Working with Henry Scholfield always brings challenges. He's that kind of Director. He cares, and he knows he can do it - not a man that tolerates eye-rolling.
You'll get a sense of the set from Ben East's making-of film embedded here. In brief we used a motion control system, it's designed, very basically, to record and repeat complex camera moves so that the director can achieve multiple actions/scenarios/actors in the same visible frame. This allows Post Production to piece it all together afterwards in seamless fashion...if it goes right. Motion Control is NOTORIOUS for breaking down, losing moves, technical or operator failure.
The Creative idea needed Motion Control to come alive, and was the germ on which the visual execution was based, pushing the very limits of what motion control could do.
On the day - we shoot the whole track with Dua and dancers in blue, they go to change styling and make-up and re-appear resplendent in orange, so far so good. It was gone midnight by the time Dua went to change to orange, we'd been there since 7am that morning. Needless to say, the finish time was 4am. So far, so promo..
As an exercise, look up the final film in The Archive section and see if you can count the setups (separate moves). Add in the complex choreography across multiple dancers, Dua's team making sure she looked A1 in EVERY take, and Henry's forensic attention to detail. You'll soon get the picture.
MOTION CONTROL TAKES TIME. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE IT.