Santa Fe filmmakers Jon Moritsugu and Amy Davis veer (very slightly) from their underground experimental base with a music video released today for popular Brooklyn experimental (see!) band TV on the Radio. The video is one in a movie-length series of music videos for the band's new album Nine Types of Light.
Each of the album's 10 songs features its own music video (presented as a long video) recorded by friends and filmmakers the band enjoys.
The video, for the album's fourth song "No Future Shock," was conceptualized by TVOTR guitarist Kyp Malone, who was inspired by avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren. It follows the progression of eight choreographed dancers and two cameos—drag performer Murray Hill and Village Voice columnist Michael Musto—who "start off very conservative, American Bandstand and evolve into something crazier," Moritsugu says. By the end of the video, the dancers are glammed up with glitter and lying on the stage floor.
In regard to the song's meaning, the video encapsulates "2012 mania, future doom—everyone's freaking out about the future," Moritsugu says.
The husband-and-wife team had cast Malone for their 2003 film Scumrock. Malone contacted Davis and Moritsugu three months ago to see if they'd shoot a video for the album. Fast forward through one day of filming and three weeks of editing, and the record label, Interscope, possessed the final product.
According to Moritsugu, the filming used similar techniques to the couple's previous films.
"We degraded some of the footage—we wanted it to have the feel of watching TV—by playing it back through TV sets, reshooting it with old cameras," he says.
The consistently highly rated, genre-spanning TVOTR seems to be part of a trend of musicians who are incorporating feature-length video accompaniments with their albums, most recently The Beastie Boys and Kanye West.
"I think it's really cool; sometimes musicians are leading the way, inspiring other filmmakers," Moritsugu says. "It's a testament to where filmmaking is these days, where you can do feature movies a lot easier than a few years ago."
Moritsugu and Davis are known for their lo-fi punk movies with subversive titles and content—Fame Whore, Mod Fuck Explosion, Scumrock, to name a few. Locally they also play in lo-fi punk band Lo on High, which can be seen as a more glammed out extension of their movies. The couple settled in Santa Fe in 2009 and are currently in post-production on Pig Death Machine, a horror movie shot here.
The series of TVOTR videos for Nine Types of Light is embedded below. Find Moritsugu and Davis' "No Future Shock" video at 15:23.