Your attention to medical detail is intriguing, is this instinctive or researched knowledge?
Generally, my approach to all my work is to begin research once I have settled onto a concept I am happy with. For this particular project what interested me was the divide between western and eastern medical practices: it is said that the former exists to fix a problem and the latter exists to avoid the problem from happening to begin with.
Was the narrative your response to Grizzly Bear’s lyrics or had you wanted to explore energy practices in some way beforehand?
This idea was my personal response to Grizzly Bear’s A Simple Answer which was the original single I was making this clip for, but, I just happened to be listening to Gun-Shy constantly while in production and must have sub-consciously sent out some kind of weird signal that convinced them to let me make the video for that Gun-Shy instead.
When I presented the rough draft of A Simple Answer, Daniel Rossen said, “I think this might work better for Gun-Shy”. I nearly fell off my chair. I slapped Gun-Shy onto the edit I had created to A Simple Answer and because A Simple Answer is nearly two mins longer I sped up the vision and when we all saw this temporary version we could see these incidental visual matches to Gun-Shy’s lyrics and we all agreed that Gun-Shy was a better fit for the idea.
How did your original idea evolve – did you collaborate with a team and did you work closely with the band on developing the film?
Aside from having a few assistants for the shoot to hold things in place, I worked pretty much entirely alone on this project. This was an exciting experience that nearly killed me. I had minimal creative contact with the band because they are respectful and trusting which are the best clients I could ever have.
Was incorporating gifs into the language of your film always one of the core ideas?
Yes! The language of gif animations sits somewhere between photography and the moving image and much like Chris Marker’s “La jetée” I wanted to pursue the notion of telling a story in a series of static frames that had a weird life in them.
Technically it looks a minefield – the filming, the editing, the lighting… was it? What were the key challenges?
The key challenge was actually having time with the band….I think I had them all together for five hrs. It was crazy how busy they were.
See storyboards for Grizzly Bear’s Gun-Shy in Related Content