Product / ServiceMUSICIAN
CategoryA09. Excellence in Music Video


Name Company Position
Armand De Saint-Salvy Thirteen & Co Director
Roy De Giorgio Thirteen & Co Executive Producer
Katherine Shearer Thirteen & Co Producer
Charity Downing Thirteen & Co Executive Producer
Nathan Cavaleri Nathan Cavaleri Music Artist

Why is this work relevant for for Music?

The director devised a unique one shot narrative video, It covers a risqué story that takes a series of daring twists and turns; constantly keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat. It is unexpected, smart, stylish and littered with clues that rewards repeat viewer. The music video delivers on a very specific brief (see below), and manages to entertain. It makes the song "sound" better by really capturing the spirit of the song. It is a truly exceptional peice.


In the early 90s, Nathan Cavaleri was a famous child actor/musician in Australia. He performed with BB King, was signed to Michael Jackson's label, regularly appeared on Australian TV and starred in a movie with David Hasselhoff. But he mysteriously fell out of the limelight. 25 years later, he is resurrecting his musical career. The brief for the music video was to enamour Nathan to the Australian public once again. The video had to position Nathan as a classy, sophisticated artist with broad appeal. The video had to capture the cheeky tone of the song and it's themes of guilty pleasure. It also had to garner the interest of his old fans. To do this meant showcasing Nathan's acting ability. It also had to attract a new generation of young fans, so the video needed a contemporary look and capture the imagination of today's zeitgeist.

Describe the creative idea

The song describes the guilty pleasures of a man having an affair. So the director, devised a female revenge tale, centering the theme around female empowerment. The video, shot in one continuous take, details the story of a man (played by Nathan Cavaleri) who is embroiled in a 3 way love triangle. He is having an affair with a young musician who doesn't know he's married. And he's sleeping with his business partner, who knows the man's wife well. But when the man's wife discovers his deceit and realises that the young musician had no idea he was married, the two women plan their revenge against the man, planting evidence so that his business partner takes the fall for his demise.

Describe the strategy

Normally one shot music videos cover a single moment in time, that unfolds before our eyes. To make 29 Gold Stars different to other "one-shot" videos, the director wrote a story that unfolds over several months, comprised of multiple scenes. Somehow the director manages to link it all together in one flowing shot: all done in camera, with no special effects, no trick edits. Without an edit to rely on, the director had to meticulously plan every actor's beat, each camera move, all scene transitions in advance. He didn't have the luxury of "finding the story" in the edit by re-arranging shot order. Furthermore, the duration of the video was locked to 2'45'', so the planning of every moment had to be timed to the exact frame to make sure the totality of the story would fit into the required length, and still be a digestible narrative.

Describe the execution

The director created the illusion of passing time by making changes to the set, lighting and costumes whilst filming. This required a very complex choreography of actors, camera and crew. If anyone in the cast or crew made even the smallest error, they had to redo the entire take. They took 52 takes to get it right. In terms of narrative flow, pacing was a huge challenge. The director spent weeks storyboarding, timing out each scene, each move and beat to make sure that every narrative clue was on screen long enough to register. He wanted to make a complex film feel simple. Such that the audience could understand the story on first viewing, but with repeat viewings get a deeper understanding.

Describe the outcome

The video was a huge success. It's has the most view count of any video Nathan's ever done, (8 times more than any other). It launched his tour of Australia, which has been so successful, he's had to add more venues across a number of cities, and had to return to several cities due to popular demand. The video itself received critical acclaim, being officially selected on Directorsnotes.com, promonews.com, filmshortage video of the day, and clipped.tv clip of the day.

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