Q & A with EYK STUDIO November 2016
Eyk Studio is the production company who have created most of Kaleo's emotionally captivating music videos, and have played a key role in bringing their songs to visual life. Many of those "WOW!" and "OMG!" moments have come after watching one of these music videos -- especially their live recorded sessions (in a volcano, on an iceberg, inside a cold, snowy church). There's no denying the cinematographic power Eyk Studio brings to the lyrics, and those images become deeply associated in our mind for everytime we hear that song again and again.
I am totally humbled, honored, and quite frankly in awe, to be able to bring you this two part Q+A session with Hörður Freyr Brynjarsson and Pétur Már Pétursson of Eyk Studio to answer some questions about the video production side of Kaleo's music, including some in-depth info about their latest release, "Save Yourself".
Part 1 of 2
Does the name Eyk mean something?
(Hörður) In Icelandic “Eyk” is pronounced the same way as “Eik” which means “Oak” (tree).
The reason we chose to spell it with a “y” is that it includes the letter combination in “R(eyk)javík” which is where the group originated. So you could say that Eyk stands for “Oak in Reykjavík”
I noticed your offices are listed in both Reykjavík and Copenhagen -- why is that? How do you work on projects? Do the offices work together online to collaborate, or are they doing independent projects?
(Pétur) We are both located in Reykjavik and Copenhagen because our crew lives in both cities. Me and Hörður moved to Copenhagen to engage in a better network with our old colleagues from film school. This past September Baldvin moved to Copenhagen as well.
Vor í Vaglaskógi (original, 2013)
How did you get into making music videos with Kaleo? How did you meet?
(Hörður) We started as a group of friends who studied together in a Multi Media Program in Iceland. We had been making short films and school projects for some years. Davíð, the drummer of Kaleo, was a part of that group.
Kaleo had quick success with “Vor í Vaglaskógi” in Icelandic radio and Davíð asked us to make a music video as soon as possible to keep the hype up. Less than a week later we had created a story, found a cast, shot and edited Kaleo’s first ever music video. It was a great success and quickly got over 100k views on YouTube, which is quite a lot for music videos in Iceland. People seemed to like the outcome, so we were trusted to continue making their films.
Who comes up with the concept for the videos and how are they developed?
(Hörður) It all depends on the time and place of each video. We created the stories for the first two videos, “Vor í Vaglaskógi” and “Rock n’ Roller”. Davíð from the band originally came with the concept for “All the Pretty Girls”. He wanted to make a video that focused more on feeling than story, so we helped develop the concept further.
side note: "All the Pretty Girls" hit the one million views mark on YouTube in Nov 2015 -- as of this posting, exactly one year later, they've reached almost 6.5 million!
(Pétur) It is different on the projects what role we take. For example when we did "All The Pretty Girls", me and Baldvin directed together with Davíð also by our side. We both took shifts in editing the video, and I color graded it. Most cases Hörður directs, even though sometimes he goes behind camera while directing. Baldvin and me are mostly on camera and lights. It really depends on who sets the motion and starts working and than we sort out the roles.
(Hörður) The video for “No Good” was developed during the 2015 summer tour in the US. The song was filmed in 15 different venues and was mixed with other documentary footage from the tour.
All the Pretty Girls (2014)
No Good (2016)
(Hörður) It can vary a lot depending on what the concept needs but never less than two hours of footage are filmed for each video. For example, on “No Good” we shot for weeks while the Live Performance videos are just shot in one day. The decision comes really naturally to us. Combining the feeling of each song, lyrics and the era they belong to, helps us find the way towards the final outcome.
Are you doing the videos for their road sessions too? Do you just figure it out right then and there what you're going to shoot? How do you manage to keep the audio stable with all of the other sounds around that can't be controlled?
(Hörður) Yes, they were made while touring with the band. They are more spontaneous than the other videos. When we were driving and saw some interesting places we would just stop the car, quickly set up and shoot with the help of their sound engineer, who made sure that the audio was stable with the right setup.
filmed live in Mexico (2015)
filmed live in New Mexico (2015)
Are the people in the most recent "Vor í Vaglaskógi" lyric video actors, or are they actually who you are showing them to be (for example, is the girl actually a dancer? Are the men on the boat actually fisherman?)
(Hörður) We had a request from their label, Atlantic Records, to film Icelandic scenery for a new “Vor í Vaglaskógi” lyric video. We went on a road trip around the country to film while simultaneously developing a concept for the video, which ended up becoming the second official video for the song.
It is definitely a documentary music video. Everyone in the film are real people we visited around Iceland while focusing on capturing them in their most natural environment. Some of them were strangers, while others, like the dancer, are family members and relatives.
Vor í Vaglaskógi (lyric video, 2016)
Is Eyk on any other social media platforms besides Facebook? Can anyone contact you if they want some film work done? Besides music videos and commercials, what are other examples of media you could do?
(Pétur) We don't have any other social media than Facebook and YouTube at the moment. We have, though, released a new website: www.eykstudio.com. There you can see all the team and more details about what we are up to.
We at Eyk don't like to limit our creativity in media. Therefore we look into every option, how we can make it meaningful for the audience. We wanna connect to "you" the viewer, we wanna reflect the artist, product or story in a way it gives a deeper meaning than just visuals. That we have a rich character in every single work we do. That is what makes us proud and happy to do what we do. So yes, anybody can contact us and there is no limit to what we can do.
We always find solutions.