Ralph Lauren, Avicii - Wake Me Up – Barney Miller at the Whitehouse Post in New York

Barney Miller Wants to Wake You Up

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Remember that Avicii music video that Barney co-directed and edited? It’s gathered over 350 million YouTube hits and was just nominated for Much Music’s International Video of the Year. That’s nice news to wake up to…

Original Posted August 1, 2013:
New York’s Barney Miller partnered up with Ralph Lauren, Mark Seliger, Avicii and Sony to craft the latest Wake Me Up video—which has rocketed to #1 in the UK and has now garnered over 5million hits on YouTube in less than a week.


Want to take a peek behind the scenes?


I’ve been working with photographer Mark Seliger for over 10 years.  As an editor I’ve cut music videos with him for Lenny Kravitz, Elvis Costello, Gillian Welch and others.  I started directing a few years ago and in 2012 I directed four episodes of Mark’s Emmy Award nominated photography web show Capture, which was a blast.  So it was a really natural progression to co-directing with him when the opportunity came to work on Avicii’s new music video, Wake Me Up.

Obviously the two of us have something of a short hand having worked together for so long, but this was on a different level.  It was a two day shoot, with horses, jibs and a bunch of zombie looking locals.  So there was a lot of prep work.  The pre-pro process was taking Tim Berg, (Avicii) and his manager Ash Pournouri’s original idea about these sisters trapped in a backwards town and fleshing that out into a mini-movie.  I basically sketched out the storyboard with Mark suggesting ideas as we visualized the basic plot and how to shoot it.

The way we divide the work on set is basically with Mark calling the shots on the major visual aspects of each shot like he does on his magazine covers, while me & DP Marcus Bennent—who we’ve both worked with before—helped sort out how to capture the action in a filmic way, considering everything from frame rates, to camera placement, to lens choices and extra angles for editorial coverage.  The three of us became a tight team throughout the process.  Mark’s great to work with ’cause he knows what he wants, but he’s also a true collaborator and really wants the best idea to win.

Ralph Lauren were great on the set as well.  Instead of the usual product placement this was really a co-sponsored fashion video.  Avicii is basically an ambassador for the brand so it wasn’t something they were sneaking into it.  The whole video is basically a show piece for both Avicii’s music and the Ralph Lauren Denim & Supply line.  I think it flowed together nicely and was an authentic part of the story as opposed to just some product added to it.

The post process was quite smooth.  I would basically rough it together, which is great since I already know the footage from being on the set.  A few tweaks with Mark, the artist & manager weighing in and we were done.  We were also super fortunate to get colorist Tom Poole from Company 3 to grade it.  He’s worked on tons of great commercials as well as feature films like last year’s Drive starring Ryan Gosling—which is one of my favorite movies.  His midas touch really glued the whole thing together.  My buddies at Shout It Out Loud studios mixed (David Steinberg) the dialogue sections with the music for the final touch.

Everyone’s really happy with it.  It’s a great song, which is already climbing the charts both here & in Europe, and now there’s a great video to go with it.  I’m really excited to be a part of such a huge event.

# New York the Whitehouse Post in New York Barney Miller Music Video Avicii Fashion Ralph Lauren