Babel – Mumford & Sons

Director – Sam Jones
Production Company – Black Dog Films/RSA
Motion Control Operator: Mike Leben
Motion Control Tech: Garritt Hampton

Behind the Scenes

Babel is a fantastic example of “Twinning”. Filmed with the Graphlite motion control camera crane on an Red Epic-M Monochrome, Director Sam Jones created the illusion of an army of Mumford & Sons band members in a single continuous circular shot. To achieve this effect, Motion Control Operator, Mike Leben first created a single camera move, consisting of a 720 degree swing on the Graphlite arm and a 24 foot dolly move. This created a large oval move that after being traveled twice by the Graphlite, ended in a long dolly back and zoom out, revealing the enormity of the room. After this move was created, it was filmed in approximately 25 smaller passes, with the band being reset between each take. The precise repeatabilty of the Graphlite allowed these multiple takes to be edited into a seemingly endless single shot featuring dozens of band members in the same room. Because the Band had a limited time to shoot the video, the move was programmed on the first day, using cardboard stand-ins, then the whole video was shot in one, relatively short shoot day. The crew and band were fantastic, and even under very demanding time constraints, it was an extremely relaxed and enjoyable shoot day.

The video was filmed in the abandoned Oakland Central Station, which is an extraordinarily beautiful location and offered great photographic opportunities.