A relaxed, collaborative and spontaneous adventure about sums up the locally-produced, latest music video from New Zealand band Kora.
Following the release of their single, Gone, last month, the video features vocalist Fran Kora performing the song surrounded by vast mountains and lakes all filmed in the Whakatipu.
Band member and co-director Dan McGruer says he always wanted to create a video in the area, living in Queenstown himself.
“It was always in the back of my mind and it just fell into place.”
Originally planning to film without funding, McGruer and assistant director Daz Caulton, also of Queenstown, were looking to do something local that wouldn’t cost the earth.
Hence the idea of simply featuring vocalist Kora.
McGruer says the song itself is about losing a relationship, so the imagery created a metaphor for being lost and alone.
After receiving funding from NZ On Air, the team decided to “do it properly”, but keep the essential idea, he says.
With support from Glenorchy Heli, Queenstown Cameras and a production crew including director of photography and editor Heath Patterson, McGruer says “it didn’t even feel like work”.
“It was almost life-changing to be up there [in the mountains] … there were no negative vibes.”
Despite Caulton also being location scout for the filming, McGruer says they didn’t plan their exact shots in advance, so had room for spontaneity.
“We just told Fran to hop off the helicopter and sing,” he says.
“It was experimental … some of my favourite footage isn’t even in the video, we’ll use it for the screens behind the live shows.”
He says the band and entire crew are both proud of the music video and the song, which was written and recorded in his own Queenstown home, and can’t wait to play it to fans.
Kora’s about to embark on a few summer tour dates, including snapping up the New Year’s countdown timeslot at Rhythm and Alps in Wānaka.
McGruer admits there’s a little bit of pressure filling the slot, but the band has plenty of experience and is excited to see in 2023.