Monday, October 25, 2010

Torche - "U.F.O." Info, Production Photos, Credits

 The idea behind the video was to do an updated version of kaiju giant monster / robot movies. I watched Godzilla: Tokyo SOS  on Netflix streaming a year or so ago and was kind of enamored with the kitschy effects. I didn't have that much experience with Adobe After Effects, so going into the project knowing I wanted it to look sloppy made things less daunting.

I started the video on my own, without any solicitation, for an entirely different song by an entirely different band (Daughters' "The Theatre Goer"). But it was taking too long and that band broke up before the record dropped, so I switched it to the Torche song.

I did pretty much everything I could myself, with help from family and friends. I drew all the designs and storyboards while listening to the song on loop. There were originally five monster designs, one of which was a giant space squid that would appear while the first four were fighting, and take them all on. I had to simplify for my own sanity, though, and ended up with just the robot and the pudge monster. I made the robot out of old boxes and packing tape from the Hydra Head shipping room, and learned to sew to make the monster costume.

I bought a bunch of green fabric in the fashion district for the green screen. All of the monster and robot green screen stuff was shot in my parents' driveway and backyard in Pasadena, CA on a Sony HDR-HC7 camcorder. The last shot of the video is my brother and mom holding the green screen, and is pretty much how all of the footage looked originally. The backgrounds are photos I took of downtown Los Angeles, and the fleeing crowd (of my friends and family) I shot in the warehouse district in front of my wife's old art studio (which is also where they filmed the Soloist, almost every crime drama on TV, and M.I.A.'s "Born Free" music video).

After shooting everything on weekends over a few months, I sat at my computer for hours upon hours doing the effects on my days off . An eight hour day usually yielded 15 seconds of finished footage. From conception to completion the whole thing took about 9 months. Thankfully the band liked it and I didn't have to find another song to cut it to.

If we had done everything by the book as a real production, the budget would have exceeded ten grand easily, but I think I ended up spending about $140, including the wrap bbq.

Torche - "U.F.O."
from their record Songs For Singles (Hydra Head, 2010)

Directed by Andrew James Cox -
Produced by Akina Cox -
Effects Consultant - Wesley Belak Berger -

Cast / Crew
Casey Cox
Robin Cox
Amaris Cox
Austin Cox
Henry "Hank" Linek
Hanson Linek
Brian Linek
Audrey Gertz
Laura Marchetti
Ares Meyer
James O'Mara
Jesse Rueter
Niko Solario
Mark Thompson
Atlantis "Attie" Thompson
Morrow Willis
Lyandre Woods

Filmed in Pasadena, CA, and Los Angeles, CA

1 comment:

Justin Foley said...

I haven't seen that many Cox in a video since I hung out with Clarence Thomas.