David Knight - 1st June 2010

It starts with a home video shot of a sunset on the back of a windblown pickup, heading for the woods. Then things get a lot more weird, in Chris LaGarce's utterly gripping video for the unsigned Illinois band Young Loves.

Mind-expanding, edge-of-the-seat stuff - a real achievement considering the complete lack of a budget. Chris LaGarce shows an unerring eye for detail, upon which the whole premise really depends. You really want to avoid the powdery stuff floating around.

Chris LaGarce on making the video for Young Loves' Rotten Fruit

? How long have you been making films Have you made other music videos before this I've been shooting shorts/films for about five years now. I'm a VHS/beta kid. I used to shoot short skits growing up and then received film degrees from SIUC in Carbondale, IL and SAIC in Chicago (I'm 26 now). I currently live in Chicago, but will be moving to L.A. in less than a month. This video is my first executed attempt at making a music video.

? Who are Young Loves and how did you come to make the video for Rotten Fruit
I'm a friend of the band. I met Kevin (drums) and Nate (guitar), by going to shows. They are both in another band called The Black Forty's which tour frequently across the U.S. Then I met Arlin, who is lead vocals and guitar for Young Loves, who lives in Springfield, IL. I just started going to their shows and it went from there.

? Where did the idea for the video come from What was the inspiration for the ritual undertaken by the young men The idea came from simply listening to the song. It reminded me of several things. As a completely cliché as this is going to sound, the death of drug use as a form of expansion into the mental psyche. The ritual is based on the shamanic process of using etheogens as a transcendence back into mother nature - represented by the wolf/dog. The ritual is often a coming-of-age experience taken amongst kin and friends, yet each person's journey is different. It may be dealing with how you've spent your time and your own self-perception within that time - represented in Nate's Journey as a headless version of himself shaving off slivers of a stick. I know it's just a music video, but it was important for it to be interpretive and also have a narrative storyline. ? Where did you shoot, how long did it take
We shot the intro in the Shawnee National Forest near my hometown of Carbondale, and then on a strip of private land near by. We shot everything in four nights, but we had to pick the nights sporadically and over time. I would like to do music videos full time, but I had to juggle it between post-production and shooting freelance gigs, plus we had to work around every body's different schedules. This was not a unionized paid production, it was like, "Hey Kyle do you have school or work on Sat. No, sweet, you wanna help me make a rotating plank to put out in the woods."

? And how did you create your creature The jellyfish was built in Maya and then some lighting effects in After Effects. For any Maya geeks out there, I used "sub-surface scattering" to get a translucent look. I'm not really a graphics person; I just learned enough to do what I wanted. If I had it my way I would focus strictly on directing, story, acting, and editing, and pass graphics onto someone else.

? You have used 'data-moshing' to create some of the effects. How did that happen - and how did you know if it would work I had no idea if data-moshing would work, I just started fooling around with it after doing some online tutorials. One thing I really liked about it was that it was a process of actually damaging footage; it was, in a way, authentic. The actual process I used is like 20 steps long and I have it written down on a piece of paper taped to my wall. It was a week and a half of taking footage into mpeg streamclip, back into AE, warping, layering, breaking it up into particle layers, back lighting, etc. And then you just step back from it and you're like, cool, that works. Even though no one can really tell the difference, it's cool that what you see at the end is the footage of Kevin and Nate spinning around in the "human chandelier". It's not just an effect you click on; it's fucking something up so much that it becomes something else.

? What was the most challenging part of the production Did it turn out as you hoped When did you finish the video, and what kind of reaction have you had so far The most challenging part of the production was just organizing the video and actually doing it. I've wanted to do music videos for a while; I kept getting the ideas, but didn't have any funding, crew, or equipment. So I was like, screw it, I'll just pay for it all and ask favors of a bunch of friends. I borrowed equipment from the nearby university that I had directed some commercials for. It's been well received, the band loves it and people seem to like that it's a narrative concept. My main goal is to write up some of the other pitches I have and get some backing for the next ones.

David Knight - 1st June 2010

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