How Number One Candidate's best moments were shot:
1. Opening scene
The opening scene shows Ants riding a horse through the mountainous landscape. For these shots Ants had to learn to ride a horse in just 10 days.
However, it was equally tricky to find the right location which had a view of the mountains behind it, would catch the sun just right, and was flat and straight enough for Tom and Isaac to drive alongside Ants in a pickup truck.
Then they had to choreograph the shot, replicating Tom's vision as closely as possible. Isaac was in the back of the pickup. "The horse was called Lucky – that said everything for how the video went," says Tom. "Isaac was the 'human meat gimbal', as he described himself, and he was pulling focus and stabilising. We still wanted to keep some shake because if you go too smooth you get all sorts of distortion and you lose a lot of the energy."
2. Hyper zoom lens reveal
"I knew I needed a really big zoom lens because I wanted to have these crazy reveals of the landscape," explains Tom. "You think Ants is standing against a green wall then, no, he's next to a fire truck. I want people to feel they've been taken on a journey – and a zoom out is one little journey within a bigger story."
"Any operator will tell you it's challenging to create these shots," says Isaac. "It's tricky, especially if you're panning and operating the camera while zooming, but you're letting the lens do the work, really. It's not super technical."
3. The 'whip-pan' transitions
When the camera 'whips' from Ants singing on one cliff face to another, it's all about timing, says Isaac. "It's purely about being locked into your performer. It helps a little bit if you've got the tripod set up the right way, but you're mainly asking the operator to work in time with the talent.
"My work is to facilitate the director as much as possible and if they're going to be able to nail a beat better than I am, then why would I be operating one second? So Tom was the one who shot that!"
4. Match cut moment
A stand-out moment in the video is the montage of backgrounds, with Ants seemingly static in the scene. This involved a cycle of only two backgrounds at walking distance from each other, and the technique was surprisingly simple. "We had adhesive putty stuck to the screen to mark his position," explains Isaac. "Then we just went to a new spot and put him in the same position.
"I would say that a lot of the work we were doing is far less technically advanced than Charlie Chaplin's work. It's just getting the compositions and the lighting right. It's the real fundamentals of cinematography."