Director: Charlie Rotberg
On first listen to Beach Babys “Lost Soul” its surfy guitar sound and swooning vocals instantly transported me back to a past era in music, an out and out pop song but written in a rock band context. I could visualise the band actually playing and performing the music to me, like an old Beatles TV performance, where putting a face (and guitar) to the music was still massively exciting and fresh. I liked how the viewer was able witness first hand, the original physicality and energy that went into writing the song.
With this in mind, a 60s tinged, TV performance styled piece seemed to fit perfectly to me, with the Beach Baby boys performing in a studio set, a homage to Top of the Pops before it got all a bit Babylon Zoo.
I thought it could be interesting to juxtapose this with a darker and more effected B-roll section, almost to convey an internal monologue of emotions for performer on stage. I took inspiration from a David Lynch synthesiser demonstration I once watched on youtube, utilising RGB splits and kaleidoscopic tunnelling in post. Again I thought the music referenced that weird but recognisable atmosphere you get in Lynchs film and soundtracks.
We wanted to take that energy from the song and translate that into camera movement. The camera was often handheld and a character in itself with big retro whips and pans. We felt this helped convey that in the moment feeling and actually being on stage with the lads.
Charlie teamed up with DP, Arran Busk. “I worked closely with Charlie to design a lighting setup reminiscent of old BBC studio shoots. We analyzed old material, including footage of the monkees, David Bowie and the flying Burrito Brothers. I chose to shoot digitally on Red Epic with a set of Cooke S4i prime lenses as we planned to shoot a fair bit of handheld and they’re not only lightweight but have distinct characteristics that slightly “soften” the Red’s Digital image. For the “piece de resistance” I added a unique lens flare by using a Clear streak filter on a lot of the live stage performace shots - to emphasize the colours of the lights and push the “vintage” feel.”
This was Rotberg's first experience working with PEEP, and he seemed very content with partnership. "PEEP helped me really nail the piece aesthetically, applying their experience in camera and lighting technicality to replicate a 60s tinged, studio style while providing a solid and professional workflow in post. The clear streak filters used on the lens were a touch of genius and instantly transport the piece to a past era, an aesthetic we should DEFINITELY bring back!"
The video was exclusively aired on TV by MTV Rocks channel and premiered online at undertheradarmag.com on 03 May 2016. This is what undertheradarmag.com had to say:
“The track taps into effervescence of pre-psychedelic Californian pop and the strut of vintage soul rave-ups, then smears these influences with a dazed atmosphere suggestive of warped VHS. It's classic bummer pop, with Beach Baby employing gleaming surfaces to smuggle in bleak sentiments (as per the band, the song is about those times when "you feel like a spectator in your own life, and are struggling to find a purpose"). “
Beach Baby are a London-based four-piece whose apathetic alternative-pop finds it roots across Athens, Dorset and Sheffield. The band met in the musically-rich halls of Goldsmiths College, where co-vocalists Ollie and Lawrence placed an advert looking to build on their then-folk-driven, dual songwriting partnership: future bassist Iraklis turned up dressing like a 50s college freshman (and swiftly got the gig), before drummer Shep completed the equation. Balancing their escapist sound with make-do jobs ranging from a teaching assistant to feature-film script readers, the band have arrived fully-formed at the striking aesthetic of Beach Baby.