The Colonie’s Nathan Rodgers cuts Towkio’s “Symphony”

Towkio's "Symphony"

Towkio’s “Symphony”

The editor bringing his range of skillsets to every phase of the Chicago rapper’s music video

The Colonie’s Nathan Rodgers recently helped set the pace for Chicago rapper Towkio’s music video, “Symphony,” a new single dropped from the artist’s debut album, WWW.

The production gave the editor an opportunity to bring a broad range of his experience to the project. He first stepped in during preproduction, working with the director, Andre Muir on developing the finer points of the concept and fleshing out some new ideas.

Rodgers cut the video to the jazz-fusion inspired beat of the track using the music as a guideline, rather than letting it dictate the cuts. Selecting some points that didn’t line up with the beat, the editor created an off-kilter synchronicity, adding to the unpredictable flow that gives the video a life of its own.

Towkio's "Symphony"
Towkio’s “Symphony”

The storyline focuses on the artist, Towkio, as he tries to get the attention of a girl who catches his eye. While the action unfolds in a hotel, the setting of the music video appears to be changing into a rapid succession of locations seamlessly woven into a cohesive visual story. Bringing together these shifting environments without creating a jarring effect required precise planning and close coordition during every phase of the project.

“This was a complex production, and ultimately the footage would end up in my hands,” says Rodgers. “So, it was important that we stayed on top of every detail, caught potential issues early on and made the necessary adjustments, avoiding time-consuming and costly fixes in postproduction.”



Rodgers edited the music video at The Colonie on the Adobe Premiere Pro and handed off sections to the company’s VFX artist, Ben Pokorny while they were still in rough form. Pokorny experimented with different approaches on Flame Premium and Adobe After Effects, creating visual effects with a style that aligned with the director’s vision.

“Ideally, greenscreen would be used for some shots, but sticking with a practical shoot was more cost-effective,’ says Pokorny. “Instead, I created visual effects and added them after the shoot.”

“A large number of match cuts required the shots to be meticulously timed out,” adds Rodgers. “Even with the close attention paid to every detail, occasionally I would work a scene up to the very end, only to find that the last few frames wouldn’t work and made it unusable. Sometimes this would result in a chain reaction that required changes that affected the whole timeline of the video.”

Nathan Rodgers
Nathan Rodgers

Rodgers was first introduced to this editorial approach when the production company, Naked Gallery, called on him a few years ago to work on some music videos for a number of artists, including Kami and Cody Varik. He recently came onboard as an assistant cutter at The Colonie, a full-service editorial, VFX, and motion design company.

Best known for its work on commercials, social media and long-form content, The Colonie mixed things up a bit with this innovative, jazz-fusion inspired video.

“The Colonie’s team has worked on quite a few music videos over the years,” says EP and partner, Mary Caddy, “We appreciate the fresh perspective that out-of-the-box concepts bring to our work in commercials and social media and our team enjoys working in the genre.”

“Nathan is a new addition to The Colonie’s staff,” says senior editor and partner, Bob Ackerman. “We were impressed with his fresh aesthetic and skill-sets as an editor the first time we saw his work. However, the scope of his contribution and the depth of understanding that he brought to the music video real wowed us.”

The Colonie is an award-winning Chicago-based creative editorial, motion design, visual FX and finishing postproduction house with a seamless full-service approach to creating broadcast and digital content that engages, entertains, informs and move audiences. The company’s client list includes a wide range of national and global clients, such as Toyota, Payless, BCBS, Facebook, Anheuser-Busch, McDonald’s, Nintendo, Levis, PepsiCo, and Bayer.

Product: Music Video: ‘Symphony’
Artist: Towkio
Featured vocals: Teddy Jackson
Licensing: Republic Records, (American Recordings)

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Naked Gallery, Chicago
   Director: Andre Muir
   Director of Photography: Flynn Drew
   Camera Operator: Dae Kim
   Producer: Zach Moore; Cory Proctor
   Associate Producer: Manny Caston

EDITORIAL & VFX COMPANY: The Colonie, Chicago
   Editor – Nathan Rodgers
   VFX Artist: Ben Pokorny
   Post Production Producer: Nathan Rodgers, Jack Williams, August Marron

COLOR: The Mill, Chicago
   Color Producer: Dan Butler
   Colorist: Mikey Pehanich

AUDIO POST COMPANY: The Colonie, Chicago
   Mixer: Nathan Rodgers

Send your press releases to dan@reelchicago.