Music Video: Towkio — <I>Symphony</I>
May 1, 2018

Music Video: Towkio — Symphony

CHICAGO — The Colonie ( editor Nathan Rodgers recently helped set the pace for Chicago rapper Towkio's new music video, Symphony. The video takes place in a stylish hotel, where the rapper is trying to get the attention of a girl. Multiple locations within the venue appear, including luxury suites, bars and swimming pool areas. In addition, the focus of his attention also changes, with multiple women being persued by the artist. 


Bringing together the shifting environments without creating a jarring effect required precise planning and close coordition during each phase of the project. Rodgers first stepped in during preproduction, working with director Andre Muir on developing the finer points of the concept and fleshing out some new ideas. He cut the video to the jazz/fusion-inspired beat of the track using the music as a guideline, rather than letting it dictate the cuts. Selecting some points that didn't line up with the beat, the editor created an off-kilter synchronicity, adding to the unpredictable flow. 

"This was a complex production, and ultimately the footage would end up in my hands," says Rodgers. "So, it was important that we stayed on top of every detail, caught potential issues early on and made the necessary adjustments, avoiding time-consuming and costly fixes in post production.” 

Rodgers cut the music video in Adobe Premiere Pro and handed off sections to the company's VFX artist, Ben Pokorny, while they were still in a rough form. Pokorny experimented with different approaches in Flame Premium and Adobe After Effects, creating visual effects with a style that aligned with the director's vision. 

"Ideally, greenscreen would be used for some shots, but sticking with a practical shoot was more cost-effective,” Pokorny explains. "Instead, I created visual effects and added them after the shoot.” "A large number of match cuts required the shots to be meticulously timed out," adds Rodgers. "Even with the close attention paid to every detail, occasionally I would work a scene up to the very end, only to find that the last few frames wouldn’t work and made it unusable. Sometimes this would result in a chain reaction that required changes that affected the whole timeline of the video." 

Naked Gallery in Chicago produced the project, with Flynn Drew serving as director of photography and Dae Kim acting as camera operator. Mikey Pehanich at The Mill in Chicago handled the color grade. Rodgers handled the final mix.