Lights, Camera, Action – On Set With Jamie Cullum

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On Monday 24th June I was extremely honoured and privileged to be taking part in Jamie’s new music video for the new single “Edge Of Something” in London.

The entire video shoot consisted of 3 separate locations, Covent Gardens Antique Market, Green Lanes Social Club and finally Jamboree in the evening.

I attended the Green Lanes Social Club shoot, it’s the first time I have ever witnessed a music video being made, let alone be in one. So it’s safe to say it made for an interesting day. My days are currently a cycle of changing dirty nappies and generally looking after my little girl, so it was refreshing to get out and do something completely different. So when I was offered this opportunity how could I say no.

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I took the direct train from Manchester to London, and arrived at the Turkish Green Lanes Social Club in North London at 1:45 as instructed. I have to admit I didn’t know what to expect. I thought there would be hundreds of fans on set and even thought Jamie wouldn’t be there. I thought perhaps the shoot would be just fans only. But how wrong I was on both counts.

There was only 7 fans that had been invited along to take part, along with some local residents of the social club who were inside playing backgammon. However in the end only 6 of us took part in this shoot as one fan called Jamie (who had the most amazing curly hair, commented on by many people that day) had featured heavily in the first shoot so he was politely asked to watch this shoot.

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Upon arrival we were all looked after really well, the owner supplied us with endless Turkish tea and coffee on the house, and it tasted rather good too! The club was small inside with a few round tables, it had a lovely ambiance and the locals were very friendly. This was our opportunity to sit and chat and get to know each other a little bit before the shoot.

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And then Jamie arrived with his film crew in tow (wearing black jeans, a red shirt and black jacket), after a long shoot at Covent Gardens Jamie went to the cafe next door for a well earned break. In the meantime we were quickly briefed by the crew on what the plans for the afternoon shoot were.

And of course, Jamie being the true gentlemen that he is came to greet us all before we started filming.

After setting up Jamie’s Wurlitzer Electric piano in the right place, and cameras ready we were almost ready to shoot.

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Filming started around 3.40pm and our group of 6 people are split up, 4 went to one end of the road and myself and another fan called Nathalia at the other end.

The Story: Jamie walks down the street singing “Edge Of Something”, past the 4 fans who have taken up the role as window shoppers, and looking at the outside shop displays, their role is to not notice Jamie walking by. Jamie then spots a piano in an open doorway, stops and goes inside to play and sing “Edge Of Something”. All the gentlemen playing backgammon stop to listen and watch Jamie play. Myself and Nathalia walk down the road and hear Jamie playing, wondering what it is we stop at the doorway to listen, before realising its Jamie Cullum! We then go inside and enjoy Jamie’s music, smiling clapping and dancing along.

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And I can tell you, there is bound to be some really funny out-takes. Old snake hips was hilarious eh Jamie! Can I just say that Jamie did a superb job of keeping a straight face during filming when one of the backgammon players got up and started gyrating his hips in close proximity to him. It sure created lots of laughter and added to the great party atmosphere. Please let it be in the video, it’s a must see.

I lost count how many times we filmed this entire scene, perhaps 4 or 5, and for the last take we had “Edge Of Something” on playback for us all to hear so we really raised the roof at the end.

Jamie was a pro and certainly lived up to his tweet

“Hitting the streets of London to make a music video for Edge of Something. Aiming to feel loose not awkward. Like Beyonce in Single Ladies.”

I don’t think he was awkward at all, he was quite natural and looked relaxed. Not bad considering he had 7 fans and the passing public staring at him all afternoon. So I would love to know what Jamie thought of the day?

Even though there weren’t many takes, there is a lot of down time when shooting a video, so lots of standing around and waiting. But I found this time fascinating, being able to watch how a video is made. All the camera equipment and lenses being changed. Discussions about different angles, sound quality, Jamie being given his instructions and having his earpiece moved to the other ear to make sure it’s not in the next camera shot. Us “The cast” being told about any changes.

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Waiting for your cue was nerve-racking, as was trying to act natural. The only part that came naturally to me was looking like I was enjoying Jamie’s music. No acting required for that one!! It’s funny how you don’t think about how you walk down the road until a camera is on you. Jamie made it look really easy!

It was so surreal to spend a few hours with a talented musician that wasn’t watching a full on show or waiting after a gig. So I am truly grateful to Jamie and his team for being given this wonderful experience. Jamie was right, it was a really random day but in a good way. I loved every minute of it. And whether I’m in the finished video or not, it was definitely the most interesting way to spend my day.

My shoes

This photo is of the shoes I wore that Jamie said he liked and were “very hip”.

Filming finished around 5pm, at which point the crew packed up ready for the next location.

They hope to have the video completed and released as soon as possible so watch this space!

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