I Directed a Pretty Cool Music Video That Could Have Been Better
As I mentioned in a previous post, after making a mediocre romantic comedy I wanted to build some experience by directing music videos for my friends' bands. As I also mentioned, Rob Benedict, one of the actors in my film, had his own band called Louden Swain. Works out pretty well, huh?
Rob's well known amongst fans of the show Supernatural as "Prophet Chuck." Rob plays the nerdy, nervous guy in many of the films he's in because he's a great physical comedic actor and can pull off that character very well. But that's a joke to anyone who knows the guy in real life cause he's one of the smoothest cats you'll ever meet. And he's a freakin awesome singer/guitarist/songwriter. Coincidentally, he grew up just outside of St. Louis where I live and we shot my film, but lives in LA now.
Louden Swain was about to put out a new album and gave me a pre-release copy. We talked over some of the songs we thought would work best for a video. One of the songs, "All I Need" was about Rob's experience hanging out at a party with a bunch of drunk actor people (including two very famous ones who shall remain nameless) and thinking to himself, "Man, this is all kind of vapid, I'd really rather be at home with my wife." That conversation led me to a concept for a video - the guys in the band are playing in a bar, but they're not on stage facing a crowd, they're in the middle of the bar, facing each other and the other people are just going about socializing as if a band is not playing in the middle of the floor. Them playing their instruments isn't intended to be literal, it's an analogy for friends hanging out together and doing the things friends do - they could just as easily be watching football or playing poker or whatever. But their time together keeps getting interrupted by drunk idiots who seem to think of themselves as the life of the party and to whom it does not occur that these guys don't want to do shots with them, they just want to hang out as a close group of friends.
I think the guys in the band liked how it came out, and I've gotten some compliments on it. But every time I watch it something bothers me. See, the guys in Louden Swain all have great senses of humor, if you go through some of their other videos you'll see plenty of it. Because I was directing, I thought it was my job to create the concept and come up with all the little comedic bits in the video, I thought if I asked anyone else for ideas I wasn't holding up my end of the deal because it would be like I was passing my job on to other people to do for me. I didn't really collaborate with the band. If I had, I'm sure the video would have funnier. Who knows, maybe we would have come up with a different concept we all liked better. The video is fun and looks great, I'm proud of it, but I can't help thinking that I missed an opportunity for a fun collaboration that would have had an even better result.