Updated: Feb 1
One of the greatest thrills for me over the years has been developing narrative concepts and telling stories in various forms that didn’t exist before I created them. This has been the nature of songwriting much of the time, but it’s even more fulfilling when I can expound upon the substance of a song by using the medium of video. Such was the case with my most recent video project, “Mr. Anderson”, which is also a song from the recent album NEW IMPERIALS.
For the most part, the subject matter of the video follows the narrative of the song pretty accurately. In order to make this happen, it was important to let the video be as long as it needed to be so that the story came through clearly and didn’t feel rushed. The result is a music video that feels more like a short film, due largely to the long musical intro that helps carry the first minute or so of the short before the song actually starts. The narrative is somewhat dark, touches on the issue of suicide and the effects of trauma, and then ends with an emotional resolution. So, it’s a bit intense. But hopefully it also comes across as promising and more or less positive.
It took about 2 days to storyboard the project and get it ready to shoot. I contacted my friend Jesse Valencia of the band Gorky and asked him to star in the film, and then went about lining up the rest of the cast. Some of the actors were impromptu additions, especially in the bar scene. There were some fun little experiences during this project as well. I think some city workers were a bit confused when they saw Jesse standing out on the busy highway in reflective gear and a stop sign. We shot the scene off the main road, though, so we didn’t interfere with the flow of traffic. It took us 3 tries with scheduling to get a small group of teenagers to act as high school kids, and when we finally did, it started to pour down rain and I had to re-write the layout of the scene on the spot.
Overall, the project went really well. So far it has garnered a couple of awards and has been accepted to several film festivals. It was quite a thrill to be named “Best Music Video” by the Switzerland International Film Festival. Projects like these are time consuming and take a lot of planning, but I can’t wait for the next one. For any photo-philes out there that are curious, I shot with a Fujifilm XT-30 in both 1080 and 4k at varying frame rates; I used 2 main lenses – a Fujifilm 16-55mm and a Fujifilm 50-230mm with optical image stabilization; I also used a Zhiyun Weebil S gimbel. I edited in Final Cut Pro X.
Thanks for checking it out! Do you have a favorite video filming setup you use? Lemme know in the comments if you want. Much love