Sigma’s Summer Sounds with Sophie Brooks
The hit summer song; there’s always one which becomes the memory touchstone for generations. In our ever expanding visual environment, the images that accompany this song possess the same sensorial DNA. Sigma’s “Nobody to Love” was the universal hit of summer 2014 and the song’s official video became one of the most popular on YouTube with 264 million views. There’s always a team of talented professionals manifesting a production like this and leading this one was producer Sophie Brooks. While “Nobody to Love” was shot in Cape Town, UK native Brooks was enlisted and brought to South Africa to ensure that the shoot went perfectly. The overwhelmingly positive reception via YouTube and other online formats attests to this producer’s ability to enable her director and entire team to create this everlasting summer moment for hundreds of millions.
Sophie always throws herself into her work and each project contains a bit of her…if you know how to spot it. “Nobody to Love” director Craig Moore confirms, “She’s an incredibly talented producer with a fine eye for detail, a cool head, a friendly professional manner, and a creative opinion that helps all departments involved in the process. The description that comes to mind is ‘brilliant.’ Sophie and I have enjoyed a great working relationship.”
A great producer knows how to manage and adjust for expectations. Changes don’t necessarily mean a negative direction. While the “Nobody to Love” video didn’t have a large budget, the final production reveals nothing of this. Sophie sees the positive sides possible in all situations and comments, “I make sure that I’m honest with directors and labels about what the budget means. A bigger budget might get you more authority on the shoot and a lower budget means more freedom for the director and artist. Focusing on the positives of either scenario keeps everyone informed and focusing on the benevolent aspects of your specific situation.” This perspective played well for Brooks and her crew as there were a number of challenging aspects besides budgetary constraints. Filmed in Cape Town during off season for modeling made getting the on-camera talent to South Africa more difficult. Add to this the shoot schedule of one day; that’s right, a total of twenty-four hours to capture all of the imagery. Because Cape Town was almost exclusively made up of expensive boutique clothing shops, Sophie supplied the entire wardrobe for the vast majority of the video (there’s the tangible part of her that you’ll find in her work). Of course, every great producer has an ace up their sleeve. In this case, the ace was editor Aislinn Clifford. Having just finished working with the famed Chemical Brothers, Clifford flew out for next to nothing to edit “Nobody to Love.” Aislinn’s resume includes projects for Metallica, Lily Allen, and Beyoncé. Bringing this talented editor to complete the vision was simply another of the benevolent effects of working with Brooks.
“Nobody to Love” has amassed over two-hundred-forty million views and is a video that has defined Sigma’s creative direction as artists. Nominated for a BRIT Award in 2015 for Best Music Video, it’s difference from the standard summer fare is notable. There’s one prominent facet of the presentation which is a result of Sophie’s direct influence. She notes, “Craig and I had long chats about how females were being shown in music videos at the time. I was annoyed about girls being over sexualized and pushed for this video to be about two best friends having a great day without the need to show them in an overly sexual way. He was in agreement that it needed to be more about strength and female empowerment. There were neumerous conversations where we checked in with each other to check ourselves and make sure we were showing fun rather than ‘hot models in a video.’ It was important to both of us that we communicate a fun lifestyle video and not just girls in bikinis, which was prominent at the time. I think everyone connected with that idea of friendship. I’m proud that we made friendship the core of the story.”
Written by Kelly King