Last month, Carey Hodges wrote about local indie rockers Sweet Years and their new music video, for the song “Fireproof,” off the band’s brand-new album, Coat Guts. The band was screening the video that weekend at its CD release show at Pilot Light.
“Fireproof,” directed by Brandon Langley, of Knoxville’s Mistakist Productions, follows Sweet Years frontman Dakota Smith on a madcap tour of the upper floor of the Bijou Theatre, but that barely scratches the surface of everything going on in the video. You can watch it for yourself now in this exclusive Knoxville Mercury premiere.
“We didn’t want to do a classic video in which the band emulates their live performance,” Smith says. “So we started talking about tone and images. After agreeing on those we ended up with a loose story that I think is really perfect for the recorded material.”
“It was very much this organic back and forth,” Langley says. “We decided early on that we weren’t going to hold anything back—that if anything we came up with was good, it would stick, and all of the bad ideas would fade away.”
Shot across three distinct locations, the video starts in the claustrophobic halls of the Bijou, with a single steadicam shot following Smith around a maze of off-the-wall obstacles. Both Smith’s intense commitment to character and Langley’s dedication to achieving a seamless shot grip viewers from the get-go, shifting between unsettling and whimsical.
“I had been kind of experimenting with this roller-coaster idea,” Langley says. “Basically, bringing the viewer along for the ride without having any direct cuts in the video. I wanted to always keep the camera in front of Dakota while he was singing. There are so many details and distractions in that first shot that no one is going to notice everything the first time. Dakota is always the center of attention.”
Read more about Sweet Years here.
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