Fall colors and stopmotion – behind the scenes of “Got a Nerve”

hello fellow dwellers of the intertubes!

I’ve just finished a new music video for Grand Vanity’s song “Got A Nerve.” the band is composed of Greg and Dani Jong, a husband and wife duo that I first met on the Procession’s “Major & Minor” video (watch it here.)

the video was a lot of fun to make, the Jong’s have a great attitude and since it was pretty low budget, I got to work with friends. that is, I had to convince people who like me to come work for free or cheap.

since we were going to be pushing the limits of our budget, I wanted to make sure the video was well planned. a month or so before the production, I went to Van Nuys with my Canon Powershot and shot some tests which I then cut into an animatic.

here are some clips from that test.

intro test

stop motion test

soon the week or the production was upon us…unfortunately the Jong’s came down with the flu. being a performance video it was kinda important that they were in good shape for filming, so we pushed the video. this is never a fun thing to do. once you change dates, the availability of crew and gear can change drastically. and the later we were going to shoot, the worse the weather would be.

yes, this is Southern California, but it does rain here. and the closer you get to the end of the year, the more likely it will rain. but this time, fortune smiled on us. between our initial shoot day and the day we shot it got cold. cold enough that the leaves changed.

leaves before
Greg test

leaves on day of shoot
jump

this isn’t something we could have planned, but it totally worked in our favor. the potential negative of delaying the shoot turned into a positive that enhanced the mise-en-scène of the video.

the shoot itself went smoothly. no one hassled us at all, which was great since we were shooting IN THE STREET without permits. this means that if anyone had a problem with us shooting they could report us to the police and the police would shut us down. thankfully, Saturday morning in Van Nuys is a pretty mellow place.

van nuys performance

you can see a woman walking her dogs stopped to say “hi.”
the crew

this was my 2nd video with the director of photography Brett Pawlak he shot the “Come Around” video. it was good getting to work with him again. since we were shooting on a long lens, we were pretty far from the band and would often chat during the takes. listening to the audio tracks cracked me up. maybe someday I’ll cut together some choice lines. until then, you’ll have to be satisfied with a pic of our sweet kicks.

shoes

Tony Federico came on board to produce. this was also our 2nd project together, the 1st being the Rotten Apples video. many of these pics are ones he snapped on set. it’s pretty great working with someone who has an even more ridiculous mustache than me.

early morning Tony
Tony preps

the day consisted of much walking around Van Nuys, some stop motion shooting, a bit of green screen, and ended with a short narrative scene. this “house” was actually a small, detached guest room in the backyard that the Jong’s used as their recording studio. add a knocker and a coat rack and viola! another location. part of this scene we had to film after the sun went down. luckily the small lighting package we had did the trick.

viewfinder

green screen

Canon view

camera crew

drum solo

night for day

to celebrate the shoot I treated a few of the guys to a pretty awesome meal at Umami Burger.

Umami Burger

a big thanks to Ben Ceccerelli, Steve Romero, Andrew Drapkin and AJ Ullman for their help with the post production. these guys have all helped me with numerous projects and I couldn’t keep doing what I do without them.

-Luke

p.s. the next day, Tony, Brett and I would be going on an adventure… we had the camera package for the entire weekend, so we decided to shoot a little short film. a couple posts on craigslist, many headshots, and a few phone calls later we had our talent…

more on that once it drops. until then, here’s a teaser pic from that shoot.

untitled promo

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2 Comments

  1. man. just looking at that picture from umami makes me jealous. and drooly….*sigh*

    i love how the timing delay ended up playing in your favor with the leaves changing color. hooray!

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