Category Archives: Interviews

Interview with Music Video Directors Sophie Muller & Logan

Interview with Directors Sophie Muller & Logan on the making of the No Doubt, “Underneath It All” music video!

“It was a really sweet song, so I wanted to make “Underneath It All” a little less innocent, that’s why I came up with the idea to make it a bit sexual.” – Sophie Muller

Interview with director Sophie Muller:

MVW: I really like the new video. It seems pretty straight forward.

SM: It was kind of difficult making a video for this song since it is more of a personal lyric. I wanted to do something really simple. Just focus on her speaking to the camera. It was a very straightforward video. It was a really sweet song, so I wanted to make “Underneath It All” a little less innocent, that’s why I came up with the idea to make it a bit sexual. I thought that would be an interesting and tasteful way for Gwen to perform the video.

MVW: Who worked with you on the visual effects?

SM: I co-directed this video with Logan. They came up with an idea that everyone was happy with and we were all quite keen to work with them.

MVW: How did you come up with the concept for the video?

SM: Each of us tried to think of what we could do. The simple basis of the idea was that I will stick with Gwen giving her really good performance to camera and have Logan do lots of effects. When we actually came down to it, I realized that idea was too random and we had to be more specific. So I came up with the idea that Gwen would do a kind of strip to camera. She started off with tons of make-up and hair, kind of really over done like a stripper. As the video proceeds she looses her make up at the ends the make up and overdone look is gone. The idea was stripping back to being your simple self. We had to do it using visual metaphors. She was going to be talking her clothes off, but that made it too complicated. Instead we made it into sections where in each section she was less made up. In the end section we came up with the idea to include Lady Saw and using the entire band. This was a last minute decision, so we could only include it in the end section. It was a bit like the scene from Sound Of Music, when they were riding bicycles in time with the music. We changed it to show that they were in Jamaica in order to get the Jamaican feel to the video. This is where Logan did their visual effects. Logan was around all the time on the shoot and I was around shooting their bit. It was a good collaboration.

In the background you had the heart in a couple of scenes.

SM: When doing a performance video, I like to have the camera in front, not moving to the side, giving it one angle. Then designing the background to compliment whatever the atmosphere you want in that particular shot. The Heart makes a nice frame, it was based on some fashion we saw. We did it for the one scene where it gets black, then someone took the heart and placed it against the other set and we saw that it fit in that set as well.

MVW: Was it difficult deciding on the set design?

SM: It was all put together really quickly. We all just went in one day and decided what the first set was going to be like. Kind of ornate fancy room. They built that very quickly. We then came up with the heart with much simpler graphic. It then goes to the pink wall which adds Jamaican flavor.

MVW: How did you bring out the stunning look of the colors?

SM: It was simply teasing the colors. We just matched the color scheme. The color that goes with the pink wall is orange, so we had the boys wearing orange track suite. Then there happened to be this lime green crate lying around, which we just hammered on the wall to create a make shift basketball court. That was a really last minute idea and we did not have a basketball set. Seems in Jamaica, they usually use crates with the bottom cut out. I originally wanted Gwen to wear turquoise, but the stylist suggested lime green to match the crate.

MVW: Did you do anything to pull the color out even more in post?

SM: I pushed it a little bit to make it more contracting, but nothing fancy at all. I used Symphony, which is like an online AVID. I edited my section and gave the whole video to Logan so they could put their bits in. We discussed little bits, like in between each section they did little stars and the scene where she kind of slaps her bottom.

MVW: Where did you shoot the video?

SM: It was all shot in one studio.

MVW: Gwen has such a stong camera presence and the
Caribbean vibe to the song is great.

SM: She is a good performer. So I liked the idea of letting her perform alone rather than a band performance. We could not think of a way to make it good and have the band in the performance as well. Because of the shortness of time, we all agreed that it was best to have Gwen do the performance. The song was more of personal lyric, it’s one person’s thoughts.

Interview with Director/Visual Effects artist Ben Conrad of “Logan”

MVW: How did you end up working with Sophie on this video?

We were treating the track and presented a lot of boards and some of the frames we wanted to do. It was kind of a split between the label and the band. The band was comfortable working with Sophie. They liked some of the frames we did and wanted to have just little moments of “Logan” integrated with a real personal piece about Gwen. It was just better this way with Sophie capturing Gwen’s great performance. It was really intimate and their personal relationship evokes a lot of that great performance from Gwen.

MVW: I understand that you did the effects accenting the video. How did you create these effects?

BC: Off set, Alexei and I shot some glitter and water then used those as a star element to make the 3-D clouds. It was made pretty simple for Gwen to just to give it that religious fantastic look. This was directed by Sophie as well. She had a real clear idea of how she wanted to present Gwen.

The bike scene was where we unleashed. This was the one moment where you see the entire band together. For this scene we shot singles of all the band members on bikes in front of a blue screen on a 12 foot turntable. We stood them up there and shot away as many angles and rotations as possible. The band members were rigged to a lift that picked them up above the ground so they could peddle. We laid out tracks so we could shoot two of them together riding side by side and had grips pulling them back and forth on the small track.

When Alexei, Sophie and I originally talked about the idea, it was to include some of the footage they shot while in Jamaica. Gwen wanted to do something about Jamaica of course and how they would get around on bicycles while staying there recording the track. However we wanted to create something unique for that little moment and came up with the scene with the band members. We kind of gave it a “Sound of Music” through Jamaica look.

MVW: There is one scene where she smacks her side and stars came off of her?

BC: This was one of the original frames we submitted to the band. Originally when we were thinking about the track we thought about the peeling away of the earth layers relating to the track and the metaphor of the song. The echo emanation side protruding from Gwen’s shape relates to that within the concept of the song and serves as a graphic treatment in relation to the song. In all the treatments we wanted to stay within that idea of peeling and emanation of layers.

MVW: You usually do more CG kind of work. This was definitely not the norm for you.

BC: We are really trying to combine to more live action, performance, props and sets. It was a great experience for us to watch Sophie work. This was a really great learning experience for us. I have a hard time even thinking about our stuff as visual effects because to me, it’s more of a personal take on graphics.

Production Co.:
Oil Factory
Directors: Sophie Muller / Logan
Visual Effects: Logan

Freeze Frame: Tom Waits Video Highlights Rock Photographer’s Talen

As an artist who is used to shooting legendary music icons such as Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Eddie Vedder, Bruce Springsteen and Tupac Shakur, photographer Danny Clinch is becoming a legend in his own right. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Spin, GQ, New York Times Magazine, and other publications, and he has published two books, ìDiscovery Inn,î in 1998; and ìWhen the Iron Bird Fliesî in 2001.

In recent years, Clinchís passion for imagery, music, and stories has come together at Three on the Tree Productions, a New York City-based boutique film company that Clinch founded in 2003. Clinch has expanded his horizons to include music videos, concert films, and documentaries into his repertoire. His most recent project is a music video for Tom Waitsí latest album, ìOrphans,î a creative endeavor that started out as a series of publicity stills before taking on a life of its own. The video, ìLie to Me,î rhythmicallyóand energeticallyóanimates Clinchís still photos of Waits playing his guitar near a roadside cafÈ.

MVWire: Could you talk about how you were awarded the video?

Danny Clinch: I was photographing Tom for publicities for his new box set CD – Orpahns and we were out at this little bizarre roadside cafÈ that is out in the country of Northern California around were Tom lives. I have done a fair amount of film work, a couple of music videos, documentaries, concert films, etc. The idea for these photographs is Ö Tom showed up with a truckload full of old vintage speakers and cassette players and radios, etc. and decided that we would build this speaker cabinet behind him. (It was) what you think a Tom Waits speaker cabinet would look like, with all these crazy bells and whistles. Then we plugged his guitar into it and we were shooting these photographsÖ it was just sort of an amazing location; everything came together and we were all so excited about itómyself and my assistant and Tom kind of built this thing together, over a cup of coffee.

We were super excited about it and Tom looked at me and said, ìItís too bad that we do not have a video cameraÖ this would make a great video.î Then he said, ìMaybe I can have my wife run out with her video camera,î and it didnít go farther than that. I said, ìWell, check it out. Why donít I load something in my 35 mm camera, Iíll burn through it really fast as I go through the motions and we will create something that is just really raw and I can animate those stillsñrun them together and we will create something that is just really raw, something that is not lip synced, something that is just super down and dirtyñyou know, style.î Of course, he got a big smile on his face and he was like, (in a rough Tom Waits voice) ìYeah, that sounds great.î We jumped on it; he went through it a couple of times. He did sing the chorus a few times so it might appear there is a moment of lip sync in there, maybe not. We loaded it all into the computer and started pushing it around.

MVWire: Did you talk to the label about it at all?

DC: I just called them and said, Tom said that he wanted to consider turning this thing into a video. Matt at the label said, ìWhat would it cost to do it?î We gave him an idea; they just wanted to keep it super Lo Fi. We were going to throw some animation into the mix, some drawings that were done on glass, it was pretty cool. In the end I think they just wanted to keep it super Lo Fi and I was all for it. We just stripped it down to the barest essentials.

MVWire: So the video was something that was inspiration, in the moment.

DC: The opportunity to do something like that with Tom was just Ö I didnít care what it was going to cost.

He is fantastic; he is one of the most creative guys, he is very restless as wellÖ He doesnít like to sit still for too long. If you are taking a photograph of him, you might get two frames of the same pose and the next thing you know he is off doing something else. You have to be able to work fast, which is why I think I got the gig with him.

He is all for the creative process; he is always coming up with ideas and participating. You have some people that just sit there and are looking for direction all the time and there are others that actually participate in the creative process, and thatís what he does and he is always bringing something to the table.

He is definitely into itÖ he is a super creative guy and has a lot of great ideas, a lot of them are super simpleóa lot of time the more simple the better

For example at one point Ö the publicist had asked me to get couple of simple head shots that they could use. After a couple of frames he looked at me and said, ìOK, are we done here? Because I feel like I am getting my hair cut.î

MVWire: What was the actual process of creating the video?

DC: I shot the stills with a motor drive on handheld. I just shot a bunch of frames consecutively and had him kind of running around and he was really giving it up which was really kind of cool.

I shot it several times over and over again and then said, ìLetís do a few close ups of your face, feet and things like that so that we would have some things to cut away toÖ letís do a couple that are really wide.î Basically I was thinking like an editor, I was coming in close then backing up wide, having him doing some motion.

I had never done anything like that before. When I got back and loaded it into the computer I talked to a friend of mine that knows the process and she was very excited and she said, ìYou shot this on a tripod, right?î I said, ìNo,î and she said, ìOoo.î And I said, ìWhat do you mean?î She said, ìWell, if you shoot it on a tripod, the background stays steady and the subject moves throughout the background, and thatís how you get it animated to make sense.î I said, ìYou (know) what, it doesnít have to make senseóitís Tom Waits.î

MVWire: What went into creating the black and white look of the video?

DC: I used color film for the most part. I drained all the color out of it in the edit and added a lot of contrast to itÖ (and) edited on Final Cut Pro.

MVWire: What was the editing process once you had the images loaded into the computer?

DC: Another friend of mine, Tosh, he is really an animator and we started to work on it. As I said, we were putting animation in with the stills. He started it and loaded it into the computer and just started to align the cut together. Once he did that, he put the images in some sort of order. I came in came up with the idea of stopping at certain points and having areas where you could actually freeze on the photo.

I did belabor over it; it is Tom Waits and I wanted to give it my best.

Director Chris Milk Discusses Audioslave “Doesn’t Remind Me” Music Video

Director Chris Milk’s recent effort for Audioslave “Doesn’t Remind Me” forces even the most cynical critics to sit up and take notice of music videos as art. The choices of camera angles along with his use of color, help create the “retro” feel of the video and reel the audience into the scenes with an almost voyeuristic sense. Milk has used his artistic abilities as a director to capture a slice of small-town America, depicting not only the day-to-day challenges we must face, but also the hard questions we must ask ourselves about war.

Interview With at Radical Media Directors Mariah Garnett And Molly Schiot

The directing duo that is Mariah Garnett and Molly Schiot formed in the most serendipitous way. After both girls met while recovering from spinal surgery, they decided to make some films together for their own amusement. These films soon caught the eye of @ Radical Media, and the next thing they knew, they were being cultivated as the next big thing in music videos. We talked with them about the challenges of making videos for Sleater-Kinney (SubPop) and Instruction (Geffen).

MVW: Did you know each other at Brown?

Molly: Yeah, we knew each other, but we didn’t hang out… It’s a pretty small school. But, we ended up deciding to do a video on scars and scar fetish, and did this little quirky film; half stop-motion, half live action at a park in Rhode Island. It involves raw pieces of meat, and trying to recreate a horror- kind of feeling. We had fun doing that and did a lot of little stuff on the side, little music videos that were all kind of specs- without the intension of them being specs, because we didn’t even really know what that meant. It was more for like, “Oh let’s do…here’s a really cool spark song- let’s buy 1200 peeps and do a little video.” So it was never done with the intention of us becoming music video directors.

Mariah: It was kind of a hobby that turned into something after college…

Sleater-Kinney “Entertain”
Watch the Sleater-Kinney “Entertain” music video

MVW: Could you take us through the process of how this latest video came about?

Mariah: Jen (@ Radical Media) gave us the track to write on, and we (wrote on) several SubPop tracks… they have some great bands, so we were really excited! They came to us with a band we really liked a lot (Sleater-Kinney) and they’ve been around forever. We got the track, sat down and listened to it a bunch of times- Molly found an article online about this new album, which is called “The Woods.” One of the women in the band had been talking about the Pacific Northwestern Woods, this place that puts in anxiety and fear, because there are always serial killers and grizzly bears and… the “unknown thing” in the woods. So we wrote our treatment with that in mind.

Molly: Also, when we listened to it we didn’t understand the lyrics at all, we just could not decipher them whatsoever, so it was kind of more just pulling a few words out. The treatment was pretty much based on the vibe of the song; like a feeling on the guitar and voice and the drum beat.

Mariah: Yeah, to me it sort of sounded like horror movie with people screaming. It was hard to decipher what she is saying, but it is definitely a pretty powerful song with feeling behind it.

MVW: Who was your director of photography?

Molly: Matt Uhry , who is, like, a genius. We first met Matt on the PETA job and really respected his kind of intuition and work.

MVW: What were the challenges unique to shooting this performance?

Molly: It was definitely really stressful when we were up there, because as you know, Portland is known for just rain all the time. So, we were pretty much under the assumption that we were going to be shooting in a shack or in a school or something like that… We were really lucky, and I don’t know how it worked out like it did, but the weather was just beautiful the whole time we were up there.

Mariah: Yeah, there were a lot of factors working against us, but we lucked out on a lot of them: It was a small budget video, and it was supposed to rain.. But it didn’t rain a single day that we were up there. We had way less film than we had hoped, but pretty much every foot of it was usable and that was the main thing. The band was amazing; they only had to practice like once or twice, and they just got right into it.

Molly: Every single person in Portland was so incredibly supportive, like the guy that lent us his truck; we found him on Craig’s List, and he wanted to drive it at 3 in the morning to the location (which was 2 hours away). The only compensation he wanted was his picture with the band. It is an understatement to say that they were supportive. Everyone just helped out for nothing.

Mariah: There was a pizza delivery guy in Portland that went around looking for pine cones that were used in some of the still images. They just found people and friends of friends that really helped out and were really excited about it.

MVW: What was the editing process like?

Molly: We basically hired a friend, Rob Auten from Sunset editorial to edit the video, and he kind of is one of those quirky guys that listens to the song a couple of times and just clicks with the music and the visuals simultaneously. It wasn’t like one and then the other; he just listened to it and got it right away. He’s really, really great.

MVW: It’s a great looking performance!

Molly: Matt Uhry our DP captured something that I think was pretty unexplainable, like the lens flairs, Carrie’s breath coming out of the woods or Janet’s… I mean, there are all these little interesting moments that could have very easily gone unaccounted for, but he was just so helpful. We just compliment each other just really well.

MVW: There was definitely something there just the whole scene of the band playing in the woods and just the feel and look, it really added a new dimension to the video.

Mariah: We definitely did a lot of research when we were coming up with our shot list. We watched like every horror movie between 1970 and 1980 and like every episode of Twin Peaks so there are a lot more of subtle references or inspiration from those kind of movies.

Instruction “Breakdown”
Watch the Instruction “Breakdown” music video

MVW: So you’ve got some stop motion at the very beginning of it and the sets… did you develop all the sets yourselves?

Mariah: We had an art director: Dani Tull . He worked with us on the PETA spot as well. But we shot all the animation and everything on our own. We developed the idea for the set with Danny, like the location of it and everything. He built the little village and all props and stuff.

MVW: What do you enjoy about shooting stop motion?

Mariah: I mean for me it’s sort of an instant gratification just watching inanimate objects suddenly move around so it’s kind of like a simple pleasure.

Molly: And for me, we can just work by ourselves and no one else has to be there, so we completely have control over everything. You can get a Miller Highlife and the music and just kind of like
zone out.

MVW: How was the transition from doing your own projects to learning about production, has this been an easy transition for you?

Mariah: The Instruction video pretty much broke us in…

Molly: In a hard way

Mariah: I remember thinking, “This is so amazing doing this” during the shoot. It’s sort of like being blown away by being a bona fide director with a monitor and a crew. There is a lot of stuff I feel like we learned from that video. I think that initially I was so blown away by learning and just by the whole process of it.

Molly: Radical signed us with the intention of developing us. Jen (their rep) and Dave Meyers would be on set first thing in the morning and was there to ask, “Do you feel good, does this make sense the way that it looks?” Just raising questions, not like telling, but more like teaching us as we went along without making us claustrophobic. They gave us time to do what we wanted, but also they were there to really give us good advice. It was one of those things that was completely gratifying.

MVW: What was the inspiration behind the “Breakdown” music video?

Molly: That was inspired by George Melies. He did something like moving posters, on the wall that came to life. We put each band member in one of these poster like cubicles. It was funny because each cubicle fit the personality of each band member unconsciously, but it was pretty much inspired by that.

Mariah: A lot of people think it’s a split screen, but Danny built that set and there were two levels with 5 different compartments.

MVW: What was the editing process on this say verses the Entertain video?

Mariah: This one was a lot harder to tackle. We had a lot of different elements, and we were trying to edit it ourselves initially, which was kind of a disaster, but we wound up hiring an editor named Miguel Aguilar (The New York Office) and he just totally pulled it together for us.

MVW: How did you work with him?

Molly: He read the treatment four times and then did his thing. The stop motion is so formulaic and mathematical, whereas this was really hard to tell a story, with the tons of footage that was shot on DV. One thing that we learned pretty quickly was that the treatment has to reflect the video and visa versa. There were a couple of elements that we had missed, and we had to go back and replace it with the animation.

Mariah: With that being said, Radical was totally 100% keeping us above water. They never let us step outside the lines.

Sleater-Kinney “Entertain”


Producer: Gina Bevilacqua
DP: Matt Uhry
Colorist: Beau Leon/Syndicate
Editor: Rob Auten

Instruction “Breakdown”


Producer: Chris Kraft
Prod. Designer: Dani Tull
DP: Dave Rudd
Colorist: Beau Leon/Syndicate
Editor: Miguel Aguilar

A Perfect Circle in Hell

The second single from A Perfect Circle’s album “eMOTIVe” is featured in the new movie “Constantine” directed by music video director Francis Lawrence (Britney Spears, Aerosmith). It opens February 18 and stars Keanu Reeves as the title character John Constantine based on DC Comics/Vertigo’s “Hell blazer.” Directing duo and visual effects wizards the Brothers Strause, Greg and Colin, created the special effects for the movie as well as directing the music video for “Passive.” They recently signed with the Santa Monica-based Production Company, Tight. A Perfect Circle’s Maynard James Keenan and Billy Howerdel and Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Danny Lohner penned the song.

See the Passive music video

Interview with directors Brothers Strause

MVW: What about the pre-production of the video, working with the band, writing the treatment and making the video work with the movie scenes?

Greg Strause: Our company has been working on the new movie Constantine for about a year and a half.

Colin Strause: Which is Francis Lawrence’s first film.

Greg: Before Francis took this movie he was pretty much at the top of the music video world. They started working on the music for the movie right before Christmas and that’s when Francis approached the band about using their song. As they were chatting, the band found out that we were doing effects on the movie so they came to us. Billy [Howerdel] told us they had the idea to shoot it in thermal, which ties it in thematically with the movie. We had worked on some sequences in the movie that involved Keanu [Reeves] that take place in hell. Some of those effects sequences tied into the band’s idea so it seemed like the perfect fit for us to do the video. Once we had our whole plan together with the movie footage that we wanted to use, we were told we couldn’t use that piece because MTV was going to use it so the whole plan changed.

Colin: It was rather chaotic…

Greg: The whole video was done in eleven days from award to shoot to completion.

MVW: I spoke to someone at Virgin about the video, asked when it would be out and he said it would be in a week. I said, “You are kidding me!”

Greg & Colin: (Laughing)

Colin: It was literally nuts. We only a day and a half to do the edit.

Greg: It was the fastest that we had ever turned a video around especially one that doesn’t have a ton of effects. There are a lot of things that made the effects in this one that might not be obvious. But once we had the rug pulled out from under our feet with what movie footage we could use we had to pick a different part of the movie that would somehow still tie in and in eleven days that’s no easy task. We had to reconceive the concept a little bit. There are some scenes in the movie with Keanu’s character drowning the Rachel Weisz character under water in a bathtub, allowing her to walk through hell and take a look at it.

Colin: We had to leave out the most violent parts because, especially in our first cut, you could really see him drowning her. It was pretty cool but we decided that it was probably going to be a little too evil…

Greg: We decided to recreate those scenes from the movie in a thermal view using body doubles so we could cut back and forth from it to the movie footage of Keanu and Rachel. We also recreated a sequence of Keanu running through hell trying to find Rachel, which allowed us to integrate the movie footage and have it make more sense than just cutting to the band’s performance and people asking, what does one have to do with the other?

MVW: Editing a music video with a movie is usually disjointed, but “Passive”
seems to work.

Colin: That was our one fear, because one of the first ideas for the video didn’t involve movie footage. It was just going to be performance then we were told it had to be both. Whenever you hear performance has to go in it, you think, “Oh God, not again. How do you combine band performance with a movie?” Shooting with thermal allowed us the dirty trick to use body doubles to do what we wanted. The people we cast didn’t have to look like Keanu and Rachel because people look so weird through thermal that you can get away with it.

Greg: One of the interesting things about shooting thermal is it’s actually black and white so the color grading makes it look hellish and hot and everything. That is a function of the way thermal works The thermal cameras can either output a color signal or a black and white signal, but the chip is a black and white only. The normal thermal that we’re used to seeing, like in Predator, has a real time color correction chip that takes the black and white image, then re-maps different parts of that signal to different colors. So whatever is in the white areas is reddish and white because it’s hot and whatever is towards black is bluish. It took us a while to figure that out because we weren’t sure what the differences were between infrared and thermal, but it’s literally just jargon because the thermal is just a color correction.

Colin: It’s all in black and white. And the camera looks like an old school 1980’s video camera but it’s military technology.

Greg: Those little cameras are $50,000 each. You can’t export them from the U.S. because they are considered military hardware. The other interesting thing was that we didn’t use any lights at all. We used space heaters to warm stuff up and then took them out of the scene and that’s how we did the “lighting.”

Colin: You have to heat things to see them. It was pitch black and freezing while we were shooting the whole video.

Greg: We had little work lights and that was about it.

MVW: Did you work with a DP who had shot thermal before?

Greg: Because of the short schedule, we hired a DP named Helge Gerull. It’s still photography if you think about it. It’s just not conventional photography. You are not dealing with different color temperatures or different intensities of light because these cameras don’t respond to any kind of light at all.

One of the interesting things we discovered is that it cannot see through glass. If you stand behind a sheet of glass, it’s as solid as if it was made out of concrete because it reads the temperature of physical material and can’t see images. Did you see that old John Carpenter movie “They Live”?

MVW: Yes… it’s been a while.

Greg: There is a scene where everything looks normal until they put on special sunglasses then everything is kind of white and there are signs everywhere saying, “Eat and obey.” That’s what it’s like through thermal. I have a camouflage jacket that looks all white through thermal because there is absolutely no temperature. But when someone starts sweating or cold water gets on it, you can see it. There were some scenes where we were playing around with Maynard where he had this stuff dripping off his face that was just cold water… (Colin: It looked like black ink)… There’s another shot where he smashes his hands into a bowl of warm water and it looks like lava because it’s pure white. Reflections look strange, too. Maynard’s normal glasses looked like sunglasses in the video because the lenses go opaque. In another shot, you can actually see warm fingerprints left on the microphone.

It added to our production design. There was one bit where they were wiping up the floor and when we looked at it through the thermal camera we could see everyone’s handprints and footprints.

Colin: You can see things through the thermal that you can’t see with the naked eye.

Greg: The cool thing was that the set with the girl in the bathtub looked really cool and seemed to match the movie footage, but it was quite possibly the ugliest and most retarded set we’ve ever done. It was worse than a high school play because you couldn’t even see any texture or detail. We just threw a tub on the ground in a rundown building with a cardboard floor that we had just thrown down because we didn’t want the girl skidding across on concrete and maybe cutting herself. But you can’t tell how cheesy it all was. Using this equipment changes the whole way you approach the job because everything you’ve learned about photography and set building goes straight into the garbage.

Colin: It all goes out the window when you are dealing with thermal.

MVW: How did you work with the color of the thermal footage in post?

Greg: We used the inferno to color grade the whole job. We picked a palette that we thought felt very hell-like. It wasn’t exactly like the movie footage, but it was in that world. We had to do sky replacements to some of the footage to give them more of a hellish sky and we added heat distortion on top but all the fire and everything we did in camera. The hellish feel of the band performance was done mostly in camera. But we had flame-throwers and propane tanks and stuff like that. It was a combination of doing as much in camera as we could and then adding things like heat distortion and stuff in post.

Colin: Because of how crazy that night was, we had Maynard come over to our home office space in Santa Monica to get a couple of extra close-ups of his mouth. We shot in our garage using the heat from our computers.

Greg: Part of the band’s MO is that they don’t want to be recognizable so Maynard wanted to be completely obscured. He doesn’t want to be a poster boy where when he goes to dinner in Hollywood people will say, “Look, it’s Maynard.” If you saw him on any given day you probably wouldn’t recognize him because in A Perfect Circle he wears a wig and those glasses. One of the instructions for us was to make sure they weren’t recognizable. They want this to be obscure and different. Thermal lent itself perfectly to that.


Label: Virgin
VP Video Production: Randy Skinner

Production Company: tight
Directors: The Brothers Strause
Executive Producer: Jonathon Ker
Line Producer: Steve Stone
DP: Helge Gerull
Thermal Camera Operator: Jim Santana

VFX Company: Hy*drau”Lx
Visual FX Producer: Neil Van Harte
Visual FX Supervisor: Erick Brennan

Editorial House: Filmcore
Editor: David Checel