Last week I had the pleasure of directing a video for a band that’s been around since the 1960’s.  Os Mutantes is releasing their new album, Fool Metal Jacket and with it the music video for their song “Look Out.” The song has a LOT of energy.  I knew that I had to come up with a concept that acknowledged the band’s roots, while forecasting the direction their music is headed.  I also had less than a week to turn everything around, so I had to get real creative, real fast.

My favorite object was the film reels because the paint splattered on 2 levels. Also, when the drill spun at the same rate as our shutter speed, there was an awesome warping effect.

We used a drill to spin various objects, and then Lex dripped paint to create the spin art.
Photos by John Riding.

The instrumentation in “Look Out” is SICK.  I knew that I needed to direct a performance music video.  I also found out that the drummer would not be available for the video shoot… and the song had a lot of drums.  In fact, the first 20 seconds of the song is ALL drums.   WHAT?  AHHHH!  How would I cope?   I’m always up for a challenge, so I began brainstorming for solutions.   I listened to the song over and over again at my computer, I closed my eyes and allowed my imagination to run wild.  I started looking through instagram for visual inspiration, and then tumblr, and facebook… all the iphone apps.  Then I saw a spin art app that I had downloaded awhile ago.  I started fooling around with it, making spin art to the beat of the music.  Suddenly I had an epiphany, and realized I had stumbled upon a concept that brought all the color, energy and play that the song demanded.     The Next task was figuring out how to create this spin art without using a traditional spin art toy.  I thought of a drill right away, but I wasn’t sure how I would attach the objects. Believe it or not, sticky tack proved to be the best solution.  I ended up covering the drill bit with sticky tack, and that kept each object on the drill long enough to get 30-90 seconds of good spin art. I purchased a ton of drop cloths for this shoot.   It was a miracle, but we left the studio we shot in as clean as we found it.  The other miracle is that NO PAINT got on the camera.   Look how close the camera got, and look at that paint flinging trails.   The paint spread about 8 feet in each direction when the drill was going really fast. After filming the spin art, we transition into the performance setups.  The band was a lot of fun to work with.  They were willing to be a bit goofy (especially when it came to the performance segment where we flung paint on them!)  Trevor Merrill did some great on site editing for me and created an edit of the spin art footage that we projected onto the band for one of the performance setups.   Basically this whole video is covered in paint one way or another.   “Look Out” will be released by the band’s label, Krian Music Group in a few days. Lastly, I want to give a shout out to the rest of my crew.  Zach Salsman is an awesome DP.  He owns a lot of equipment too.   “Look Out” required a lot of hand-held shots and so We shot it on my 5D Mark III, but Zach has a Red and an Alexa package as well as tons of other great equipment.    Hire him &/or rent from him.  He’s awesome.  You’ll be glad you did.     I also have to thank my talented actor friend Lex Quarterman for giving me a hand on set.  Lex grew up in Ukraine, so if you need someone with an eastern european accent, he’s your guy!   Thanks to actress/stylist Greyson Chadwick for styling, Clara Anne Kromer for running my set,  Haylee McFarland for makeup and hair, and John Riding for capturing the BTS images in this blog.    

I love the paint patterns created on this plate.

Zach Salsman & Lex Quarterman were great to work with.    BTW, spinning the mirror on my head did NOT work.


Thanks to Greyson Chadwick for styling.


here is a preview image….

Haylee McFarland on Hair & Makeup.

Clara Ann Kromer on set.

Trevor Merrill and Zach Salsman.

Thanks John Riding for all the pictures!

Lex Quarterman

one more spin art photo…

This mirror was too heavy for the drill. Spinning it on my head did not work either.

First take of the day – I was not yet covered in paint.
We used tempra paint because it was washable, and also because it dried fast. We wanted the splatters to dry fast so that we did not track them all over the studio.

Lastly, a preview. This is a screenshot from “Look Out.” I can’t wait till we release it and I can share it with you all!