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Hecho en Clarks Summit

Rosaleen Eastman
Contributed photo

June 5, 2013

I’m shooting a new music video for the Scranton-based band “The Great Party” this coming weekend in Clarks Summit, PA. It’s going to be a Day-of-the-Dead themed, Mexican style fiesta, complete with face paint, graveyard digging and singing from inside of a coffin.

Rosaleen Eastman, one of the five members of the band, and I are old high school friends. I directed the video for their song “Teresa” last year. The video was a glossy, fun, ’90s throwback of mistaken identity, shot with five people over two days. It was their first music video and my first as a director. We had a blast finding our way together and decided to repeat the process on a second video. This time for a song called “Hecho en Mexico.”

Listening to the two songs back to back really shows the band’s range. “Teresa” is a catchy pop song sung by Rose. “Hecho en Mexico” is more rock and roll-y and it’s sung by Rose’s husband, Michael. It’s got a bit of a swing to it with the rest of the band singing/shouting backup vocals. (Wow, it’s hard to describe music in words. Both songs are available on iTunes if you want to hear them.)

In thinking about the new video, I tried to keep the idea for the “Hecho en Mexico” simple. Members of the band in Mexican Day-of-the-Dead makeup dig up a coffin with Michael (singing) in it and carry it to a party where he performs.

I typically work as an editor, where there are fewer possibilities and more necessities. For example, we have “this” and “this” in the edit, we need “that” to make it work. I know what we need to get to finish the piece.

As a director, the possibilities are more open. At times they seem overwhelmingly endless. But this time around, I’m embracing the idea of trying different things on set. When I think back on the “Teresa” shoot, I was so confident in how the video was going to go together that I didn’t do enough variations in performance. When I look at the eight takes of performance, I can barely notice the differences.

It’s been an informative but difficult experience looking back on the “Teresa” video in preparation for the “Hecho” shoot. I see many things that I could have done differently. Many things don’t read as well as I had hoped, and I think I failed to capture a lot of stuff I saw or felt on set.

There is a lot of stuff in the video that works great, but I was trying to put too much story in. It’s a bit hard to follow and is bogged down with information. I think the audience is struggling to keep up with what’s happening instead of enjoying watching the video.