Music Videos

This is the first of five episodes for a short film project I’m working on with with BIlly Talent. It stars Rose Namajunas and Cowboy Cerrone.

Billy Talent reached out to me in July with a proposal to do something different to support the release of their new album. Instead of producing traditional music videos for their singles, they wanted to produce a short film that incorporated their music as score.

Having just completed my first feature and spending the last two years in post over-analyzing all the mistakes I made, I was anxious to get to work on another narrative project!

I approached this as if I was making another film. I researched and co-wrote the story with John Bucher, a mythology PHD. Hours were spent at the Manly P. Hall Library in Los Feliz, studying allegories and parables from ancient cultures. We wanted to create our own allegory that dramatically represented the inspiration behind the songs.

The scope of the story was immense, and I knew help would be needed to pull it off. The script called for stunts, horses, fights, motorcycles, cliff jumps, weapons, a little person, etc, and there is only one name in my directory who I knew could handle it all - Cowboy Cerrone. Cowboy is one of the stars of my feature and a very compelling character. I sent him the script and asked if he’d like to play the villain and co-produce the project. He responded with a “hell yeah!”,and the next day I was driving the rental car to the BMF Ranch in New Mexico.

Let me be clear about one thing - this production would have NEVER been possible without Cowboy. He starred in it, cast Rose and Pat, provided the horses, did stunts, housed the cast and crew at his ranch, built the weapons with forge and hammer, cast all of his soldiers, provided transportation, makeup trailers, choreographed all the fights, and much more. There is no one in this world like Cowboy, and it was a gift to collaborate with him.

We spent 3 weeks location scouting every corner of New Mexico in search of the perfect dystopian settings. By the time I packed up and headed back to LA I had put over 10 thousand miles on the rental car - many of the miles on washboard dirt roads.

The producer, Morgan Gold flew down two weeks before shooting and worked tirelessly for the entire month. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for the project. He pushed himself so hard that one night he woke up in the middle of a farmers field and didn’t know how he got there. It was literally night after night of sleeplessness for him during the shoot.

Now let’s talk about Rose. When I first wrote the script, the hero character was a male. It was Billy Talent who came back with the idea of a female hero, and the second they said it, I immediately thought of Rose. She is one of the best fighters in the world, but has the nature and spirit of an underdog. There is a vulnerability to her. A genuineness. A fragility that avows her heart and courage. In short, she innately possesses the qualities of a heroine. Rose and her fiancé Pat took this project so seriously that they arrived at Cowboys a several days before filming to rehearse their acting, the fight choreography, learn to ride horses, and transform into their characters. I couldn’t believe how open they were to truthfully experiencing the emotions required by the scenes, and how naturally they took to the craft of acting. There was no resistance to the absurdities of the script or the demands of the roles.

We filmed in northern New Mexico in the Bisti Badlands and Nageezi, and it happened to be the coldest ever recorded week in the history New Mexico. One day the temperature was as low as minus 14 degrees C. Every day was below freezing, which presented a pretty serious problem for the cast - The wardrobe was all custom made a month earlier, anticipating warm October weather in New Mexico. Warmer fur layers were added last minute, but those actors still had to be outside in the freezing cold for 10 hours a day without much on.

Production then moved to Nevada and Arizona where we would shoot all the water scenes.

*If you ever intend to film in a the water in either of these states, give yourself MONTHS of prep time! The waterways are all controlled by either The Federal Government, the BLM, or Indian Reservations - none of whom move quickly or cheaply. It took a month of scouting, permit requests, etc. to learn that shooting legally ANYWHERE would not be possible in our timelines or budgets.

So, we did it all off the radar. I rented boats in a few different areas, and hunted for remote gorges and canyons that were not accessible by land or visible from primary waterways. When it came time to shoot, we moved all the crew and gear in under the cover of darkness - leaving the docks at 5am, and sitting around til the sun came up at 730. Same goes for the cliff jump. That sort of thing is very tough to permit, so we found some remote cliffs, travelled to them by boat, and got it done.

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Music Videos

Keith PRO

Internet didn't kill the video star, it creates them. Music videos on Vimeo.

NOTE: Most common asked question: "How do I add videos to this channel? A: Most important thing is to make sure your video is enabled to be added to channels and collections.…


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Internet didn't kill the video star, it creates them. Music videos on Vimeo.

NOTE: Most common asked question: "How do I add videos to this channel? A: Most important thing is to make sure your video is enabled to be added to channels and collections. Then add me as a contact and share a link.

Or if you prefer videomilitia.com is now Tumblr integrated so go there and follow the submit link. I look at every email but don't feel bad if your video isn't added or given a response, email volume is rather high. If the production value is good then I probably didn't like the song. Yes song is a factor.

LASTLY: No cardboard robot videos. EVER.

 

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