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A behind the scenes look at "Clocks by Coldplay for Cello"

Nathan Chan

"Clocks by Coldplay for Cello" represents the most ambitious YouTube video we've ever done. During the winter break of 2012-2013, my friend Darren Yee and I decided to make a music video featuring the classic Coldplay song, Clocks. Featuring one of the most recognizable piano openings, I thought from a musical standpoint it would be a very appropriate song to cover. So in one day, using Logic Pro, I formed the framework of the song by recording the piano line, bass line on the cello and the solo with harmonies as well. The premise was simple: Darren would be the director and cinemetographer and I would be the performer, editor and audio producer.


In the span of two days, Darren and I went to classic and legendary landmarks across the city of San Francisco. It was a beautiful day, with very good visibility! We ended up going to the overlook of the bay across the Golden Gate Bridge, the abandoned military fort there, The Palace of Fine Arts, and even sunset at Sutro Baths.


Using a Canon Rebel T2i and a hefty 32Gb memory card, we were able to get all the footage we needed. That night, we edited until 4 in the morning! In fact, one of the most contemporary shots in the video, which includes rhythimcally timed shots of empty chairs, was thought up of through intense fatigue! 

However, I really wanted the music to be as beautiful as the video, so through an innocent tweet, was lucky enough to have the indie/pop duo "Space Among Many" help me in my audio troubles. The duo, which includes Lick-Wilmerding alumni (my high school) Tano Brock and Jack Gorlin, eventually started a group message with me in which they helped me. I would send them audio files and they would help me with things like EQ, compressors and the sort and send it back to me. They really helped polish the feel of the track and I couldn't have done it without them.

Over the next week, I made teeny tweaks to the video, including color correcting it. Then, I uploaded it! It has been such a big success. I love it!