Thursday, 21. June 2012 - 3:31 pm
Nick Peterson’s hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners video for US rockers Five Finger Death Punch’s Coming Down tackles the disturbing modern phenomenon of cyber-bullying and ‘suicide blogs’ – and has racked up over 350,000 hits on YouTube in just five days.
With strong performances from the teens who seal a suicide pact – played by Samantha Gill and Leland Montgomery – the video skilfully weaves the source of their despair with different potential scenarios, and also includes a brilliant animated sequence. Nick is an animator himself – his marvellous video for Tweak Bird’s The Bones being a good example of his work – but the sequence here is by the prodigiously talented Anthony Scheppard, producing a no-holds barred depiction of the psychological cruelty they suffer.
Five Finger Death Punch
Coming Down (Prospect Park)
Prod co: NXTdream / Gas&Electric
Director-Producer: Nick Peterson
Executive Producer: Randi Wilens
DOP: Chris Saul
Editor: CJ Miller
Animator: Anthony Schepperd
Teenage Girl: Samantha Gill
Teenage Boy: Leland Montgomery
UK Rep: Yi London
Nick Peterson on making the video for Five Finger Death Punch’s Coming Down
“I did a lot of research into the stories and patterns of teen suicide because I wanted to make this video as authentic as possible and have it be a road map for both parents and teens going down this path of destruction. I also wanted to give an answer of hope, and show people that we can save lives if we just look out for these warning signs and do something about it before it’s too late.
“The violence in the beginning of the video was used, not only to shock people and hook them, but to also establish that this will happen to your son and daughter if action is not taken by the friends and family of the teen. These kids are depressed and feel there is no hope for them, and it’s our job as family and friends to give them that hope and love.
“The animation was designed to get into the minds of the teen and show the level of the fear kids have when they are being bullied. The horror and graphic destruction of their bodies by the monsters is exaggerated to hit the audience in the gut hard to help them understand the mortal fear bullies can put into the victim.
“I was having a difficult time figuring out the ending of the video. I knew what I wanted but as unsure how to get there. While interviewing Samantha Gill the actress who played the teen girl, the answer fell right into my lap. She told me a story of how she almost killed herself. She was depressed. She was a cutter, (She showed me the deep scar on her body) and heavily into drugs/alcohol. She made a plan, deleted her myspace page, cleaned her room, bought herself a new dress, and planned to jump from the roof of her building.
“I asked her what stopped her and she said, ‘Out of the blue, my Grandma came to visit me, and I saw it as a sign that I should live.’ Just that simple act of her grandmother coming to visit showed her that someone out there did love her and she decided to live. She never told her grandmother or her family about this any of this. She was 13 years old.”