I want to pay homage to the song by dedicating the film to loved ones that are far away, disconnected or separated in some way. I specifically want to focused on loved ones that ambitious and famous archetypes leave behind in the wake of their goals and careers.
The film will be a series of vignettes. Archetypes of inspiring and historic figures, for example… an explorer, a fighter, an astronaut, a racing driver… All of these people strive for greatness even if it means their ambitions will result in their demise, and in the case of this film was to specifically focus on that demise.
“Find what you love and let it kill you.” - Charles Bukowski.
We are first introduced to these characters in all their glory… An explorer heading out to sea… a firefighter putting on his equipment… a Formula 1 driver getting into the driver seat… Evel Knievel taking a test run up to a ramp… and an astronaut looking out over earth. The common theme is a sense of purpose, the ambition of greatness, from noble pursuits to foolish stunts… all unified in their search for greatness.
In every hero’s vignette, as they are preparing for another feat, they have pictures of their loved ones in their cockpit… in their locker room door… in pocket as they take it out and rub it for good luck. The ones closest to their heart that "No can love the same".
After we establish these characters. We begin the to realize that their pursuits are ultimately met with their demise. In a last “Swan Song”… moment of beauty wrapped in what is ultimately their end… The racer crashes and burns, the gladiator falls, the explorer drowns, and the daredevil falls for the last time.
Although these scenes are end up in tragedy… coupled with the euphoric feeling of the song and beautiful cinematography it presents a harmonious juxtaposition. I picture the entire film being shot in slow motion, to soften and exaggerate each moment as if suspended in time and underlining the significance of each characters demise. Emphasizing beautiful moments of Hero in his prime, their love and longing for loved ones, the last breath of life and the bittersweet end to icons that die doing what they love.
Harmoniously bookending the film is our heroes funerals or memorial service… and these funerals feature… drum roll please… Roses… with thorns of course. Being laid on their coffins… dropped into their burial site; set at the foot of their statue; or are set beside their memorial picture. A simple and elegant way of featuring roses that is so provoked by the chorus lyrics “the thorns on a rose”. Both in the song and in this film the thorns on a rose represent a bittersweetness, in love, life and in death.
How to accomplish this ambitious concept has inspired me to think a little bit differently. I would like to shoot the entire thing in studio, but without any post CG effects. I instead have come up with a technique that will have an aesthetic unique to this video.
We will project backgrounds of the vignettes behind the characters. A technique used frequently in older films like Pulp Fiction and Aliens called “Rear projection”. In the case of a Formula 1 racing driver… we project stands filled with hundred of people. And our characters looks off screen waving at them with his superstar demeanour, or he steps into his Formula 1 car ( we see only the wind screen and the steering wheel ) and we project rows of F1 cars behind him.
I want to embrace the aesthetic of the projections and allow the audience to know we aren't really at these locations because I think it will look beautiful and unique. A bit of a retro vibe but with a modern yet modest approach to visual effects.
Example of on set props and design:
Wardrobe - Appropriate to each character
Props ( minimal) - The shell of a race car; a dirt bike…windows of a "spacecraft"
Debris and in camera FX for their “Demise” - Flying glass, smoke, flames,
A treadmill for moving / walking shots
With Lo Moon’s performance we have a beautiful set and pre-determined visuals to work wit and perform in from of. I am open to having all of band members Matt, Christina and Sam perform, it would be my aesthetic choice that they perform individually as opposed to seeing all 3 in the frame at a time. It will feel clean and elegant while allowing us to focus our attention on the band members more intimately.
The visuals on the screen behind them of course can tie into / be the same as the characters from the story. I also think that there performances are a good place to play a visual theme of roses throughout the song. Some ideas would be pre-recorded visuals of roses blossoming or dying; rose petals falling, and my instinct tells me that bright and luminous visuals on an off white or desaturated rose or pink would work really well with the rear projection set.
It would be a great opportunity to work on the film for this song. I look forward to collaborating with Lo Moon and management on ideas you may want to contribute and I look forward to developing this concept in more depth and making it a reality.
- Amos LeBlanc