The Piano Guys Behind The Scenes
Pandora - The World of Avatar -Al: This place is incredible
especially at night with all these glowing orbs and waterfalls.
There’s creature sounds. (Steve playing creature sound on his cello).
Oh! Is that you?
Hello. It’s 5:30 in the morning.
We’re about to go scout out Pandora and see what it looks like in the morning.
We only have two mornings to film here. I don’t how we’re going to do it.
-Al: You can see a lot of glowing vests for safety reasons.
These amazing orange and yellow vests.
It’s almost 4:00 AM, we’ve got this park to ourselves.
-Paul: This video would not have happened without Craig Knudsen.
-Craig: Paul gave us a challenge. See if you can get us into Disney to do Avatar.
I don’t think he thought we would be successful. It came through within about 3 weeks.
After about 6 months of work.
-Al: Days later we were there in Florida meeting with them.
It was just and idea that we didn’t think was possible.
Before we knew it, there we are, filming the video.
-Steve: Which is very, very unique.
Ask yourself how many music videos you’ve seen, or music groups, filming in Disney?,
Without a person seen, a park-goer seen.
In the comments, I want you to say, “Thank you, Craig!”
Okay, we just got done filming at the floating mountains.
How do you feel about that one?
-Shaye: The biggest problem we have is the light changing every 10 seconds.
This shoot was so hard. One of the challenges we had was the timing.
For the night scenes that are like 15-30 seconds of the video, we had all night to prepare.
The day shots, 35 minutes.
-Steve: Normally, productions like this take weeks.
If you look into what we were able to accomplish, it was because of Disney's generosity.
All we had was 30 minutes.
We had to use it when the sun was coming up.
When the sun got a little too high, that’s when the people were coming in.
-Al: Paul’s style is fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants.
-Paul: I never do this, but I had to plan out the entire shoot,
minute by minute. Second by second. We’re actually on schedule.
We’re starting at 2:00 AM. That’s what we wrote down on the schedule.
It’s 1:56 AM and we’re about to do our first shot! -Steve: It won’t happen.
-Paul: This is amazing! -Steve: I’m going to stall.
-Paul: Don’t listen to him!
-Steve: There are no redos. That’s the bottom line of this video shoot.
You get it or you don’t.
-Al: I was a little concerned with how Paul and Shaye were going to be able to handle that pressure.
It’s like, you’ve got 30 minutes in this location.
Now, we’re going to move. We’re going to setup this jib. You’ve got 20 minutes here.
I’d look at Paul and say, “Is everything okay? Everything going good?”
He’s like, “Yes. I’m feeling good man. I’m feeling the magic.”
-Al: Are you feeling good about everything? -Paul: So far. Yes it’s great!
We have filmed Steve. There is one section in this song about 30 seconds long.
We’re about 4 hours into the shoot and we’ve got 30 seconds done.
The rest of the song is in the daylight. When the sun starts coming up,
we’ve got to just go and get a ton of shots!
-Jon: So the piano was really cool!
Justin Elliot, who designed a piano for Prince, designed a special piano for us.
He put cool looking legs on it.
It looked really, “Avatar-esque”.
-Al: There's a really unique styling with the legs that made it have a futuristic, alien feel to it.
-Paul: This is a 7’6” concert grand.
One of the issues was because of timing, We had to bring our own guys, Jeremy and Frank!
-Steve: The best piano stunt coordinators in the land!
Disney said it would take 45 minutes to pack the piano up.
They (Jeremy & Frank) were done in like 8 minutes flat.
It was like a record-breaking piano pack!
Ready to film starting at midnight tonight. I’ve just met my idol, Julie Borden.
Who has painted her second cello for The Piano Guys.
The first you remember is Maya from Jungle Book.
Well now, introducing, this right here!
It’s the first glow in the dark cello ever created.
We saw it light up and my eyes lit up just as much as the cello did.
-Jon: It was just so cool.
The cello lit up. The piano keys lit up.
-Al: We are now adding these really cool decals. We’ve got two different shades.
These are really cool. We’re slapping these babies on the keys.
Oh yeah! Look at that glow! That’s cool.
-Jon: The vibe of the location was really, really fun.
-Al: This is the Avatar love song. It’s the Avatar love song.
-Steve: Working with Disney is so much fun.
There is a creative electricity that exists there.
We were not able to use a drone in the park. We could only use jib.
We couldn’t put Jon on the floating mountain.
Because Disney, unlike The Piano Guys, is interested in safety.
-Paul: Disney sent us the names of a lighting crew and a jib crew.
Those guys were so amazing. I was blown away. The lighting looked great.
We were able to explain to the jib guy,
“Oh, we need this shot, pulling out and going up high." In a couple of runs, he had it down.
It was perfect.
The editing of this video, it was Shaye.
Shaye has been with us from the very beginning.
On this video, I was blown away. I was like, "Oh my goodness! This looks amazing! This just rocks."
(Accommodations and production assistance provided by the Walt World Resort)
Music by James Horner