Many rumors and stories say that the world is ending this year, and even though movies like 2012 or the upcoming Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World may try to predict how it will all end, no one is really sure of any details. In the music video for “Redness Moon” from Puerto Rican shoegaze band Fantasmes, director Danilo Parra gives us his version of the end of the world, complete with prosthetics, protective masks and disintegration. In this video, the music and video work together to create a powerful story about science, love and destruction.
Portable: What is the story of the people featured in the video? What is happening to them and the world?
Danilo Parra: The story is about a male scientist who sees a red planet coming close to earth. When he begins to calculate the trajectory of the incoming planet, he finds that life on earth is soon to end. Which means he better do something about the girl he has a crush on at work. The character of the male scientist is inspired by my best friend Isiah who is always telling me about incoming planets that will change the earth’s balance. It’s stuff that is kind of fun to believe. I found an actor that resembles Isiah and got the actor a wig to match Isiah’s hair. It’s uncanny how much they ended up looking alike. The world the characters in the video live in, is the future, when air is un-breathable. I hope this isn’t the case though. That would be horrible.
Portable: What were you inspired by when creating this story? Why include the subtitles?
Danilo Parra: I had just finished traveling around China and Japan shooting documentaries for a month so my mind was still very excited by that great trip. The band originally wanted me to shoot the music video in China while I was there. But it was impossible as I had so much other work to do. I shot some time-lapses in Japan though and used them in the beginning of the video. The subtitles were to help give the video more of a short film feel than a music video. It was also a tool to bring the audience into the male characters inner dialogue. I wanted the story to feel as though it was seen through the male characters point of view.
Portable: Where did you film? How do the locations contribute to the story?
Danilo Parra: The story changed so much during the process of shooting it. Each location added to the story in a positive way though. Where I was, in a way depicted what the story would transform into. I had lots of great time-lapse footage from my hotel window in Japan, so I wanted to use that to create a story set in futuristic Asia. I shot the underwater scenes in Costa Rica because I was there on vacation after my work trip in China. My girlfriend Mindy was the body double for those underwater scenes. And all the scenes with main actors were shot in Brooklyn, NY. Which is where I live. I had a flexible deadline which allowed me to add more and more pieces to the story wherever I went.
Portable: In the video there are various prosthetics. Why include these?
Danilo Parra: Prosthetics where the main reason I wanted to do the video. I have been completely addicted to life casting and mold making so I decided to work with a professional to learn more about the process. Pretty much all the budget for the video went towards the prosthetics which is funny because it was about a 5 second shot in the video. This was another big influence on what the story would become. I mainly wanted to learn how to make faces melt away so I built a story around that concept.
Portable: How does your video reflect the shoegaze sound of Fantasmes?
Danilo Parra: I think the dreamy parts of the video complimented the shoegaze sound of Fantasmes the most. It was the main characters fantasies and cross dissolves that I felt worked with the music. I also feel that the music has a very repetitive sound to it so I wanted to create a story someone would follow to the very end. I’m not a big fan of music videos that concentrate on one effect that is overdone throughout the video. The music videos that excite me the most are the ones that strive to tell a story, first and foremost. The music just being used to guide the mood.
Fantasmes’ LP “Redness Moon” will be released on September 4, 2012 through Last Bummer Records