The New Pornographers - High Ticket Attractions Music Video

By Shane Nelson

The process of making a music video is always a crazy ride... but as you may guess from the image below, this video was particularly insane. 

It all started when my long-time friend Dan Huiting reached out in mid December with a unique opportunity to possibly destroy a school as part of a music video. Dan's friend choreographer John Mark was involved with the Hopkins School Of Performing Arts and they had just purchased a new school and were planning a big renovation. Seemed like an awesome opportunity and I happily attached to the speculative project saying "..Even if we don't end up making a music video we should just go smash some stuff!".  Dan agreed.

(Story continued below the video)

Dan mentioned on another shoot we were doing that The New Pornographers were interested in his treatment and the wheels were in motion. A few weeks later, I got a sudden burst of texts from Dan saying that the shoot (which I thought was about 2 weeks out) had to be moved up because the school had changed the demolition day. The band was ready to pull the trigger but I couldn't respond right away because I was recording my Junkshow Cinema Podcast, but at about midnight, I texted back saying unfortunately I was already booked on an edit that Monday & likely Tuesday, but we quickly tried to figure out how Dan could still pull it off in the next 48 hours. I reached out to a ton of other producers and no one was available. About 2pm the next day I did my conference call for my other project and found out an early edit we had just submitted was approved... (which almost never happens). I quickly called Dan back and jumped back on the crazy train to Yorkville Sr. High School.

We had a ton of stuff to figure out and went to work on the master checklist of all the tasks and delegated everything. Thanks to our awesome collaberators, less than 24 hours later we were shooting. Everything was going along pretty smooth, but suddenly on the 1st night Dan started feeling sick. Several days of non-stop work and sleepless nights had taken it's toll and I ended up taking over the directing role, so so he could get some much needed rest. Dan had developed a detailed shot-list and we all went to work picking off shots and smashing up the science room. We were pretty far behind on the schedule so we decided to break off into 3 units so we could get catch up. The talent John Mark had cast were really fantastic and patient while we did take after take.

The next day Dan returned refreshed and we kept shooting in 3 different units. We knew we had to get caught up on our shooting schedule before the fire sequences with Brian Denny's stunt and fire team. We had created a process of "safe zones" so no one would get hurt or hit with any debris but still had some actors and crew slip and were fortunate no one got hurt. Later, during the sink smash our amazing Wardrobe Stylist Jessica Zerby (who was also cast to play one of the "Smoking Girls", was hit with a chunk of the sink while smashing it. My heart leapt into my mouth... but our awesome cinematographer TJ Schwingle quickly made sure she was ok, and thankfully she was! When things like this happen, I always feel really bad. I have had people get hurt while filming for our action sports movies and we always want to make it as safe as possible, but there are always risks when dealing with sports, stunts and of course fire. I felt like I was holding my breath though this entire shoot. The last 2 scenes with all the fire went off without a hitch thanks to the actors, John Mark and our safety and fire teams led by Harry Reynolds! I let out a huge sigh of relief when all the fires were finally out. All that was left to do now was clean up the 700 gallons of debris and silage we left in our wake. We know the number because we filled up an entire 660 Gallon Bagster.

Super proud of how this turned out, especially under the unique circumstances. Thanks to Dan for forging ahead in the face of adversity and pulling the trigger on such a short turn time. Thanks to the band for taking a chance on a once in a lifetime opportunity and thanks to all the amazing crew and talent listed in the youtube credits. We have a fun Behind The Scenes video coming out with more on this soon.  Super happy I was able to re-attach and make something so epic with my friends!

-Shane Nelson 

Update: Watch the Behind the scenes video!

Sound Unseen Film Festival

Sound Unseen combines two of our favorite things in one seriously cool package. 

Films are being shown November 11-15th at various locations. Check out their website for more information.

We will be checking out the US premiere of a documentary about the RIOT GRRRL movement on November 15th at the Bryant Lake Bowl. See you there!

Mondo - Not your everyday prints

        I live with a graphic designer and so I get to see all sorts of interesting and cool prints. Many of the illustrations that he was fascinated with came from  The inspiration behind their illustrations usually arise from film or television shows. Some of my favorites came from their Batman 75th Anniversary Exhibition they had a little over a month ago.

        Their latest print was a homage to the christmas classic  'Home Alone'.   Check out these great pieces of art. See if you can find your favorite film. If you like them as much as I do and would like to own one stay on top of it. You'll need to make sure to keep a close eye on the site and possibly follow Mondo on twitter for updates on when new prints come available, as they sell faster than anything.  Either way, Mondo has a great archive to sift through.

-Nicholas LD Korokidas,  

Omni-Fusion Media Production

'Interstellar'- The battle between Science and Narrative.


     We just recently got to watch 'Interstellar' in theaters. I personally enjoyed the film very much and was quite impressed with those involved. Being a writer and a rather scientifically minded person myself, it got me thinking about the balancing act that is Science Fiction narrative.

      There has always been an interplay between Science and Narrative. This is especially exemplified in the medium of cinema. With Christopher Nolan's latest film 'Interstellar' we have a new subject to analyze this relationship.  I will try not to go into too much depth on Nolan's script as to not spoil anything. Instead I will pose several thoughts that you can chew on after the credits roll.

        The scripting of 'Interstellar' began with the desire of several scientists hoping to create a story that is as scientifically accurate that it can be.   From draft to draft the piece took form. Yet, was it sacrificing its' scientific footing for the sake of narrative? Yes and no. The more narratively minded the group became the more taxing it became to keep it within the realm of scientific/theoretical 'reality'.  

     This article from The New York Times goes into further detail on the process

'Interstellar': The Cinema of Physics

   The further we delve into the theoretical side of science and science fiction the more we bend the suspension of disbelief.  This may be due to the fact that the cutting edge of theoretical cosmic science is harder for the average to movie goer to follow without the full lead up. Without a full scientific lecture (that I wouldn't mind) beforehand it is rather hard to reach the sweet/fun ideas that Nolan plays with, quite liberally, within the generous 3 hour movie timeframe.  It isn't surprising he would have to skip a few steps for the sake of time and boredom of his audience. This may, sadly, cause more entertainment than sense.

     The question then becomes; is there a sweet spot between Science Fiction and Science Realism in Cinema?  Does it matter?   Scientific knowledge influences our ideas in Science Fiction and our viewing of Science Fiction media definitely influences our perceived knowledge of Science.  It may as well be that the two cannot be fully mixed or fully separated.

  Do you think that Interstellar found that balance or tipped the scale too far one way or another? 

Though I can get wrapped up in discussion an talk of theory beyond the film; I still think that the film stands among the best of the year and is definitely worth a watch. The visuals are impressive and the settings are immersive. Like several of Nolan's other films it definitely will make you think. Which, in my opinion, is never a bad thing.

-Nicholas Lee Demetrius Korokidas

Omni-Fusion Media Production