It all started with a Google search, as most things do, these days. I was looking for more videos featuring photobooths — you know they’re out there — and I came across this post on cinematography.net from a director of photography who needed to shoot a scene for a music video in which a photobooth flash goes off, with the requirement that the flash be able to be synched to the shutter of the camera he was using to shoot the scene.
The message was posted in January, and I began looking around to see the work that the cinematographer, Tom Townend, had done. I came across what looked like a somewhat incomplete but at least recent list on the music video database, but no luck with photobooths in any of the videos listed there.
The forum thread gets a little off-topic, but Townend responded with an update later on, saying that the photobooth used for the shoot eventually became “a build in the studio (for ‘booth pov’ shot).” Now I knew at least what I was looking for, and as I tried a little more searching today, I came across Townend’s management company page, with many more samples of his (really nice) work, including videos for Doves (great song, great video by Lynne Ramsay) and Arctic Monkeys. The video for the song “New York” by Stephen Fretwell, a young singer from Scunthorpe by way of Manchester, for which Tom Townend was the director of photography with director Daniel Wolfe, ends with a series of inside-the-booth shots of Fretwell as the flash goes off. Mystery solved, and one more addition to the list of Photobooths in Music Videos.