Produced and directed by Digital Thunderdome at The Film Space, I had a blast getting to build 5 different sets for this music video. Also the band was a delight and I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing what’s next from them!
I’m pretty psyched because I just got to work with them, and right off the bat I want to apologize to not sharing this video when it came out. It flew under my radar and also I’m sure I was out in the middle of woods shooting something scary.
Thank you Satan and Digital Thunderdome Studios for letting me in on the action. One of the best parts of this was making it look like we set my good friend Gloria on fire.
Last year I was hired by Digital Thunderdome Studios as the production designer for a series of three videos for the band Suicide Silence. Combined they told a terrible story of horror and revenge. The director Scott Hansen has released a new version of all three videos, edited together as one narrative, so now its kind of a short horror film, which is awesome. Almost as awesome as using human teeth as set decorations.
I’ve never been a part of a production that had so much post-production work and such heavy visual effects. Which means I didn’t do much in terms of production design, but that also meant I was on set doing other things, like moving lights around, or moving heavy objects, or waving leaf blowers at actresses while they hang upside down from wires. You know, Hollywood stuff.
Remember how the other day I mentioned going to that men’s prison over and over again for videos? Once you find an amazing location, you kinda want to keep coming back to it? That’s why I keep leaving my car keys at my wife’s house*.
“Enjoy the Silence” features an abandoned factory complex that we’ve filmed at previously for two completely different Kataclysm videos. Surprise! Bet you didn’t know both “Killshot” and “Defiant” were both filmed in the same location! That’s the magic of production design.
This was completely different from what I normally do and it was an awesome experience. Instead of being scary and edgy, this was fun and whimsical. First time as a production designer doing a period piece. And yes, the 80’s are a period. Sorry Boomers. And Gen Xers. And probably Millennials. You all feeling old yet?
Third time is the charm with that men’s prison as we returned there one more time for another video (the first being for Magg Dylan and the second being for EX DEO) and since there wasn’t much for me to do in the way of production design, I ended up getting wrangled to do a bunch of acting. Unlike my usual “blink and you’ll miss it” cameos, this time I chewed up the scenery while everyone go to see what I’d look like as a corrections officer. Or as a prison guard, if you wanna be a dick about it*.
A few weeks ago I learned that the band Kataclysm had a side project called EX DEO, and I only found that out because when I started decorating and dressing the set for the last music video I worked on, the lead singer showed up and I was all like “oh hey I know you!” and then it was off to the races.
Oh if you clicked the thumbnail and watched the video already I probably should have told you it’s kind of a gore fest, so oopsies.
That being said, it wasn’t just bloody, it was a bloody good time. We not only returned to the men’s prison we had filmed a previous video for, but I got to work with some people I haven’t been able to see on set in years, and some people I get to see on the regular. It was a great shoot. An amazing amount of work got done in a very short period of time, and it all came out looking wonderful. Once again thanks to the cast, the crew of Digital Thunderdome, and EX DEO for letting me come do my thing.
At the beginning of the year we got together and made another new video for the band Magg Dylan, and the crazy part is it was exactly one year ago that weekend we filmed their last one. Once again they were a pleasure to work with, and the location was really cool. It was cold and got colder, so of course there was those challenges, but when I was whipping smoke bombs onto set I only ate shit and slid into the bushes once. Outside of that, things went great. I was the scenic artist for this set, and the place was cool enough I didn’t have to do much of anything, except I made a big red SUV disappear so that was a fun and new challenge. Did you see it?
So I guess now that we’ve made two videos for them, we might as well go ahead and make a third video. After filming in a prison and then filming in a school bus graveyard, I have no idea where we’d go next. Anywhere but Krog Street Tunnel because that place is about to become it’s own Marvel character, for real.
I started writing up this article about how I quickly jumped into this set (while building a set in the workshop behind this office) and I did up the scenic dressings for this video and then I realized this wasn’t done last year, this was done two years ago. Dude, this pandemic, am I right? Anyways, this is the first time I got to work with the Read twins, and I’ve worked with them both a few times since then (notably in this video). They’re pretty cool and they have a bright future. Sucks I had to teach one of them how to smoke though. I’m a terrible influence.
Check out the video though, it takes me back to my days in the New York Hardcore scene, which was like 100 years ago.
I didn’t get to do any BTS (behind the scenes) photos because if I wasn’t building the set for the overdose scene, I was in a garage building a morgue, so enjoy this one pic I found in a shoebox from that day.
Also the rest of the cast and crew were awesome but I’m terrible with names so I’m sorry I didn’t list you. Just know that I’m really looking forward to working with each and everyone one of you once again soon. Also congrats to John Wells, Autumn Read and Steve Gregory Wallenda II for nailing such strong performances.
Fun fact: This small town in Georgia has a treasure trove of amazing locations for making videos like this, but if you think I’m gonna tell you where this place is, you’re nuttier than a Christmas fruit log.
Upon A Burning Body‘s video for “King of Diamonds” hits 1 million views on Youtube and it remains my favourite video I’ve worked on in the past few years. Thanks to everyone for your viewership, and if you weren’t a part of the first million, please be a part of the second million!
Also, if you’re a big fan like me, enjoy this playlist!