“Would you make a quick quirky cheap video for me?”
” A collection of 17th Century Songs… maybe you should choose the weirdest”
“I wasn’t thinking a full on video effort.. something quite lateral in approach. Something odd and possibly experimental”
Part of me kind of wish more music video proposals came with instructions like that – don’t make much of an effort, pick the song yourself, make it weird. Sure, the 17th Century bit was a bit of a concern. How do you even start?
In the end I picked the first track of the album. Not because it was short (but, thankfully it was) and not because I couldn’t be bothered to sit through a whole album of 17th Century songs (because I did. I listened to it all, I promise) but simply because it was my favourite track and it just resonated with me. It was probably the drinking bit, since I had being doing a fair bit of that over the past few months.
The decision to use found/public domain footage was kind of obvious. I didn’t want to film anything myself; it just didn’t seem right. So I started sifting through public domain footage on the internet, searching for clips tagged with alcoholism, drinking, parties and similar terms. Of course I wanted the clips to be interesting, but at the same time I really didn’t wanted it to be about the actual images. Bug Bears is a beautiful album, but it’s also bloody hard work and I wanted the video to reflect that. Eventually I found myself with a bunch of suitable clips and started playing around with them. Should I cut it to the beat, try to make it reflect the lyrics somehow? It just didn’t seem to work and the clips quickly became uninteresting. So I decided against all these normal conventions and started playing around with fixed clip lengths, eventually settling on one second. It seemed to work. It was long enough for the brain to start processing what was on screen, but short enough to make you work that little bit extra. I think it works. It’s unlike any other video I’ve ever done, but I’m quite pleased with the end result. Sure, it’s pretty unwatchable, but I also find it strangely appealing and almost hypnotic. Drinking, fighting, dancing, drinking, fighting, dancing.