7 years of Freakbeat Films: 7 of the best

Pale Rider (photo credit: Peter Goodbody)

Pale Rider (photo credit: Peter Goodbody)

As Freakbeat celebrate their 7th birthday, Getintothis’ Cath Bore gets seven of their best from film maker Dan Hewitson.

Since 2011, Freakbeat Films have built a reputation in creating visuals for international names and reputations like Universal, Sony, and Adidas but supporting rising artists both locally in Liverpool and further afield as well.

Dan Hewitson founded Freakbeat because ‘I was sick of all the essays I had to do in uni. I did a film and TV production course but the bulk of it was writing huge essays. I don’t think you become good at filmmaking by writing about it.’

‘The ethos of what Freakbeat is all about is making low budget, DIY style music videos,’ he told us. ‘I think a lot of times music videos are overlooked…(but) videos are another way for people to discover music,’

We asked Dan to pick 7 of his fave Freakbeat Films and explain a little about the creation and mindset behind the making of each one.

  • U Were Mine – Beach Skulls

Possibly my favourite video. I came up with the idea after watching the karaoke scene in Lost In Translation. YouTube also had tons of cheesy looking Japanese karaoke vids.  I pitched the idea to Beach Skulls, who loved it. It was shot upstairs in District when Milk Creative had control of the venue and made a made a photo studio with a green screen.

It was shot in about only 2 or 3 takes. Beach Skulls knew what they were doing. They’re always brilliant to film. Some bands hate being in front of the camera. They definitely don’t. Everything about it from concept to the edit went perfect.

It still makes me laugh now.

  •  Live In The Kazimier – Miles Kane

The first thing I filmed for Freakbeat. It was his first gig since going solo and also the launch gig for 2011’s Sound City. The atmosphere was unbelievable. I think this comes across in the video. It’s really raw and the sound isn’t taken from the desk so you really get a feel of what the gig must have felt like. You can see it’s bouncing in there.

The Kazimier was my favourite venue so I’m glad I got to film in there. It’s sorely missed.

It was released on Miles’ and Sound City’s social media when I was in a uni lecture. I remember how exciting it was as I watched the view count rocket up.

It was the moment I knew this is the path I wanted to go down.

  • Eveline – By The Sea

This was shot upstairs in the Gostins Building on Hanover Street. I used to share an office space with Waxxx,the promoter who went on to invent Bongo’s Bingo. There were these huge empty offices on our floor. It was shot just at the right time as the sun was setting and the camera really picked that up. The projection bit was shot in an office with no windows.

(By The Sea are) one of my favourite local bands from the last few years. It was amazing to shoot a couple vids for them.

  • Sun – Strange Collective

This was filmed one freezing cold morning in the (Liverpool) 02 Academy’s main room.

The Strange Collective approached me with this great idea. It’s sped up. Each second of the song is one minute in real life so we filmed for close to 3 straight hours. We had the times of the chorus etc written down so the band could look lively and move about. Some bits look like stop motion.

We filmed this twice because the first time they were basically sat down smoking for the whole video. It was good to have a practice run anyway, to know how to make this video right.

  • Grasp – Sankofa

The site this premiered on said it was a ‘thought provoking and genuinely artistic work that would not be out of place somewhere like the Tate.’

I was really taken aback with that praise. I think it’s amazing the way you can manipulate readily available stock footage to create an emotional video that connects with people.

  • Bad Texan – The Lucid Dream

Definitely my most viewed video with over 100 thousand and counting. The Lucid Dream are from Carlisle but have roots in Liverpool. They’re the soundest lads and great to work with. We shot this in Crash rehearsal rooms in the city centre.

I’d bought a pop up green screen but couldn’t find any decent footage to use on it. So in the end I just reversed the colours and edited it into different segments.

  • I Run On Rain  – Pale Rider

I picked this new video I made for Pale Rider. They are for me, the most exciting and best in Liverpool right now.They’re an absolute force live and getting better with each gig.

This was shot over the course of about 3 months as the band recorded and gigged in Manchester and Liverpool. It’s got a real tour video quality to it. It feels like a really exciting time for them so it’s been good to document them as they start to come into their own.

I bought the VHS camera off ebay for 30 quid!