One of the things I love about Atlanta-based musician Brock Scott is that his lyrics are filled with interesting stories and historical allusions. It's really intelligent stuff played on real instruments by
real musicians - something that is terribly rare these days.
I've known Brock for awhile, and I've used his music in a few video pieces before. His band Little Tybee was working on a new album called "Humorous to Bees", and we planned to do a music video for a song called "Nero", about the deranged Roman Emperor, obsessed with the arts, who famously "fiddled while Rome burned."
Brock wanted to use his friend, world-class yo-yo whiz Mark Montgomery in the video, a suggestion that really got me psyched to work on it.
We came up with this idea of a single, slow-motion take where Mark was surrounded by crazy photo shoots in a darkened studio, complete with green-screen fire and a rap video, and which would end with the subjects watching it all burn away. It was fun to pull together ideas for each shoot, mostly pulled from past shoots I've done or seen, and of course it gave me the chance to pull out all my great Westcott gear as authentic-looking props.
Since it was a single take choreographed to music playing at 150% speed, the shoot was more like a live performance! If something went wrong at any point we would have to retake the whole thing.
One cool thing was how all the talent each of us brought to the shoot ended up already knowing each-other, and it made for a great vibe, everyone was super motivated to make it happen right. It reminded me how tight the arts community is in Atlanta, and why its such a great place to produce a shoot.