David Knight - 11th May 2011

The new Herman Dune video for Tell Me Something I Don't Know directed by Toben Seymour features Jon Hamm - Mad Men's Don Draper, no less - doing what he does best: turning on the irresistible charm. But no two ways about it, the focus of his attention is a bit of a surprise: a small blue, hitchhiking yeti...

So what's Jon/Don turning up in this charming Herman Dune video, playing opposite a blue furry puppet "David - singer/songwriter from Herman Dune - and I wanted to find a talented and recognizable actor or actress to play the role of the character picking up the hitchhiking yeti," says Toben. "The story was always about the young yeti's experiences as he ventured into the unknown human world and I really wanted to cast someone unexpected to discover him.

"I sent text messages to some actor friends I've made since moving to LA and everyone seemed to love the script and song but were busy on other productions. That's when I contacted Mike Farah at Funny or Die. I know it can be really difficult to get big name actors involved in music videos but I figured it might be possible if I teamed up with Funny or Die since they have a way of making these things happen.

"Herman Dune and I already had a few things going for us: great music, interesting story and a great yeti puppet being built in NYC by Furry Puppet Studios. But I still wanted to cast someone great for the character who would discover the yeti. I explained the situation and sent the script and track to Mike, and he suggested a couple of people who might be interested. I saw Jon Hamm in the list and I knew he would be perfect for the role.

"I sent Jon's manager the script and the song and asked if Jon would consider being involved in this project. I wasn't sure if they would even respond to my pitch. A week went by and I was literally about to cast someone else when I got an email from Jon's manager saying he wanted to do this project.

"This project really amazed me. David and I came up with the concept and story together. We really had the greatest people involved on this project and Jon Hamm's involvement made it exciting for everyone. Once Jon signed on I had some concerns about whether or not we had the money to take care of him the way he might be used to.

"Usually big Hollywood productions have amazing rigs for shooting road movies. I would have loved to work with this equipment but we didn't have the money. It was important that it be shot as realistically as possible, and I'd always planned to take advantage of the driving laws in Texas which allows passengers to ride in the back of a truck bed. A lot of our driving scenes are shot from the back of a truck bed as Jon and the yeti played leap frog with our production pick up truck. I wanted to make sure that Jon wasn't going to be surprised by anything when he arrived on set

"I explained the situation to Jon when we talked on the phone and he seemed to understand our budget constraints and was down for the cause. He told me he loved the song and thought the concept was great! Funny or Die helped pay for his flight to Austin, and Jon worked with us over the two and a half days of production. It was pretty funny to see Jon driving around Austin with a little blue yeti riding shotgun. When we drove through the city at night you would hear people do a triple take: "Cool car, whoa there's a puppet... #^@* thats Hamm!"

"I think Jon wanted to do the project because he liked the music and the concept. Since Mad Men wasn't shooting I imagine he thought this might be a cool video to do and see what happens. I also think he was interested because it wasn't your typical big budget Hollywood production. He mentioned that he used to make short films with his friends before Mad Men. I think its really humbling and inspiring that Jon got involved and gave his support to this music video project with Herman Dune. It was amazing to work with someone as talented as him."

Watch 'Herman Dune Tell Me Something I Don't Know by Toben Seymour' here

Credits

DirectorToben Seymour
Production CompanyFunny or Die, Seymour Pictures, RSA/Little Minx/Black Dog
ProducerJason Tobias and Toben Seymour
EditorFinal Cut
ColouristMarshall Plante
Sound designTK Broderick
ColouristNtropic
EditorLogan Hefflefinger

David Knight - 11th May 2011

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