Producing White Line Fever

Square
Photo by Bill Manning
Photo by Bill Manning

My friend Bill Manning had made me aware that Erin had recently put the word out that she was looking for some assistance in producing a video for her new single White Line Fever—highway lines, not cocaine. Bill and I hopped on a call with her and began brainstorming and planning. Her song concept involved guardian angels keeping her on the road literally and metaphorically on life's path. Initially, Erin felt strongly about directing and editing the video once shot. This is not an unusual request, but I often find the motivation behind it is the artist maintaining control of the narrative—totally understandable. My role as director in this case isn't necessarily to steer or change the idea, but to extend her vision for it. Yes, the visuals, camera angles, and on set direction would still fall under my purview as director, but only to service what is in her head based on meetings and conversations about the project. Erin felt very comfortable with this process and gave me her full trust to execute her idea. However, she did maintain editing control of the project, which we agreed to if my DP was allowed to grade the final edit.

IMG_2327

She already had the car and location for the main shoot available via family friends JC Picture Cars in Canton, GA. They are a local business providing quality picture cars from the 1910s-1970s for shows like Netflix's Stranger Things and HBO Max's Lovecraft Country. For this shoot, Erin had picked out a 1952 Plymouth convertible in a light yellow color. We began storyboarding and coming up with our lighting setups and G&E lists. And we settled on a very conservative but versatile setup with a single Skypanel S60, set of Titan's (it is a music video after all), a 300dII as a backlight, and some 1k's and Lightbridge reflector kit. This has to cover our neon cyber punk song breaks as well as our more realistic and grounded process setup for the verse's and chorus's.

IMG_2311

Our crew consisted of (Far Left) 1st AC Nick Hattings, (Left Middle) Director Kevin Keegan, (Right Middle) DP James Persinger, (Far Right) Key Grip Trevor Williams, and taking this photo, Grip, Bill Manning. We were also assisted by Erin herself, providing all costuming, her brother Ian Notarthomas H/MUA, and husband Sam Burchfield helping with playback.

DSC06502

Our second setup was a more straight forward Titan tube setup with a DIY led cross made from IKEA strip lighting.

IMG_2333

Erin was initially opposed to this second setup, but once she saw the look of the lighting, the cross, she was sold and couldn't believe she had ever pushed back.

WLF_NG_6

As with all setups, we ran through various parts of the song or the song in its entirety many times to get all the angles, moments, and narrative transitions covered. This took time but we were able to get it all in 1 day and a half of shooting.

Thank you to all the crew, angels, JC Picture Cars, PC&E, Cinder Atlanta, and of course Pip The Pansy for letting us making this amazing project with you!