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“You have to capture things as they happen”

Already well known in the a-ha community – and well beyond – as an accomplished photographer, Stian Andersen is now directing music videos as well. “I have been doing video now for 1.5 years, it’s a new thing for me and I really enjoy it,” Stian tells us.

Stian Andersen

Stian directed the new music video ‘DO YOU REMEMBER ME?’ which incorporates live footage from the ‘Brother’ tour. He filmed at Morten’s concerts in Hamburg, Oslo, Stavern, Kristiansand, London and Paris this summer. We had a quick chat with him about the project last week. How did the idea for a live video for Morten come about?

Stian: I just love the concept of traveling with the band and capturing those moments, to have that full access. It was like the access I had while making the a-ha book. Same kind of working method, documenting what’s going on on tour, it’s all about capturing the essence of Morten Harket live.

I pitched the idea to Harald Wiik, and he liked it a lot. We talked about keeping it with the rough look – hard core, black & white, grainy, that look. The previous video for ‘Brother’ was much more slick, more controlled, so this gives a rougher style look. We know you’re a fan of a-ha’s music; do you like Morten’s solo music, too?

Stian: Yea I do, I tend to lean more towards electronic productions, but I really like the ‘Brother’ album and this single. What kind of challenges did you face while filming at the gigs this summer?

Stian: There are always things going on that you have to adapt to. Even though everything is cleared beforehand, sometimes security is too eager to do their job and they stop you mid show and want to throw you out. These things happen at these kind of shoots, it happens on a daily basis. You have to have a way to get around this. There might be some yelling involved – hey, as long you get the footage, you’re not there to make friends.

You’re basically at work from when you get up in the morning until you get to bed as the last man to make sure you capture it all. What was it like touring with Morten and his band?

Stian: You can scare people off with a lot of equipment and a lot of foreplanning, which you would have with a big crew production. Morten doesn’t like to plan things out in advance, things have to have a natural flow. You have to capture things as they happen. You’re gonna get thrown off tour if you’re there with huge lamps and rigs, and 50 people. Morten has to focus on the show, and I have to be a fly on the wall to get the good stuff. I can’t be in the way. It’s a totally different working method from when we shoot in a film studio. How does touring with Morten compare with touring with a-ha?

Stian: The production and the venues are much smaller with Morten solo, a-ha was a massive production. I had the freedom to sit there and look at the venues, research which ones I wanted to film at. With a-ha, a lot of the venues look the same – they are big arenas with little soul. But the venues Morten played at have classic beauty and give a lot of energy to the film. Together with the outdoor Norwegian festivals, all in all it was a great little mixture of locations. Do you have a lot of material that has been unused, which may show up at a later time?

Stian: We did get a lot of material, and who knows what might happen with it!

Stian Andersen