How we filmed an independent music video

Behind the scenes with Ammonite Daze.

“Let’s film a music video!” My housemate, Lawrence said one day.

Lawrence knows I’m always up for anything. “Alright,” I answered, “this could be fun.”

The band: Ammonite Daze

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Brothers Lawrence (left) and Oliver Scheele (Right).

The two brothers I was living with, Lawrence and Oliver Scheele have recently begun an electronic duo. They call themselves ‘Ammonite Daze,’ after the ancient cephalopods which died out around 66 million years ago. ‘Ammonite Daze’ represents their connection to the natural world. It’s no surprise that ammonites, with their spiral shapes, are symbols of positive movement and transformation.

“We want to create music that invokes the beauty and connectedness of nature, that allows people to reflect on their own lives,” Lawrence says.

Oliver and Lawrence Scheele on a romantic sunset beach walk.

The duo’s philosophy is to bring people back to the place within themselves –to reconnect them with their true nature.

And like all great and noble things, it all started after a near death experience. Lawrence was knocked unconscious by a falling coconut while gardening in his backyard. The day after he returned from the hospital, he wrote the ‘Starry Night’ demo while recovering in bed.

“I sent it to Oli, my brother, and was like, what do you think? He added his input which created an ethereal vibe that we rolled with.”

The cast (left to right): Gina Karnasch, Atlanta Simutanyi, Tiani Dun, Valerie Cornet and Sam Crisp.

The song is chilled yet energetic, it almost feels like you are drifting through the cosmos or dancing on the beach at night.

All of this inspired the making of Ammonite Daze’s very first music video, which was only just released TODAY (on February 16th, 2022)(and on the Leo full moon, of course).

The making of a music video:

Lawrence, Oliver, myself and co-director Kaspa Blewett all lived together on Magnetic Island. This made planning our debut videoshoot a very smooth and cohesive task.

Lawrence’s vision was to film the video on a secret beach, under the stars and the full moon. It would be a late night of “work,” so naturally, some camping, a bunch of friends and many snacks would be required.

The cast gather around the campfire while eating some (well-deserved and delicious) Pad Thai noodles.

We decided to film the music video on one of the most isolated spots we knew. Impossible to get to by road, our old mate Fred agreed to taxi us over on his boat. So the camera crew went over by sea, while the others hiked over the hill to meet us later on.

Steaming over the Coral Sea towards our destination. Film shot by Tiani.

Being on student budgets means that we didn’t have any expensive camera equipment. In fact, we used our dive torches as lights, and found a nice pair of Kaspa’s shorts to hold in front of them to create an amber tone. (Sadly, the shorts were a casualty of the night and caught on fire during the filming processes. Luckily, a bright pink Napisan scoop did the same job for more filming at a later date).

We borrowed a fire twirling stick from some neighbours, and I brought a pair of party glasses which made for a fantastic lens effect.

Tiani dancing with extremely high-tech effects from party glasses.

“It was pretty experimental, and it all just happened. Nothing was staged, nothing planned, and it all just flowed naturally,” Lawrence said.

“Everyone helped to create it and spontaneously had ideas to contribute. It was a collaborative effort.”

It’s true. Half of the cast didn’t even know they would be in a music video until they arrived. We just turned the song on repeat and danced!

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Living in the moment with Gina, Val, Tiani, Atlanta and Sam.

It’s times like these that remind us to live deeply in the present. If we trust in the process, everything will eventually work out. Like how their name, ‘Ammonite Daze’ refers to the duality of night and day, Lawrence and Oliver hope to convey this same idea that past and future don’t exist. We only have what’s here and now, so we need to relish in each moment.

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More party glasses effects. Cool, right?

Doubling as a local photographer, Lawrence wanted to also showcase the wonders of the natural marine life of his island home. Naturally, of the locals, the turtle ‘Shelly’ makes a guest appearance in the music video.

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Shelly cruising along to her favourite electronic beats.

“The island’s marine life is awe inspiring. The inshore reefs create such biodiverse habitats that are often overlooked.”

The band’s album cover features a Bigfin Reef Squid. The squid, captured on one of Lawrence’s (many) night snorkels last year, represents our young artist’s connection to the island. 

Starry Night Album Art: by Lawrence Scheele

“Ultimately, I hope the track inspires people to reconnect and immerse themselves in nature,” Lawrence says.

But the song is also about how you interpret what you feel when hearing the music. It’s an instrumental so really, it’s anybody’s story.

Check out the full music vid to ‘Starry Night’ below! Also follow Ammonite Daze’s journey on Triple J Unearthed, Spotify and Instagram.

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