I've been waiting a loooong time to talk about this video. If you haven't seen this before for my previous music video for OPTION//CONTROL's "Falling Star," I like to take a second to give you a glimpse into what it takes to make my videos. It serves as a cathartic experience for me, allowing me to get a lot of tormented shit off my chest and for potential clients... now you'll know what NOT to do on a shoot haha.
We shot "Come At Me, Bro!" on Friday September 30th at the world famous OZ Nightclub in Sauget, Illinois. Its important to mention that this video was not a Patrick Lawrence solo venture. I was actually tag teaming this shit with an old friend of mine, Casey Watson, who has been a great influence and mentor to me since I jumped in the HDSLR game back in May. Together we put together the plan to shoot the epic video for Tear Out The Heart in a fast paced 6 hours from 11pm-5am that night.
The concept came from the idea that the band would be stuck in a shithole town (Sauget?) with nothing to do and only one bar in sight. Upon their arrival, the band would realize that the club wasn't exactly their kind of place to hang and slowly they inflitrate all aspects of the bar, taking it over by the end of the video (via a full on performance on the dance floor).
Sounds good on paper right?
When we arrived at the empty club at 10:30, we loaded in and set up the "bottle cam" shots with every member of them band, except drummer Justin Hanson, who we had planned would get thrown out of the club and left outside. With only a narrow depth of field neccessary, we didn't have to worry about the club being vacant in order to grab these sweet shots. So, with some duct tape and my own iPhone 4 (iPhone 4S hadn't come out yet), we strapped the built in HD camera to a bottle of Jack Daniels and and let the band go nuts in the club. This concept was loosely inspired by the Eurotrip scene in The Rules of Attraction, where one character goes through his entire vacation abroad in only 5 minutes of screen time. We thought the idea would translate well for the video, being we had to capture each band members night in the club within only 30 seconds (or so) each.
When the crowd started to arrive, we ran into our first major issue. The band's equipment had to be loaded in before too many people blocked the area that we needed to have it set up on. This put a halt in the production for almost an hour and kept us from getting crutial party shots that would have filled up the video's B-Roll. We were then on a mad dash to get what we needed before the band began to play at 2am.
Surprisingly, that was easiest part of the whole shoot. Everyone in the crowd was on board to see the band perform live and we barely had to give any direction to make the scene look nuts. With Casey stationed on a ladder above the crowd and me down in thick of it, we captured the raw energy of Tear Out The Heart as they played "Come At Me, Bro!" over and over for 30 minutes. I nearly destroyed my camera several times trying to fight the growing mosh pit that was building up around us. So much for respecting the director.
That was the high point of the shoot, the low point came immediately after, when during the penultimate "Beer pouring" scene, someone snuck up from behind me and jacked one of my lenses as I had my backed turned. In a room full of people, who mostly know each other, no one saw who took it (or at least wouldn't admit to it) and I knew in that instant, that I would not be getting the lens back. I just want to stop for a second and thank everyone who sent me supportive messages in the days following, it means a lot to know that I do have friends who have my back and that we equally support each other in our artistic endeavors.
... and to whoever stole the lens... I know a guy who is looking to hunt you down and tear out your heart (no pun intended), to better prepare yourself for a malicious beat down, watch my short film The Boy Wonder.
We carried on with the shoot and desperately tried to film our bathroom scenes (which were supposed to be done earlier) during a time in which every dude in the club had to go rock a piss. We tried to hold people off for 2 minutes while we got the shots we needed and we even got threatened to be sued by some fake ass paralegal drunk, but we got it and we got the fuck out.
It was 4 a.m. and I had turned into a pumpkin. My lens was stolen, my video was incomplete and I still had a shit ton of drink tickets left on me.
After much back and forth between the two directors and the band, we settled on finishing the video on the following Monday, October 3rd during the afternoon when we knew no one was around. The beautiful thing about Sauget, IL is that its mostly open all day and if you have some good smooth talking skills, you can pretty much make anything happen. It's like a mini Vegas... that smells like chemicals. My experience on the set of Call Me On Tuesday had allowed me to make several contacts from within the Sauget Properties area and within a few short hours, we were able to complete the entire "Come At Me, Bro!" video, which I had once thought was impossible.
Obviously, I don't want to give too much away, cause it's like pulling back the curtain on the wizard (or wizards, in this case), but I just wanted to give you a little behind the scenes story of how this video was made... for the cost of a bottle of Lipton Brisk iced tea.