“I’m in house here at Kung-Fu records, I met the band and we hit it off,” Nate Weaver explained the simple formula. Usually up and coming directors seek out willing artists at bars and concerts, and these oftentimes fruitless efforts are tiring and discouraging. Due to budget restrictions indie music videos are often straight performance and usually what the label wants. But Weaver took a simple performance video and created a stunning ambiance through his lighting and post abilities. “Ten years ago,” Nate said, “I did stage lighting for cover bands which taught me how to create mood, surprise, and other emotions by dynamically changing the lighting. I like to think of myself as a decent photographer everything I do comes from lighting, photography, and composition.”
And so, a collaboration that began on a computer, flourished, and finally ended on a computer. But if work is defined as the dot product of the distance vector and the force vector, as my inner-nerd tells me, then no work has really been done. But then again, Brian is used to defying physics. “I was for a very long time inspired by the surreal artist Joseph Cornell,” One said. “[Cornell] crafted these little ballerina boxes that contained a micro-world of letters, postcards, memories…I’ve always been infatuated by how to document memories through objects.” And much of that infatuation is projected in his art.
Three set about with an idea. “The song is about an abusive father,” said Sloat, “and I wanted to visually and literally [convey the associated emotions in the form] of a family tree.” The family tree would be the symbolic centerpiece of the set and it would be adorned with children’s drawings and , furthermore, the tree itself would spin during the chorus, symbolizing a family out of control. The drawings would show the effects of heroine and abusive parenthood from a kid’s POV. Heavy concepts for a heavy band.
When Robert, the lead singer, heard the idea, he confessed liking it, but it was not before the opinionated front man had discussed with Sloat at length about other artistic details. And so a date was set, a set was constructed, and three completed making hundreds of crayon drawings.
“I tried to create a jarring and uneasy feeling through jerky animation,” Mike said. The animation was created by scanning each frame into the computer and later realized through a series of zooms and color manipulations. The result? A type of “despair” that even Kierkegaard would find depressing.
see the J’Adore “OK” music video
“There’s this place Grosh, which is a vintage backdrop place in L.A. They have this amazing catalog of backdrops with all these incredible themes, like moonscapes and planets,” Monty recalled the scouting trips. At the same time, scenes from the Wild West began to conjure in the deepest recess of his imagination.
“I was going for this Anthony Mann western look,” Monty said. “ The Naked Spur is a real favorite movie of mine.” Other parts of the video was shot at the Laurel Canyon Stages which Monty was able to obtain for two days with all the lighting equipment for a paltry $700. The camera package from Camtek cost $500 and, interestingly, the video was shot on short ends from the movie “Bad Santa.”
“If I was some starry eyed amateur there’s no way I would have been able to do this for the price I spent…I was very lucky to get good people that I had worked with before to attach them to the project.”