “Smile is a great song. Chaplin made some magic and the lyrics are still appropriate for this age, bad news hitting people left right and centre and living in a fear-mongering society. We felt that we had to contribute with aesthetics and lift things up. Smile takes you from the doom and gloom to the point where you will smile. Our aim is to launch a campaign and get people to pass it on and ‘#MakeSomeoneSmile'. We want ‘Smile' to be infectious”
The video which plays out more like a short film was shot in Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles, produced by the Jive Aces and directed by Rachel DuRocher who also directed the band's multi award-winning music video “Bring Me Sunshine”.
The band has a jaw dropping C.V., having worked with top artists around the world such as Van Morrison, Keely Smith, John Travolta, Chick Corea and has performed for Her Majesty The Queen and were also semi-finalists of Britain’s Got Talent, famously making Simon Cowell himself smile!
Watch the video on this link: is.gd/MakeSomeoneSmile
(cover photo credit: snap from The Jive Aces)