Jan 16, 2019

Sometimes we find opportunities in the strangest of places if we look at them right. This is the case with electronic duo, Wake Island. A chance encounter with the GoPro Music Crew at a festival resulted in the Montreal/NYC-based duo encorporating GoPro into the filming of "We Said Yes;" a song slated for Wake Island's upcoming 2019 LP. The result is a moody, mind-melding journey through Lebanon with the perfect balance of social commentary and cinematic creativity.

We caught up with Wake Island to learn more about what happened behind the scenes while filming the 100% GoPro-shot video.

GoPro: What is the inspiration behind 'We Said Yes'?

Wake Island: The song is inspired by the affect technology has on our daily lives; particularly how willing we are to accept new technological products and advancements without really thinking about the impact they can have on our personal lives, our identities, our privacy and our freedom of expression. While many technological advances can (and do) actually bring us closer together and help us open up to one another on a daily basis, we often see the opposite happen as well, where life in the virtual world can be extremely lonely and can make us close down on ourselves and repress our emotions. "We Said Yes" and its video are designed to explore this duality.

Why did you choose to use GoPro?

When people of our close entourage first heard "We Said Yes," they expressed a sense of anticipation with fast images zipping through their minds. We couldn't help but draw parallels to our hometown of Beirut, which is both a thrilling and chaotic place to be in, with these energies constantly feeding off one another to create this untamed agitation in the air. The GoPro was the exact tool to capture such raw emotions.

Most of the filming was done on-the-go in an array of very shaky environments (bumpy car rides, handheld shots on the streets, etc.) both during the day and at night. The GoPro actually allowed us to be more creative and not have to worry about the logistics of filming. We just shot what instinctively felt right and knew the footage would come out with excellent quality and resolution. 

How did you use GoPro in unique ways?

The most unique aspect of this whole process is that we knew from the get-go that we wanted to create an art piece with something typically used to grab action footage. Not that we didn't grab action footage: driving in Lebanon is the most underrated extreme sport out there! So we hit the highway and filmed from the car almost nonstop for a week, from the front, from the back, driving slow, fast, and dodging cars along the way (as one does out there). We wanted to create a world of chaos on film, and we did it by using a reality that is very much a part of Lebanese life. ...   

The only shots that were actually planned in this whole process are the two scenes with the dancer. First, we see her hanging onto something and spinning around it. It's not really clear to the viewer where she is, and we purposefully planned that thinking of how the GoPro would capture the indoor background lighting. Afterward, we see her again outside, and again, purposefully played with how the parking lot lights would appear around her movement.  

What settings and mounts/accessories did you find you used the most?

Absolutely none. We filmed this on the same setting and wanted to make the footage as "bare" as possible.

What is your favorite part of the video?

Our favorite part of the video is the moment it switches to daybreak. It's like an incoming moment of clarity that impacts you suddenly and sharply, comparable to how a spirit would reclaim its body. We think the chaos is over, but then plunge right back into it; however, not in the same way or with the same thoughts.

Follow Wake Island @wakeislandmusic.