David Knight - 8th Nov 2010

Portland-based band Portugal. The Man and director Michael Ragen have channelled the spirit of Cecil B DeMille, Kenneth Anger and Caravaggio for the video for Guns and Dogs (taken from the band’s album The Satanic Satanist). It resembles a rediscovered silent movie biblical epic too dark and violent to have been released in the first place.

Having DoP’d videos for Sean Pecknold, Matt Daniels and That Go, this is Michael’s first as director and it took him a while to perfect the ancient, grisly look. And guns are definitely not the weapon of choice.

Michael Ragen on making the video for Portugal. The Man's Guns & Dogs

"This was my first directing project. I wanted to create something that went back to my fine art roots and was very different from the other music videos I had been DP'ing. I brought Stefan Moore and Noel Paul from That Go on to help me produce the piece as well as help develop some of the creative aspects.

"Traci Eggleston from Mt. St. Helen's Vietnam Band (who I had previously shot a video for) came on board a couple days before the shoot and John Gourley from Portugal The Man handled the costume design.

"I knew from the beginning it was going to be post-heavy, but the band was great in giving me all the time I needed to get it done. I spent quite a few months playing around with the look and style of the piece, creating matte paintings and layers of texture, and ultimately rescanning the finished piece frame-by-frame off a projector with a lensbaby to try to capture an old projected look. This was also my first time handling all of the post and visual effects on a project, so it was a huge learning experience.

Credits

Executive ProducerStefan Moore
ProducerNoel Paul
CastTraci Eggleston
Lead actorCaspian Oliver Thompson
Hair & Make-upJennifer Popochock
GafferMiles Burnett
WardrobeJohn Gourley
WardrobeJoy Andrews
Other creditsOn Set Photography: Chona Kasinger, Jasmine Safaeian

David Knight - 8th Nov 2010

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