No pop stars were harmed in the making of Marianas Trenchâs âFallout. â
Thatâs remarkable, really, considering this MMVA-nominated video features enough pyro to rival a Michael Bay movie.
âIâm pretty sure nothing bad happened,â says the videoâs director, Kyle Davison, âbut Josh gets hurt on every video that we do,â he continues, referring to Trench frontman Josh Ramsay. âThe very first video we ever did together, he broke his rib on the first shot of the morning,â Davison reveals. (Watch their vintage video for âDecided to Break Itâ -- specifically the moment where Ramsay wipes out on a treadmill -- to relive that magic moment.)
The director has been working with this yearâs top MMVA nominee for years, and their video for âFalloutâ is the second installment in a five-part video saga theyâve got in the works. Itâs a project that ties into the fairy-tale concept of the bandâs current album, Ever After. First chapter, âHavenât Had Enoughâ arrived last August, and look for new video, âDesperate Measuresâ in the days ahead.
But the making of âFalloutâ is an awesome story in itself. Here, Davison tells Dose.ca about his MMVA-nominated clip.
Watch âFalloutâ by Marianas Trench:
Dose.ca: Youâve worked quite a lot with Marianas Trench in the past. What keeps you going back to working with them?
Kyle Davison: Well, I've known Josh Ramsay for a long time. I did the first videos on his first record, and I think before that even happened he would come around once in a while to some shoots -- while he was getting signed and before he was Josh Ramsay. So Iâve known the guy for a long time, we've become friends and it's a very natural working process with Josh. We giggle at the same silly stuff so I think it makes it pretty easy.
Dose.ca: The album, Ever After, gives you a bit of a story to follow, but can you tell me a little about the idea you had for this video going in?
KD: The story on this is pretty simple. The song is called âFalloutâ and it's about a girl just tossing a guy away, basically, and very literally we do that in the video and we use explosions as a kind of literal emotion of how it feels to get tossed away by someone like that. â¦ What makes working on these Trench videos so cool is it started with Josh writing an album that plays really as one song. His whole record is pretty crazy. â¦ He wrote a little story called the same as the album, Ever After, and it's a fairy tale that accompanies his album. So I got ahold of that and we talked it through and all the videos link up, even though right now the link between the first one, âHaven't Had Enoughâ and âFalloutâ seems like it isn't much. â¦ You see the same girl who's playing Evil Queen Carolina from the story -- the actress is Darla Taylor, who also gets roped into our 20-hour plus workdays. She's awesome. â¦ And itâs definitely all mapped out. We think there's probably five [videos], and then after that, the grand dream is that we shoot the album opener as maybe number six, which would be a six- or seven-minute song, which would be insane.
Dose.ca: What do you remember from the day you shot the video?
KD: Big, massive fireballs for a start. I was using three cameras. Normally on a music video you're doing a one-camera shoot. â¦ I remember that being a little bit of a mind toss, running from each camera -- literally -- on this field.
Dose.ca: Was this while the explosions were going off?
KD: No, no, to set up the cameras, just to get the frames correct.
Dose.ca: Do you only get one shot at capturing the explosions?
KD: Yeah, you get one take, which is why you need three cameras, so you can have three different angles of the same explosion. And then there was the smaller stuff happening while the band was playing. I refer to those as little fire poppers, like little fireballs. The drummer's drumming, a fireball goes off. The guitar guy's jumping, a fireball goes off. That kind of stuff, you can reset that stuff -- it's like a propane popper. So you load up the tube with propane and it's set off. But the big, huge stuff you see in there, it's kind of like -- that stuff, physically, to the eye, when you're standing in front of it, it's huge.
Dose.ca: How did the band react to all of this? How were they at performing while all of these things are going off?
KD: Well, the funny thing is, when they were playing, I orchestrated it so that they would have no idea when those [propane poppers] would go off and I would just give the explosion guy, like the effects guy, a little nod and he would pop it off. I think it was Mike [Ayley] -- when the first one went off, I think I scared the sh*t out of him. He didn't know it was coming and it's loud! It makes a huge, loud pop, and then there's fire, so there's light and then heat and it was behind him. â¦ He got wise to it, though. But the first one? I got him.
Dose.ca: So what youâre saying is about 75 per cent of all reactions in the video are completely real.
KD: Well, yeah. (Laughs) But Josh running away from the big stuff, he knew it was coming. It was all rehearsed and you very much have to rehearse where heâs going to run to, because if you watch some of those big explosions that are behind him, he's got stuff going off BESIDE him.
Dose.ca: The shots where heâs running from that enormous cloud of fire: heâs actually running from a real explosion? Thatâs not a green screen?
KD: Yeah, he's running away from that cloud of fire. In Josh's case, we would mark the line. Like, "Josh: you run here. And don't run over there to your left or to your right, because if you go there you're going to get blown up by all this debris." â¦ I feel like if you create a situation on set where you only have one chance at it, it's got to be something crazy. If you can have 50 chances at it then who cares? It's obviously something simple and easy if you can keep repeating it. Itâs exciting too, right? It keeps you in the game.
Dose.ca: I was wondering how many of those explosions were real, watching the video.
KD: This is why I probably owe MuchMusic some cases of beer or some bottles of some kind of alcohol, because âFalloutâ got nominated for a post-production award, too, and there's really very little post-production in that video. I think we fooled everybody. I think everybody looks at it and thinks that's gotta be fake. But trust me, there's only two digital explosions, and it's right at the beginning of the video. â¦ The rest of it is very real.
âFalloutâ by Marianas Trench is nominated for Video of the Year. The 2012 MuchMusic Video Awards air on MuchMusic Sunday, June 17 at 9 p.m. ET. For more MMVA coverage, check out Dose.ca/MMVAs.