Guest Post: Making The Video: Communion


We are pleased to welcome artist Patrick Samuel once again as our Digital Resident. Patrick is sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the making of some of his music videos. Over to Patrick!

Still from a music video showing a man with a pale fave and long black hair, his hands are like large skeleton hands.

Let’s start at the beginning, what is Communion about?

As the title track on my current album, Communion is essentially a nightmare. It’s a dark dream that’s lead by a character who instructs his congregation to raise their glasses and drink up as they revel in the chaos unleashed upon the world. The song forms part of the story and structure of the album; that malignant forces in the world are manipulating us, and just as they are converging on us, we must come together as one and turn the tide.

Sonically, I imagined the song as a union between ethereal and industrial elements, with a dominant voice juxtaposed with a chorus of chants and finished off with a tempo that frantically reaches a back-breaking climax. Musically, it’s complex, but I think it perfectly illustrates what neurodivergent minds can be capable of if they’re given the right support.

What did you have in mind for the video?

I knew I would be portraying several characters and each one would have a distinctive look, so I would have to up my game with costumes, hair and makeup. The lead character would be a pale, longhaired figure in a red cassock but would have these unearthly hands. He would at times transform into a goat-headed creature. There would also be a red queen with billowing garments and a crown of jewels.

I wanted the video to have a vintage Super 8 look with saturated colours and burn effects, reminiscent of footage from the Silent Hill film. It had to be surreal and nightmarish, but also beautiful and colourful with red and green being the most vivid shades possible. My synesthesia was at full play when I listened to the song whilst planning the video.

Did you storyboard your ideas?

Since becoming an audio-visual artist, I’ve developed my own way of storyboarding my videos. The conventional way didn’t work for me when I was planning my first video, Witchcraft. It was just too overwhelming for my brain. My carer once told me it doesn’t matter what my plan looks like, as long as I have one. I took this to heart and always try to forget what neurotypicals say about how things are supposed to be.

I devised a colour coded chart to describe in as little words as possible what would be happening at specific points in the video and what effects and transitions I’d like to use. Without this “storyboard”, my videographer would have nothing to work with, so it was vital I have this for each new video we work on together.

Were there any special preparations for this video?

We filmed this video during the lockdown when it was impossible to travel anywhere, but that inspired us to be even more creative. Building our own green screen stage didn’t take a lot of time or setting up the lighting. What took the most work during pre-production was the construction of the goat’s head. It started off as a plaster cast of my head which was then gradually sculpted over the course of a week into the shape I wanted it. Fur, paint and jewels finished it off, but it was as heavy as it looks in the video and I actually had to be wired to the chair with it for it to stay in place!

How long did it to take to film?

We shot the video in its entirety in a day. 6 hours straight with make-up and costume changes. It was gruelling but my videographer made sure we took enough breaks when I was becoming overstimulated or was starting to lose my focus. Filming this video really wasn’t made easier because of the mask, it was very difficult to follow directions — not that my conditions make it easy to be my director in the first place!

It was definitely the most challenging shoot of the 14 videos we’ve filmed so far, but it was nothing compared to the post-production work with the editing that would follow!

What do you hope people will take from the video?

I hope people will view it as a moving piece of art and appreciate it as such. I enjoy portraying these characters as it’s always an opportunity to bring something out of myself. In my normal everyday life, I’m quite restricted by my conditions in where I can go and what I can do, but when I’m these characters in my music videos, I’m anything I could ever be. We all walk a fine line between light and dark, but I feel lucky in that I get to explore that full spectrum as a neurodivergent creative.

The video will premiere on 8th May on Tiergarten Records’s Youtube channel:


Digital Residencies is part of Drake Music’s covid-secure artistic programming and is supported by the Arts Council England Culture Recovery Fund.

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