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Why is this work relevant for Entertainment Lions for Music?

29 Gold Stars, the music video for Nathan Cavaleri, is a unique one shot music video. Generally, videos in the one shot genre, cover a story that unfolds in real time. Our story happens over a number of weeks, plus it starts at the end, then goes back to the beginning. A narrative of this type would normally be told through edits. To execute this completely in camera as one shot is not only technically very challenging, but a feat of economical story telling. The music video is smart, littered with clues and rewards repeat viewings.


Nathan Cavaleri was a very famous child star in Australia, in the 80s. At age 10 he was considered a prodigy guitarist, he toured the world with BB King, was signed to Michael Jackson's label and featured in a movie alongside David Hasselhoff. By his late teens, Nathan had dropped out of the limelight. Now, 20 years later, he's ressurrecting his musical career. 29 Gold Stars marks the first music video release, featuring him as an actor, in 20 years. It is the first major release in his upcoming EP.

Nathan and his management wanted a music video that was stylish, not cheesy, and something that would stand out amongst the clutter. The song is a cheeky tale about a man cheating on his partner. He's enjoying the thrill, but feeling guilty. The brief was to create something cool and fun exploring the song’s themes of guilty pleasures.

Describe the creative idea

I decided to flip the angle on the "hero" man having an affiar, and root the film's theme in female empowerment. I picked the female revenge genre and centred a narrative around a love triangle. The story follows Cav, who's having an affair with a hot musician and his personal architect. When Cav's wife discovers a wedding ring (not her own) on their couch, she confronts the blonde woman she believes owns it...only for them to discover that the ring belongs to a third woman. The wife and the blonde woman, both duped by Cav and this third woman, conspire to take justice.

Describe the strategy

The song's lilting rhythm inspired the idea of a flowing camera and the one take approach. By applying the one shot convention to a story that doesn't happen chronologically, and infact spans several months, is different and challenging. That we achieved it 100% in camera, makes for watercooler conversation. And this is the kind of supplementary information that Nathan's PR team need to create buzz around the music video. We want both the quality of the work and the story behind its creation to be a point of interest, thus generating as much publicity for Nathan as possible. Smart work like this, positions Nathan an artist of integrity, ingenuity, and creativity.

Describe the execution

To show time passing between scenes, we made changes to the set, lighting, and character’s wardrobe whilst filming. Scene transitions were all done in camera, there are no trick edits. This required a very complex choreography of actors, camera, and crew. Our video had a set duration of 2’45’’. I shotlisted 28 shots which I would normally extend, trim and move around in the edit. But we didn’t have an edit. I had to figure out the exact length of each shot prior to shooting, whilst ensuring the combined total of all shots didn’t exceed our duration. The actors had to nail performances simultaneously. If one stuffed up we had to redo the entire take. It required extreme focus as they had as little as 15 seconds off camera to do costume changes, race to their next position and drop into a new emotional beat for the next scene.

Describe the outcome

The music video went live April 30, 2019.

Official selections:

Filmshortage.com - daily short pick

Directorsnotes.com - feature of the day

Promonews.tv - feature of the day

Clipped.tv - clip of the day

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