UWTSD Film graduate collaborates on new project with Brian May


05.06.2020

Queen’s Brian May recently supported London-based band King’s Daughters on a new single called ‘Get Up’. It was released to raise the spirits of fans during the coronavirus lockdown and was in partnership with the mental health charity MIND. It was co-directed and edited by UWTSD Film & Television Production graduate Jamie Panton who runs his own video services business.

 

UWTSD Film & Television Production graduate Jamie Panton who runs his own video services business.

We caught up with Jamie to find out more.

Here’s a link to the music video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtiLKCYMkTw

So what’s is the story behind the video with Brian May? 

"I've known Isabel and Vicky (two thirds the band King's Daughters) for a little while now, Vicky I met through Rachel K Collier, a friend and client from Swansea, who makes fantastic tunes (plug time - check her out). We'll talk more about Vicky later. But yeah, I was working in London sometime earlier this year for a few clients and King's Daughters asked to squeeze in a very quick studio shoot as they had some content to go out on TV for their single new "Get Up". So, I met Talia Dean, the singer, who's awesome and they were happy with the piece. This was around February, so we all know what happened next. Coronavirus, lockdown. The band needed a video for their release only, there's no way they can get out and shoot. 

"I should probably mention Brian May of Queen at this point. Talia worked in an airport, she was responsible for Brian's meet and greet rep. Long story short, Brian caught wind of King's Daughters and loved what they were doing and worked on the track with them. The girls wanted to incorporate a dance into the track and I think they (and Brian) decided to ask people all around the world to film the dance to be included in a music video Kings Daughter’s would shoot in their homes. Which I would also help direct and then edit.

"I have to say, I haven't directed a music video from the bath before, but that is something I'm intending to do again post-lockdown!

"The edit was insane and fitted into a very tight, almost un-doable deadline. Then 48 hours before it was due, PR asked for it to be completed 24 hours earlier so it could get TV play (it was going out on Lorraine and Sky). I think I found this out at 3pm in the afternoon and knew in that moment I wasn't leaving my computer until the following morning. I finished the cut at 8am, grabbed a few hours’ sleep, woke up to a load of notes for a final cut and got it sent over just in time. It was like being a student again, only with 100 x more pressure. Brian May wasn't marking my work in Uni and I also wasn't dancing in drag next to Matt Lucas in a video!

"That sounds more like a fever dream than reality. It's been a weird few months."

We're impressed Jamie! What other stuff have you been up to with your business?

"My highlight, without a shadow of a doubt, was working in Hollywood for a week earlier this year. That was a trip. I'd spent a week last summer shooting a fly on the wall documentary with Vicky in London, she was doing some recordings for her own project. That was meant to be the piece. But the film took on a life of its own, becoming a bigger piece about love and mysticism and all these fun characters I've met along the way."

Here’s a clip of the video with Vicky O’Neon in Hollywood:

https://www.facebook.com/jamiepantonvideoservices/videos/350017279270070/&

"Anyway, six months later she's recording more out in California and getting married and asked if I wanted to be flown out. That took all of a split second to decide. The light out there really is as magical as they say. That week is a blur now, most of it was spent in Laurel Canyon and a house in West Hollywood but we also shot segments out in the desert and Venice Beach. 

"We’re hoping to shoot more out there next year, plus some bits in Finland where Vicky O'Neon, the artist, is from. Like I said, it's a trip and it's one of those projects that's taken on a life of its own. We're very lucky that we've also just received funding for a big scripted web series to work alongside this documentary and her solo album release, so this project is a big focus for me over the next 18 months.

What skills do you think UWTSD equipped you with to help you start your own business?

"UWTSD was invaluable in getting me going with my business. It gave me work opportunities right from my first year. Because of this I was able to leave University with enough contacts and a good enough portfolio to freelance full-time. It was also so great having room to experiment and develop a visual style that I've since developed into what I offer bands and musicians, having three years to play, more than anything, was invaluable.

Through University schemes such as Creative Bubble, Olion and Arts in Action, I also got into teaching and running film-making workshops. This wasn't something I'd ever envisioned doing but has become a big part of my business since and allowed me at the time to be able to afford to invest in gear, which was a great bonus.

Projects like Olion (ESF funded UWTSD arts project that engaged young people with the arts) also showed me that whilst money is great and I'm not going to lie, I love it, we all love it, hurray for money, there are other important things that you can offer with a business - namely giving people a safe space to have fun, unwind, ease up and make art. I've since run workshops like this for charities, The Wallich being one example and there's real meaning in taking a group of people on a fun, often wacky, journey for a week and seeing them open up and gain skills and fall in love with film-making too. And just have a break from daily troubles. It's an honour, really, to be able to do that. I did a project in a Primary School last year with Year 3 students, I spent a day a week over months building this big video with them, part documentary, part art piece, part silent movies. You really get a sense of them as individual characters. They loved it and I'll know a lot of them will remember that for the rest of their lives. That means something.

UWTSD Film & Television Production graduate Jamie Panton who runs his own video services business.

What tips would you share with a student thinking of setting up their own business?

Work. Hustle. Work. Repeat. Hustle some more. Take EVERY opportunity that comes your way. Get it into your head that you're never doing enough and always need to be doing more.

This sounds extreme and maybe it is, but it's a means to an end. Also look at building your business into different areas. I graduated almost six years ago and only now I've started really working pretty much just in the music scene, because that's really where my passion is. But starting out I got into teaching, shot corporate stuff, got into social media marketing and making videos in that style... and that was so beneficial, as when one set of work or clients went quiet or funding stopped for a bit, there were other sets of clients and job types I could jump to. There's been periods of my life where a big stint of corporate work has paid my bills. Others when running workshops has. Without being diverse I would have fallen on hard times several times over.

So think how what you're doing can be applied to different areas and sectors and clients. Don't turn your nose up at corporate. I've learnt stuff shooting corporate videos that translates to better music videos. And don't think necessarily that you can't teach. I didn't think I could. Now I smash it.

But whilst being broad, hone your niches. You want people to come to because they don’t not just want a commission, they want a commission from you

What does the future hold for you – where do you want to go next?

Well Coronavirus has eaten a lot of my business. I'd say a good £10k's worth of work went in the space of a week, a week and a half maybe. Boom, just gone. But I'm doing OK, ticking over with a few music videos and arty projects and this big documentary for Vicky O'Neon. That's one of my key focus' for the next year or so. I'm just hoping lockdown will ease soon so I can get back to shooting vids. Got one booked in with an amazing Welsh band called Chroma but obviously we want to wait till it's safe to do it. But yeah, I'm really happy with where I am now, so I just want to keep this journey in music ticking. Following bands around with a camera is a great way to make dollar. A few of my shoots recently have involved working with bigger budgets and crew (I mainly work solo) and that's been a laugh and really rewarding. So more of that.

Right now though I'm just slowing down a little. One thing about being self-employed is managing burn out and I've been awful at that ever since I started Uni. So without sounding to hippy-ish, as far as the immediate future is concerned I'm taking time out to rewire and reconnect with myself a bit. And also make weird, Occult inspired, analogue glitch art videos, because, well I'm stuck at home and I've got all this gear, may as well get weird with it.

A music video Jamie made for Ambre IV https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNqbdDszmus

Music video for Swansea band Trampolene

https://www.facebook.com/jamiepantonvideoservices/videos/700999360299942/

You can follow Jamie Panton on Instagram www.instagram.com/jtcpanton

You can email Jamie at jamietcpanton@gmail.com

UWTSD Film & Television Production graduate Jamie Panton who runs his own video services business.

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Mobile: 07384 467071

Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk