Finding a song
Due to the fact that we could utilise Olamide's acting ability for our music video, it felt only right that we could get a song that had a leading female vocalist. The song 'Blue Lights' by Jorja Smith is a powerful song that I felt could appeal to a target audience that I would fit into as a teenager, who tries to be both aware of the latest fashion as well as being politically literate and socially aware. As well as being a song with sampling from classic Dizzee Rascal, who appeals to our target audience and having the beautiful voice of the up-in-coming artist Jorja Smith, who has a very raspy London singing voice, the song also contains very current subject matter on the topic of black young men feeling afraid of the police. This topic seemed to resonate with the artist we built behind Layla Obi, who we felt would strongly agree with the message this song promotes.
Finding a suitable male actor
We wanted to find a young man of black ethnicity in our age group, who would therefore fit into the demographic that the subject matter of the song is talking about. We tried to find a reliable friend of ours, who would fit into this description. Andy is a close friend of mine, who has had experience acting and modelling. He was the perfect candidate that I had available to brief about the task and see if he would be willing to participate for the male narrative. As well as giving him direction on set and making sure he arrived for shooting, I realised that another friend of mine Louis could also act in it for the small role of bumping into and passing judgement to Andy in the dream sequence. I previously had to play this role in the test shoot. Due to being a close friend of Andy, I had a good knowledge of the clothes that he could wear and told him the outfit that he should bring. He was great on camera and was highly sociable, enthusiastic and easy to manage on set. All in all, the group was lucky that I had him as a contact to bring to Shoreditch for the shooting.
Coming up with our album cover idea
I used to be a great fan of the music artist Pell, who had an album cover that I always felt looked interesting of his silhouette jumping mid air, looking as if he was floating with an image layer filling his silhouette space. I felt that the album needed to display the London vibe that the artist tries to emulate. Therefore, I knew graffiti would effectively connote the urban, London aesthetic. The graffiti is originally behind where she is jumping on the front cover and then using photoshop I knew that I could then take certain bits of graffiti from a separate picture of graffiti I had taken and use that for the editing of the inside of the silhouette that was covered in graffiti. This graffiti would run through, therefore as an effective visual motif in the album cover. I, therefore knew that I could later edit the cover well and I knew that my iPhone 7 camera would be perfect for me to take a photo of Layla Obi mid air wearing a street wear jacket of mine.
Naming the artist
I thought the name Layla Ade carried a certain resonance. The name Layla seemed quite exotic yet relatable, as popularized in the famous Eric Clapton song 'Layla'. The surname was short and simple. This allowed it to roll of the tongue yet still show the Nigerian identity of our music artist. However, we were told by our teacher that this surname didn't work, for it wasn't easily able for people to know how to pronounciate. People might think the name Layla Ade was too similar to Lucozade or Lemonade. Therefore, I came up with the Nigerian surname Musa, which I thought was also short and simple, but after hearing Olamide's suggestion of Obi, I decided Obi would be a better name to use, as it is even simpler and easier to know how to pronounciate.
Devising shots for our storyboard
The process of devising shots and drawing them was less long and arduous, as I thought it would be, which I think is due to the firm knowledge I had of the certain shots that would match for our planning of the music video. After learning from the failures of some of the less imaginative shots from our test shoot, I thought it upon myself to draw for a new male narrative storyboard of more handheld shot ideas for the introduction of the character as well as the running shots of me running in front of and behind Andy.
Creating a shootboard and call sheet
After greatly being involved in the storyboarding of the music video, I took it upon myself to make the shootboard for our shooting for the location shots as well as creating the call sheet we needed for health and safety and organisation purposes for the Seward Studio shooting. Both of these were vital bits of paperwork, the group needed for shooting on set and on location. I used previous templates of the shootboard and call sheet we needed from my previous film opening 'Algorithm 404' as well as from the Seward Studio shooting for the Taylor Swift music video remake.