This is in reference to this music video:
I never really got the chance to write this kinda of notes back when I was doing MVs for Sony, so this is still a first time thing for me.
Hmm, so well now how do I start this.
At some point in life, I started conceiving a lot of ideas about slice of life plots, things that could happen to us. Things that relate very close to us; work, illness, suicides, deaths.
The initial planning for "The Beginning" actually about a female photographer diagnosed with early age Alzheimer's Disease, who desperately tries to capture every frame and memory before she slowly loses all memory.
This story was partly inspired by a talented real-life photographer named Anthony Carbajal who's diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease, which in my opinion, really struck a note with me as I was the same age as him. And losing the ability to do what he love, I think it was the worst possible scenario for any artist.
However the plan fell through, as my plans to contact Samsung to loan one of their cameras to be featured for the shoot went pretty much ignored. The customer service team tried to hook me up with their marketing team, but I haven't heard anything from them since. Since Plan A failed, I decided to go with Plan B.
Another huge challenge was, trying to create a "silent" movie. Let's see it from this point of view, it's a Electronic Dance Music, it has no lyrics, it has no story to work around with. The only thing I could pull across, was the raw emotions of the female lead.
And the hardest part was the "drop", which I summarised it to be something like a standard song's bridge, but boy oh boy was I wrong. This "drop" or bridge I was talking about, continues for almost 1/3 of the song, and it's almost a stand-alone in it's own complexity.
I discussed with Jay about the concept, and he told me about this game trailer that made a grand impact on the gaming community a few years ago. It was the "Dead Island" trailer, a trailer which broke a lot of boundaries for film-making, but it was amazing.
The reverse sequence in "Dead Island" inspired me to go with one long take, however it didn't really worked, due to the uneven footing at Hejio Palace ground and my Glidecam was flying around because of the huge winds. In the end I went with another way of editing, using multiple takes to portray the reverse sequence in another way.
Another inspiration that I took was from the movie "Inception".
I'm a huge fan of Christopher Nolan, for his vision and direction, and those crazy original scripts he and his brother made. No joy could express how much I had when I was working on his feature "Interstellar", back when I was still working in Double Negative as a FX artist.
It went on to win "Best Visual Effects" in Oscars 2015, but the joke is, I haven't really got the chance to watch the movie yet. To me, Nolan's the new Stanley Kubrick.
Facts aside, the inspiration I was mentioning about, was Cobb's love for Mal in "Inception".
As much as the whole movie was amazing, what really moved me, was Cobb's love for Mal that he couldn't let go, because he felt guilty that he was the one who caused her death.
I took that idea and twisted it a little, this time in reverse positions.
The female lead was the one who indirectly caused her love to suicide, and she only feels safe in that room where they stayed together.
However, one day her own consciousness took over, causing a lapse in memories.
The notepad was the metaphor for her consciousness, in a way because the notepad belongs to her boyfriend.
Throughout the MV, the note was a recurring theme, with an asshole dead boyfriend who's misleading her with the notes, or it could be just her own memories or guilt pulling her closer to death.
I had a close friend who jumped on my 21st birthday. 12 storeys. Literally on my birthday, 30th November.
He's called Nicky. And I still hate him till this day for leaving us.
As such, I was sensitive to works regarding suicide, but yet I wanna touch on that. The reason why the boyfriend died in the MV was very vague, but it was actually related to trains.
It's beautiful to shoot in the tracks in Japan when the trains are not around. And sometimes even more dangerously fun to shoot when the train is approaching.
I once had the thought of standing in the middle of the track when the train comes. I thought to myself during that time, what will happen if the train hits me.
Train accidents are common overseas, but sometimes the "accidents" are not what it seems to be. It could be just that simple thought that just throws you into the track, dying without knowing why.
Even so, I love trains, especially the ones in Japan.
There's this zen thing about the country side trains that just make you doze off in the afternoon.
I'm glad to be able to do the shots in Nara, beautiful place with the friendliest people on Earth.
Thank you to the Matsudas who housed us during the period which we were in Kansai, they were like a second family to me and Sochii during the whole time.
Thanks to Jay for collaborating on this project, a first time working on instrumental MVs.
And thank you to my lovely girlfriend, Sochii, who was always there for the shoot and cheering me on throughout.
Well, this is the first time I'm asked to do a Director's Note, which I've no idea how to.
So I had to go research a little and found out it's something like a blog.
Great, it works for brasscollective's blog section then.
Henry is a film-maker, photographer, VFX artist, animator living in Singapore.
Inspired by the works of Hayao Miyazaki, Mamoru Hosoda, and the late Satoshi Kon, he pursued a career in 3D Animation, but somehow landed in Double Negative and ended up working on Hollywood feature films as a FX artist.
His hobbies include molesting his cameras, his girlfriend and his cats.
He also enjoys cooking Japanese dishes, however the Japanese groceries cost a bomb in the country he is living in.
He is an avid lover of coffee, cheese, chocolate and cigarettes, and is usually found at firstname.lastname@example.org