We originally had an idea about doing a video for Broken Record (“Who You Were?”) because we thought it offered the most possibilities. Conceptually, well… it almost started writing itself. There’s just so much you can do with a theme like “disconnectedness”, you could almost fill an entire album with it.
Along with Hopper Stone (world class photographer & longtime friend of the lushbeard) we set out on a mission, which quickly went from scripting to shot-blocking to casting actors to location permits to wait a second… I think we may be getting in over our heads a little? Maybe, we were a little too ambitious for our first go at it. Who knows, but we decided we needed a better plan and a slightly less complicated one to boot. Fortunately one came together rather organically, as all the best ones usually do.
I was in the middle of putting the finishing touches on a new batch of tunes and one in particular stood out. I got so excited by the whole thing I booked time in the studio as fast as I could and rushed to record it. It was then the idea to document the whole thing came along and refueled our desire to make another attempt. I’d been involved in a few other video productions for the most part it didn’t look that difficult. But after trying to organize and clear numerous schedules and the corresponding people and places… I have a much better idea of all the work involved. Thankfully everyone involved was not only enthusiastic but patient too.
[singlepic id=32 w=280 h=210 float=right] So, it was back up to our sonic fortress in the hills of Simi Valley… back to Proving Ground Studio. We recorded “Who You Were?” and Acoustic Sessions there and knew what we had going for us. Curt & Sheryl Piar along with their daughter Julia are just about the nicest people on the planet and make any stay at PGS seem like coming home. It’s the best kept secret in town. Hopefully that will all change in time, because Curt is a master of sound(s) and one of the hardest working producer/engineer/musicians I know.
We worked in reverse (sort of) and it totally facilitated the shooting process. Our plan was to film the recording and cut it into something later (think we were still unsure of what at the moment). We laid down the vocals, guitar, bass and keys before we even got to the drums. Someone told me Zep did things in a similar way at one point, but who knows. We brought lights, cameras, lenses, makeup… the whole shebang. The studio was as cooperative and accommodating as ever and totally put up with all the mess. Even after, as it would turn out… most of that footage wouldn’t make it to the final cut (still thinking about a “making of” DVD to be released in some not too distant alternate future).
The song was nearly complete when one day while taking a break and taking in the scenery we stumbled upon our performance location; directly behind the studio where we were tracking. As it turns out there was this perfect spot with easy access in and out (not that you could tell from the video) and within close proximity to electricity, score! Now all we needed was to get permission from the owner of the property, check out proposed construction on the site, look up and into the weather and the lighting conditions, throw together a schedule and start shooting. You know… the usual. Pretty standard stuff but what would our first video be without a little drama?
to be continued…