Chanting the Melody of Love
About: Melody Liu is an Asia-based 360 content creator, singer and songwriter. She loves music, and is particularly passionate about creating alternative experiences marrying the immersive nature of music and 360 cinematography.
Find out more about her music and videos at www.missmelodychina.cn.
“Praying from Afar” is a 360 music video infusing Chinese Folk and Electronica, grossing 2.4k views during the first week it was uploaded to VeeR. The mastermind behind the production, Melody Liu, shared her story with us on how she wrote the song and directed her first 360 music video.
“Praying from Afar” music video in 4K
Lyrics to “Praying from Afar”:
I pray from afar that blossoming flowers are always by your side
I pray from afar that everlasting love ceases to be a fairy tale
I pray for joy
I pray for beauty
I pray from afar that you will never be lonely again in this life
The stars are lit
And the moonlight shines through
My heart is praying for love
Praying for your love – the fairy tale of love
How the story came about:
This poetic hymn of love was written by Melody as a gift for a friend who was getting married, out of wishes of a lasting and love-filled relationship. The original production of the song (https://soundcloud.com/mobidextrous/yao-yuan-qi-dao) is quite different from the remix, which one of Melody’s producer friends offered to produce after listening to the original. To Melody’s amazement, the remix added a dark undertone to the beautiful love story and she immediately fell in love with it.
Melody explained to us the music video is about love, jealousy and anger through the representation of a wedding gone awry. She said: “The singer represents a jealous observer with vengeful thoughts. The same wedding appears in 2 totally different styles – one romantic, the other dark, gothic and upsetting. The lyrics sound a blessing, whereas the visual shows quite the opposite.”
The video reveals the fantasy world of the singer. Room lit in red is where the story starts when the singer quietly observes a happy relationship. The arch is when her thoughts turn dark, when she starts to wish for collisions, arguments and struggles between the two. The cage is a metaphor for toxic relationships when control and suffer become the status quo.
Melody’s experiment with VR:
Earlier this year, Melody went to New York and enrolled in an 8-week course on VR/360 filmmaking at the New York Film Academy. She told us it was the “best decision” she ever made. Speaking of her greatest challenge during production, Melody said the biggest question to ask was if she wanted a director-led narrative or to give the audience full control over the story. She decided on the latter, and worked wonders despite not planting obvious visual cues.
Her way of addressing this challenge was by using different types of space (open, closed, grand, small, etc) to naturally segment the audience experience. In each segment, she unraveled the plot in parallel, so the audience gets a sense of the story no matter where they look at. What’s even more special about this is that, even though it’s generally discouraged to place main objects of interest behind the camera, considering the audience will have to turn around to see what’s happening to their discomfort; Melody broke this convention and put some of the main activities around the back to create a perfect sense of mystery.
For new adopters of VR, Melody said her most important piece of advice is to “experiment, experiment, and experiment”. “Rules are made to be broken,” she remarked, “get a Samsung Gear and go and make something interesting every day!” We’re holding our breath for the next amazing experiment from this talented artist!
Shooting & editing tools used:
Zcam S1; Mettle’s Skybox, Boris FX Mocha VR, BCC
Melody Liu, Mettle, Music Video, Soundcloud, VeeR, Virtual Reality