shot the video over two days, along the rocky Eastern
coastline of Puna on the big island of Hawaii. I wanted it to look more
like the coastline of the Pacific Northwest or New England. I always had
cliffs in mind ever since I first heard the song. We were fortunate
enough to shoot on a couple of overcast days where the water was really
stirred up. Most of the Eastern coast of the big island has scenery like
this but one of our main concerns was to find a stretch where you
wouldn't see any homes in the background.
TThe only crew involved were
RaVani and myself. I threw my camera gear in a bag and brought a
portable radio for playback. RaVani sang to a temp mix of the song in
which the chorus had not been recorded yet. Luckily once the song was
complete it synched up perfectly.
The band was in a transitional
period and not all of the members were available for the shoot. Also, I
thought it would be more appropriate to focus on RaVani due to the
mystical and thematic elements of the song which center around a
relationship between a mother and daughter.
limited crew, however, worked out for the best because it's quite
dangerous out around the cliffs. RaVani actually worried me a few times
when she stepped out on the edge without warning me. A couple times I
thought she was going right over. It made for some great shots but I
wouldn't suggest it to anyone. We were probably lucky. The "lack" of
personnel may have even helped RaVani a bit because
I think it allowed her to feel more comfortable to lip synch without a
bunch of people watching.
"Briny Deep" is my favorite
Technical Difficulties song and I took my inspiration for the video from
the feelings it
stirs up inside me when I watch them perform it live. It's one of those
songs that you hear and are immediately drawn into because of the
composition and the intensity of the vocals. As you look deeper into the
song and read the lyrics you grow to appreciate the story that it tells,
which is quite tragic. The song would evoke images in my head that
really stuck with me. The thread between the music and the lyrics is
very strong. It was a challenge for me to attempt the video. I was
nervous that it would fall short of the song's power and impact. I
merely wanted to create imagery to accompany the song, not try to
My take on the song...although
RaVani could explain it much better then I could ever hope to...is this;
The song revolves around a mother and daughter who are lost at sea at
night. The mother has mystical powers which she transfers to her
daughter so that she can survive the danger. The quieter portions of the
song is when the mother is assuring her daughter that all will be okay
and not to fear. The chorus expresses the mothers attempts to keep them
both safe to on avail, and the grief of having to give up her powers. In
the end the mother drowns in the briny, deep, dark, cold water.
In the video I tried to represent
these emotions without showing them literally. The doll representing the
daughter and the boat representing being lost at sea. RaVani is playing
the part of the mother and her character is reflecting on the tragic
events and trying to control the water, to push is back. She is
remembering and pining for her daughter. In the end, when she disappears
from the cliff, it is meant to represent that she is a spirit haunting
the cliff on the sea where she drowned.
The song is so pure and I
wanted the visuals to stay along those lines so I shot in black and
white because I wanted to go for a stark, dreamlike quality.
Like the memory of something sad or tragic. The colors in Hawaii can be
quite vivid with a lot of green and blue. I wanted to get as far away
from that kind of a look as possible, since we had just captured the
island feel in another Technical Difficulties video "Jungle"
and because "Briny Deep" has such a dark tone to it, it just felt right
to make this way. I used an Arri 16mm BL and my trusty Minolta Autometer
for exposures. The 16mm grainy film gave it the haunting look that I
really wanted. For other sections of the video, I used a Canon GL 1 Mini
DV camera and I cut the whole thing on Final Cut Pro.
This video was really difficult to
edit and was a tremendous challenge for me. It went through a lot of
stages before I felt comfortable with it. Telling a story in a music
video isn't the same as telling a story in a short or feature film. With
music videos, there are so many possibilities. In the end, it definitely
took on a life of it's own. It turned out better than expected,
although, there are some more things I would have liked to have been
able to do. Like shooting on a boat in the middle of the ocean at night
in a raging sea...but that's a whole different kind of budget.
Technical Difficulties is an
extremely talented band and I'm fortunate to have had the opportunity to
work with them so frequently. I met them in 2001 while working on Planet
of the Apes, which shot some scenes on the big island. I saw them play a
gig at a club called Fiascos in Hilo. My friends and I were blown away
by what we heard. I returned to the island a few months later in August
of 2001 to shoot the video for "Sex
is Easier." Then again in 2002 for
"Briny Deep" and "Jungle".
I'm currently editing the video for their song "Mr.
Quiet" along with a live concert film I
directed for them in January of 2004."