Joji’s lyrics For Glimpse of Us capture the longing for a previous love, although the current partner is “perfect”. Joji’s beautiful voice is ethereal and delicate on this track. What was behind your decision to take this visual hardline of brutality and emotional destruction instead of something more melodic?
I must credit Joji for the initial concept of contrasting the song with quickly-cut found footage of destructive behaviour.
From here, I came up with an approach that involved getting a bunch of the same cheap DV camera models and sending them around to people to capture chaos around them. I knew I wanted to blur every face in order to both film whoever we wanted and preserve the authenticity of everything feeling real. To help produce, I brought on two friends, Andy Ruse and Adam Talan, who I could trust to contribute exciting ideas for subjects to involve and scenarios we could exist in.
What were the early conversations like between you and Joji or his label?
This was my first time working with Joji and his team. We had equal respect for each other’s work and were excited to collaborate. They sent me their initial idea and I translated it into a treatment which they approved almost immediately without any pushback. They trusted me to do my thing, which I really appreciated.
When writing the treatment / narrative was it past personal experiences or research you were drawing on?
I wouldn’t say that I really incorporated many personal experiences into the video, but the list of ideas was an ever-growing one with contributions from Andy and Adam. With such a loose concept, it was an open playing field to intercut genuine unplanned moments with misc ideas that I thought would both confuse viewers and add some nuance to the characters – living with animals in the house and using a vague symbol that this crew represents.
We heard you’re actually in the film as well??
Yeah, so I knew that with the concept of following an anonymous crew around who’s faces would be blurred, it’d be simplest to just cast myself and my friends. One of those friends, Leigh Murray, is a fearless guy who was both down to help with whatever we needed behind the scenes and do anything we wanted on screen. He ended up becoming one of the main characters (wearing the red jersey). It’s much easier to ask your friends to simulate fighting each other, or repeatedly punch yourself in the head, than asking a casted actor to do that.
The camera movements reflect the emotional chaos – is it all original footage?
I’m going to leave this one up to people’s imagination as to what’s real and what isn’t.
How much did you pre-plan before the shoot? Did you have a shots list of what you wanted to capture and then sort out in the edit?
We wanted to capture the spontaneity of the moment and not let storyboards or a shot list get in the way. Instead we worked off an ever-evolving list of scenes we wanted to capture – like let’s “buy a car and destroy it at a ranch in Tennessee” .. “meet up with this group in ATL and film them drifting in this parking lot” .. “rent a house that viewers assume we are squatting in and shave our friends’ heads.”
You edited the film yourself – was that challenging considering the number of cuts?
The editing was the most tedious part of the project. It’s easy to capture a bunch of rowdy footage, but it’s harder to arrange it in a way that’s solely focused on how crazy our footage is. I had to restrain myself from playing out clips for too long, with the goal of giving viewers only a sliver of what was captured to garner intrigue as to what is real and what isn’t.
Stink Films website
Dan Streit website
Director/Editor - Dan Streit
Production Companies - Stink Films & Grin Machine
Executive Producer - Ryland Burns
Producer - Andy Ruse
Associate Producer - Adam Talan
Production Assistant - Tommy Murray
Production Assistant - Leigh Murray
Additional Footage - Terry Barentsen
Additional Footage - Sean Lopez
Label - 88rising
Commissioner - Ollie Zhang
Girl shouting “you guys are fucking idiots” - Jess Valice