Northern Lights: Hiew Guitars


I'm pleased to present the final version of 'Northern Lights', a short that I made for my luthier friend, Ed Hiew of Hiew Guitars.


It features Reeve Jia Ming playing a shorter version of his own composition, 'Save The World' on the guitar that you see being made. Ed makes beautiful hand-crafted guitars and, as you'll see, he puts a lot of love into each one. The result is a wonderful sound and a really high quality, original look. Each piece of detailing is superb and all done by hand, and I really wanted to get that across in the short.


The Northern Lights guitar is made with Kayu Arang Bunga (direct translation: Charcoal Flower Wood), a distinctive locally sourced hardwood. Every guitar has fanned frets, elevated neck and a soundhole in the upper half of the body so that the player can get a more accurate impression of the sound the guitar is making.

We shot this over 2 months in Ed's workshop using our Red Dragon and Contax Zeiss lenses, mostly the 60mm macro and the 28mm F2 'Hollywood'. Very simple lighting. Finished in Resolve with a little touch of After Effects on the titling. As usual, Michael Russell helped out as Assistant Camera.


Reeves was recorded in our little sound-treated edit suite, using a three mic combo of two Gauge Condenser tubes to soundhole and frets, and a Royer 101 over Reeve's shoulder. Our Avalon AD2022 preamps gave a bold, clear signal which was digitised at 24/48 through a UAD Apollo. I mixed in Samplitude using the in-program EQ and Softube compression. Nothing too complicated.

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