On The Cusp, Longlist - Music Video

Morning / Midnight

Josh Sondock


Nick and his team put their whole trust in me, every single step of the way, and for that I am super duper grateful. Technically, it was one of the hardest videos I’ve ever done, but ‘politically’ with Nick and his Manager Jay, it couldn’t have been easier. The video is a legitimate one-take with no cuts. The way this process works is you shoot the innermost ‘layer’ first from the start of the song to the end, then the second innermost, third innermost, etc. (we did 6). All of the zooms, actions, focus, and camera movement have to be planned to the exact second and every ‘layer’ must be synced, coloured, picture-locked, exported and queued up on the monitor before you move on to the next layer. This truly couldn’t have been accomplished without the diligence and care given by both my DIT Alex Barratt and my DP Andrea Gavazzi (Julie & I). It sounded like we were talking absolute nonsense all day, yelling about “layers” and “frames within frames”, but, sure enough, it all worked! One of the coolest things about this technique is that it is basically entirely practical and, as a result, even though there are multiple distinct takes we needed to get to make the video, the very last take we recorded, which we recorded at 2x speed in reverse, is the only shot we are actually using in the cut. At the end of our shoot day, the crew got to watch the complete, ‘edited’ video. A one-take after all… and yet a one-take that goes “from morning until midnight”. You may notice that the final layer was filmed in reverse (with reversed video playback), so we simply had to reverse the clip again to get the video playing start to finish. That being said, there are zero ‘cuts’ in the video. What you see is a single continuous take from start to finish (or “finish to start” might be more accurate). I did a few small repositions/size tweaks and some very light time remapping to make sure all of Nick’s lip syncing matched (while we were filming, there were a few quirks we discovered in the way that video and audio playback synced due to the natural latency of our monitors/computers). We also did a colour grade with the legendary Aubrey Woodiwiss and then it was ready to go.

After a brief stint as a baby, Sondock began producing and directing. His illustrious career started at age 9 when he and his brother, Jason, created their own version of the MTV show, Jackass. Josh was the director and primary stuntman. After slowly discovering that films could engender feelings far more meaningful than nausea, he turned filmmaking into his profession. With an efficacious background as a 5-times-Vimeo-staff-pick-winning producer, Sondock has made content for brands such as BMW, Calvin Klein, Pantene, Zara, Amazon & Unicef as well as videos for artists such as Bad Bunny, The Strokes, Glass Animals & A$AP Rocky. Sondock’s award-winning directing portfolio contains commercial work for clients such as Golden Goose, Knickerbocker MFG. & Next Gen alongside music films for artists including Ashe, Jeremy Zucker, Chelsea Cutler, QUINN XCII, Nick Leng, Gavin Turek, Orion Sun & many more. His work has received critical acclaim, thumbs-ups, and thumbs-sideways from booooooom, Director’s Library, Director’s Notes, Berlin Commercial Awards, Sarasota Film Fest, Lower East Side Film Fest y más. Josh loves writing, planning & executing ambitious ideas in efficient ways. He still does his own stunts.