Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Bridge Video - Behind The Scenes (Part 1)

Hey!  Looks like the promotion of my second album, Powder Kegs Beneath Dagger (PKBDT) trees is finally ending in June with one last show and one last video here.

Fittingly, it's a video for the record's first song, The Bridge.  Which I feel is perfect - if you've listened to the record, you know the song's circular story.  But more than that, it's a fitting ending because, just like the record, the video took years - literally - years, to come together.

Co-director and camera-ista, Jackie Sestak
Meet Jackie Sestak, a Chicago-based film-maker and improv artist, who I met on Halloween 2009 playing at a KEXP-Seattle showcase.  We started conceiving the video for The Bridge a month later - yep, almost 4 years ago.  I told you this stuff takes forever sometimes.

Well, she and I are pretty persistent video-makers it turns out, because we finally got to making the video at the end of last summer after revisiting the concept with another film-maker (and the eventual editor), Jessica Turcios.

Made great friends made along the way.  Real proud of the work we did.  As usual we have a ton of photos to share, from the three separate days we shot the video.  I'd like to start sharing them here today in three separate blogs - one for each day.

Here's what happened during the first of three days of shooting:

Sean the Devil, and Jason on the Day 1 set
During "pre-production" (again, if you know the story behind the song), it was obvious that we were going to need to blow up some powder kegs.  Which raised a handful of hurdles.  I turned to my brother Jason whose talents include carpentry (he built the dolly we used to spin the room in the All I Need video, if you recall), as well as pyrotechnics.  We had to figure out how to a) get hold of a real powder keg, b) blow it up, and c) not get arrested doing it in public.

As good fortune had it, our soldier-friend from high school Dave (who has top secret military clearance - serious), was in the country and invited us to shoot at his remote private property about two hours outside the city.

All that was left to do was head to Indiana to get some wick, drop a few bucks on eBay to get a real civil-war era powder keg (from which, Jason fashioned some Styrofoam replicas), locate Sean the Devil (who as you know makes appearances in each video to date), and drive the crew to Dave's farm.

L-R: Noah, Dave, Veek, Dad Trakan, Tristan
Unfortunately, the awesome Rob Gaczol, who photo-documents much of our goings-on (including days two and three of this video's shoot) wasn't with us on this first day, so you're stuck with a handful of crappy photos I took.

Regrettably, I somehow didn't capture photos of the cats, chickens, turkeys, horses, and shooting ranges on the property.

In fact, it seems I didn't take any photos until we got to the shot location - about two acres behind Dave's house.  We had to take a van and a couple ATVs (chauffeured by Dave's super-cool sons, Tristan and Noah), to get there.  (Also supervising that day, my old man, and artist/wife extraordinaire Veek.)

Well... here's how the shoot went:

Above:  Jackie and Jess found the tree where we'd do the shoot.  It was as far away as possible from Dave's house, and surrounded by corn fields (with little black biting 'cornbugs'). I should also point out that, unlike the days we shot the video for Summer,  the weather was freaking perfect.

Above:  We assembled props, and Sean the Devil got the beers... devilishly.

Above:  Sean, my old man and Dave supervise while Jason wires up the explosives.

Above:  Jess directing Sean while Jason continues to wire stuff up

Above:  Jason showing off his pyrotechnics chops, by swallowing the fire, as he sometimes does. (Sean, Jess, Tristan and Noah looking on.)

Above:  Jason setting the charge and putting the final touches on one of the several faux-barrels we blew up.

Above:  Sean of the Corn.  Waiting for "action."  Fire in the hole....

Above:  Success!  No trees were harmed in the making of the video, and all Styrofoam was cleaned up.

Below:  Sean wraps up the video and we pack 'er up...

...and then, Dave and his awesome wife surprised us all with an amazing dinner and a super-unforgettable evening, surrounded by chickens, turkeys, cats, and great friends and family.  All of which I failed to photograph. Rock n roll.

Here's a link to the final video.  I'll share Rob G's photos from the other two video shoot days soon.  Check back.