"TOO LATE" Amongst the Giants Music Video
A little word about THIS FILM: (spoiler alert!)
What an enormous responsibility to direct and ultimately produce the inaugural music video for a band. Most might think that previous statement would be a bit exaggerated. Well, Amongst the Giants isn’t like most bands. You take an extremely talented group of guys who have been burned by the church and put them in a recording studio to say whatever they want to say, and they title their offering “OBSCENE” - you know the message is intense. Their goal to tackle the things that are considered too taboo or too obscene to talk about in the church or even in regular community circles.
Their goal? To make you uncomfortable. The old saying goes “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Well the goal of Brian Boyd, Marco Pera, and Blaise Rojas is to MAKE the forgotten wheel squeak. Brian and Marco live within 10 minutes drive of the tragic scene of the Parkland High School shooting in Florida and so it hit home for them. Birthed out of that horrific event, the lyrics for “Too Late”.
Flash forward to present time. It’s my responsibility to make a music video that lives up to the standard that they’ve put forth. For a lot of people it will be their introduction to a band and in a crazy market, first impressions count! Deciding to tell the story of a young man, bullied at school, abused at home by a drunk, and driven to desperate measures is not an easy story to tell - especially when you don’t want to ‘glorify’ the acts happening. We aren’t kidding ourselves when we say that these guys have the potential to blow up and this story go viral. So we take the content of this video on our shoulders and bear the weight of its impact. In no way is suicide ever an answer, neither is violence towards someone else. But neither will we hide behind the taboo curtain and not talk about the real issues that kids are going through. We are attacking this with the full offensive line. Kids lives are at stake.
FAVORITE STILLS FROM THE FILM
WHY WE DID WHAT WE DID IN THE FILM
Everything in this video happened at my direction, and I deliberately carried the weight of each choice made. To make it easier to explain, I’ll break it down by location.
Trailer Home: We wanted a location that looked real, that wasn’t some elaborate home that wasn’t believable. The performance took place in the living room - a room that’s normally a peaceful gathering place. Here we sandwiched 4 guys, a drum kit, guitar cab, and bass cab and said go nuts. The color scheme here is green and orange which is indicative of unrest and anger. When we think sick, we think green. When we think angry, we think red - orange just happens to be a less Christmas-y shade when pairing with green. It was important for me to have the altercation between Brian and his dad outside. This took the angst and problems that were inside and shows a forced movement, a bringing to the surface if you will. If you notice, the coloring takes a dramatic turn everytime Brian is alone with the gun. He’s seen pulling it from his dresser drawer indicating his contemplation for sometime - this wasn’t a weapon of chance. His room is empty - a direct contrast to the rest of the house, and a reflection of his feelings.
School: We need to give a great big shout out and thank you to the Tennessee Boys Home in Spring Hill. They were extremely gracious to lend us their facility when our previously scheduled location cancelled last minute. As a director, this can be frustrating but often is welcomed because it presents a challenge to overcome. So we rolled up at 7:45AM (after wrapping the previous night at the trailer at 2AM) to the school and loaded into the gym. This is important and really a God thing because the school gym had a natural green lighting to it - directly carrying the same feeling of unrest as in the trailer. But in contrast this is a wide open room -instead of feeling crowded and the necessity to leave the bad home life, here in the gym he feels alone and desires friendship. Only a handful of people have seen the video at the point I’m writing this, but everyone has asked, “why did you have Marco play in a restroom?” Easy. It looked cool and had killer natural light and grunge. Shoulda seen the urinal cakes. JK.
Field: Opening the video with the end really is kindof a foreshadowing you see in movies. A favorite director of mine, Chris Nolan, uses a non-linear storyline in almost everyone of his movies. This really is only meant to have you know that something is up with Brian straight from the get go so its easier to process at the end. All the abuse and bullying comes to a climax. He’s had enough, but so far he’s unable to do anything about it. Seeing Brian pull into the field at the end and pacing back and forth again, places us in his emotions. Only this time, there’s nothing else. Just him, just his emotions, no mom, no dad, no family, no friends, no school, no house, nothing except what he brought with him. This was the toughest thing to direct because we didn’t want him to commit suicide. We didn’t want him to go through with it, but I wanted to take the viewer right to the edge - the brink. Similar to the ending of Inception (again with Nolan references). Inception ended with the top spinning and a hint of a wobble, leaving the viewer to wonder if it was real or not. The same was intended here. I wanted to leave the viewer on the edge of his seat wondering “Did he really just kill himself?!” That’s the exact reaction I’ve gotten each time. Without much delay we reveal Brian on the couch, and his Dad walking in to sit and start the conversation. So from that we derive that even though we saw the chamber start to rotate, Brian didn’t do it. The very last second he had a glimpse of hope. On the flipside, the dual meaning here, ole Dad realized earlier in the video what was going on and came to the conclusion he had to do something before it was “Too Late.”
BEHIND THE SCENES
Graciously taken by Adrienne Beacco
Its not everyday that you meet someone online that is of the same creative mindset as your own. I started corresponding with Adrienne Beacco several months back after being super impressed by her work for As We Ascend and their music video for “Tell Me”. Rewind a few weeks back and one day I’m scrolling facebook and one of her photos came up. Linked over to her site. One look at her website will tell you everything you need to know. She’s got skill, a killer eye, great with makeup and special effects and does a killer job on photoshoots. Immediately I got uncomfortable. I was jealous of her client list, her photography skills, and honestly was intimidated by her. That takes a lot to admit honestly, but it keeps us humble and real when we admit tough things.
We wrote back and forth a couple times about random things, but one thing kept bugging me. I got really protective and guarded. Having been burned by people in the past, I was afraid to ever talk realistically about collaborating with her. I forget who brought it up first, but eventually the topic arose. “Wanna collab sometime?” I legitimately was afraid of this. I had never collabed with anyone besides people I’d know for years personally. I was scared I wouldn’t be professional enough, scared that I would drop the ball, but mostly I was scared she’d take my clients! How crazy is all of this? Well, when you’re blessed to do what you love for a living, you get protective I guess.
Fact is, I was a moron. I’ve got an incredible friend now! Helping with behind the scenes shots, rigging lighting, playing AD and much much more, this entire shoot would have not gone nearly as well as it did if it wasn’t for her (and Austin’s of course) help. Lots of laughs and late night conversations driving back from the middle of nowhere shoot locations. I’m grateful for her talent and contribution to this project, even moreso for her friendship. Please. Do yourself a favor, go check her stuff out at www.adriennebeacco.com
Executive Producer: Joseph Rojas
Producer: Joel Burris
Director: Joel Burris
AD: Austin Lavoie
DOP: Joel Burris, Austin Lavoie, Adrienne Beacco
Camera A: Joel Burris
Camera B: Austin Lavoie
BTS CAMERA: Adrienne Beacco
Dad: Chris Day
Mom: Gina Day
Editor: Joel Burris