Bringing dark lyrics to life for HellYeah

Lyric videos are hot and on the rise. About time I got my hands dirty with them.

Black Fawn Films sent me a treatment for a dark and twisted story that sounded delightful to this filmmaker. It was for the latest song from hard rock band HellYeah.

Moth is off of the band's fourth album, Blood for Blood, and explores themes of self-destruction in the pursuit of happiness.

It’s a song basically about - there are so many things in life that you know are wrong and you’re going to get burned, but you have to give it a try, whether it’s relationships, jobs, this, that or another. It’s like a moth, it sees that flame and it’s drawn to it even though it’s made out of paper and he’s going to get torched when he gets there. That’s kind of what the song is all about.

With a relatively simple concept and little turnaround time, this video incorporated some dark imagery inspired by the opening credits to David Fincher's Se7en and in-camera stop animation. The story was shot over two days with an additional day for the stop-motion segments to feature the lyrics. The entire video was a one-man crew production: shooting, editing and colour grading.

What helped with this video was the clear direction given by Black Fawn as to what the video was going to look like. They communicated a concept and let me take it and run with it. Storyboards, visual references and a deadline were given. The rest fell into place.

All that was needed was the basement of a local store in old downtown Guelph (Thanks to Grey Rock Clothing Co.) and two gorgeous actors who I knew were perfect for the roles as captor and captive (Erin Stuart is a very talented and mesmerizing model/actress. However the identity of our mysterious lead must remain unknown.)

The stop-motion element was new for me. What an excellent way to reveal the lyrics of the video with the theme of the story.

P.S. After cutting out all of the letters from magazines and gluing many of the ransom notes together, I have a newfound respect for the patience and attention-to-detail of creepy stalkers.

Photographing Erin is such an easy task. Just look at her!

Enjoy the video above and give it a share with your music-loving friends.

Check out more stills from behind the scenes here.

Want your own lyric video done for your band? Contact me and tell me what look you're after.


Camera Equipment:

Canon 60D

Cinevate Duzi Slider

Atomos Ninja 2 Recorder & Field Monitor

Manfrotto 504 Tripod

Rotolight Anova 2 Bicolour LED Light

Litepanel 1x1 LED Lights

Riftlabs KICK Light

100mm f/2.8 Macro lens

17-50 f/2.8 lens