Music Video: Southern Belle's "Sunnyside" with Director Interview
It has arrived! While LocalCut bloggers and many of Portland's fine musicians were belting their hearts out at the Towne Lounge last Sunday night for the most recent edition of Portland Lounge Series, Southern Belle was throwing a grand ol' party at Exit Only in celebration of the quartet's record release of Hurry Up and Thrill Me. In addition to live performances, the evening saw the premiere of the band's debut music video for its track "Sunnyside."
Helmed by first time music video director Cole Stamm, the highly conceptual, though loosely plotted clip is a prop and costume heavy ode to all things Victorian with wigs, silhouettes and mustaches, oh my! Yes, there's even a monocle. All of the group gets gussied up in vintage garb along with a few extras for good measure in the just under three minute ride. Shot in April and May over three days, the video has been in post-production until now.
The 25-year-old director has provided his commentary about the video, detailing its time line, its conceptual ideas and how it varies from an original, much more grandiose treatment that involved glowing eyes and a stunted spider.
Can you give me a director's statement with a little detail about the timeline—from song selection to post-production?
The timeline was that this video took a long time to do, maybe six months. But only about three-and-a-half of those months were of actual work. The rest of the time I was probably rearranging the script and concept or rearranging the edit. I picked the song real quick. "Sunnyside" sounded like a single immediately and I felt like there were some gut images connected to it—images I didn't really have to force. The concept with band came in around January, the shoot happened over the course of couple weekends in April, and the edit lasted for a month and a half from July to sometime in late August. And let me tell you, the shoot was a real blast.
Is there a concept?
Their is a concept in the broadest sense of the word. The concept became something like a bunch of people gussied up in Victorian garb. There was a much grander concept involving some sort of theatrical or cinematic storylines which faded away over time. For the best, I think. You can still find pieces of it with the girl and soldier photo. Silly stuff like that, melodramatic throwbacks to one movie or another.
At what point did the original treatment begin changing into what the video is now? Why did it change?
I don't think the original treatment was ever exactly "in place." It just kept evolving over time. I would either add too much to it, or take to much away. In truth, there is this great scene in La Dolce Vita where a bunch of Italian aristocrats (and Nico) go on a ghost hunt. I talked to the band about that, and I think that idea is what kept. The treatment was absolutely in flux the entire time. I feel better working that way with that level of flexibility. I think the strongest ideas and images are able to speak if you don't try to fix every single thing in place.