Jordan Prather and Belinda Esquer are the creative duo behind the talented pop band Head Over Heart (read about ’em in Entertainment Weekly or Pop Matters!), and what we have here is a music video that I directed to support the A-side of their extremely limited edition Lathe Cuts 45 “I Don’t Mind” b/w “Fall Back In Love” on Commercial Appeal Records.
Production-wise I was responsible for the plot, graphic design, direction, editing and animation. Because Jordan and Belinda are so easy (and game) to work with though, wearing all of those hats was a relative breeze. After a week or so of prep design, we shot all of the live action footage in a single day at my home studio. Once the edit was essentially locked in, I worked up the remaining 3D motion graphics and did all of the final post production (color correction, etc) over the course of the next few weeks.
The inspiration for the visuals came about pretty organically. The music felt so otherworldly and dreamy that when I first heard the song and closed my eyes I kept seeing images of falling stars and cloudscapes, but the lyrics deal with failing romance, escapism and self-delusion.
This juxtaposition seemed to lend itself to images of delusion and fantasy, so the the world of carnival psychics, fortune tellers and spiritual hucksters seemed pretty apropos (with a touch of Professor Marvel from the Wizard of Oz around the edges, naturally).
Really though, the final piece of the puzzle really came from my superstar cat Nova. As I was sketching out ideas she came over to my computer, sat down on the keyboard and just stared at me for about a minute straight before sauntering off. When I asked my wife what she thought it was all about she said “Obviously you’re going to be in trouble unless Nova is in that video”. Clearly my cat runs the show in real life just like she does here.
Basically this was a tremendously enjoyable project from start to finish, so I’ll just close out with part of a stellar write up from Impose Magazine:
Featuring special guest appearances by Nova the cat, Jason Willis’s video recalls classic camp cinema (a la the 1902 silent film Le Voyage dans la Lune from Georges Méliès) where the “here we go” motions from Head Over Heart’s “I Don’t Mind” take flight to the cosmic and metaphysical realms. Nova the cat commands the mystic adventure where Jordan plays the role of Belinda’s card dealing fortune teller where tarot readings find the hidden passages of the past and future across clouds, stars, and vintage animated clip-art. Superstitions from palm lines to otherworldly felines take the duo and audience into a parallel world of classical carnival zodiac fare where symbols, omens, and esp abound as visual and imaginative accompaniment for one of the most epic slow jam dance ballads ever.