Friday, April 18, 2008

"Hey man, nice video."

With over a million views on YouTube alone (not counting MySpace video and the other massive amount of video sites) the music video for "Voices of The Dead," in our eyes, has been successful. People enjoy it and it's getting exposure. We've also received a lot of compliments on the video and many a question about it, so I thought this would be a great topic to blog about!
In the beginning...

We first met the producer/director BP (codename for Brian Pulido) at an Atomic Comics Fright Night show. I was on a judging panel with BP for an amateur horror movie contest. We exchanged contact info because I was working on a comic script at the time, and since BP is a professional comic book writer and great guy, he said he'd take a look at it.

Apparently, I didn't annoy BP too much because he wanted to work with us on a music video for his newly formed company, Mischief Makers. He sent us his short film, "There’s Something Out There" for the band to watch. We were impressed by his movie making skills so we set up a meeting to discuss a possible music video.
Our first meeting with BP was at a Borders book store. On the way to the meeting, Bobby, Davey and I re-discussed possible ideas for the video. We wanted graveyards, monsters, and b-movie action. So we were very happy when BP pitched his ideas, which were exactly what we talked about
on the way to the meeting!

Some of the ideas tossed around was a possible splatter comedy like "Dead Alive," and a possible R-rated version for the wilder crowd. BP's vision of how he sees the band, and most importantly how the fans, at that time view the band, would best fit in a 50's B-movie setting. We determined we would want this to reach the most people possible so we decided to stick with a general audience rating. To keep the costs down on special effects and buckets of blood, we decided the violence would be implied. No drumsticks in the eye this time around!
We set the date and went our ways, BP said he'd get his crew together, make some casting calls and get back to us. Some big promises were made and BP talked a good game. He was extremely nice and professional but I was still skeptical. We've met so many people who talk a good game but never follow through. Would this be the same?

Down in the lab...

The date was quickly approaching, reminder e-mails were sent last
minute, changes passed back and forth and before I knew it the day
We knew some of the actors that were cast in the video because we held a open casting call at our CD release show for "The Traveling Vampire Show," other than that, we had no clue who or what we'd meet at the shoot.We showed up for our call time at 9AM at Collins College Studio in Tempe, AZ. They had two stages we would be shooting in. This was going to be a two day shoot, which if I recall correctly, lasted for 10-11 hrs. per day.
The craft table was already set up and as soon as we arrived we were being offered Red Bull to start the day. The hallway was filled with foam headstones which would create our graveyard. From my vantage point, sitting in the hallway, looking at the custom foam in the early morning light, I was worried. What did we get ourselves into? How could this be turned into a believable graveyard? I would soon find out!

As it turned out, the magic of video making has a lot to do with the lighting. I'm used to the guerrilla style point and shoot video style with no string budgets. This was a whole new world.

By the time everyone arrived I was shocked that we had a cast and crew of 20 people and even more impressive, was that everyone was in a great mood. The atmosphere was light hearted and everyone was ready to work hard.

While we waited as the set was created and the cam
era and lights to be set up, we headed to makeup. (I don't know how you ladies do it; we didn't have that much applied, but wow, that felt uncomfortable!)

When the set backdrop was secured, the props in place, the lights positioned and the camera ready to roll, it was time to record our live performance. We played the music through the PA and did our best fake performance. I think we performed the whole song at least ten times. Each performance time with different variations of background action and camera focus. We had people standing at each tree branch off screen. Also, two people stood on ladders tossing leaves and below, someone waved a cardboard fan to blow the leaves around.
The worst part for the crew was collecting the leaves after each take. The crew had two large
garbage bags full of dead leaves they tossed on us during the bridge of the song. After each performance the leaves were crushed and crumbled making them smaller and smaller bits, until they were practically powder. I remember heading to the washroom while the collection process began to pick leaves out of my hair and shake them out my leather jacket and work shirt. Where did BP get dead leaves in Arizona in March?

Our live performance was the bulk of the first day along with setting up the studio. I forgot to mention, the art director was painting the backdrops for the dungeon and the grave yard in studio two. The next day the rest of the actors would arrive and shoot the story scenes.

It was fun to be on the other side of the camera to watch BP direct the other actors. We also got more camera time but much less than the day before. There's a lot of footage that we shot that hit the editing room floor, weapons play, alternate endings and virgin sacrifices (side note: no actual virgins were harmed in the making of our video)

After the two days wrapped up our part was finished.The rest would be in BPs hands to edit. This part of the process I'm so glad I didn't have to sit through. Just think about it, they just shot two full days worth of footage and now they would have to watch all of it, mark all the best performance and then craft the best two minutes out of the hours of raw video. What a challenge! Instead of dealing with that for weeks all we had to do was kick back and complain how long it's taking them to finish the damn thing!

When we finally viewed the finished video we were ecstatic. We then booked a date for the premiere.

The monster is loose....

We held a world premiere of the video on 06/01/07 at Chandler Cinemas,
inviting the cast and crew to join us. BP said a few words before the
video and then we played a show in front of the screen, in the theater,
to celebrate the release. Simultaneously, we released the video to the
world on YouTube sending a shockwave through the horror rock community!
OK, maybe not...but we thought it was a big deal!

Since the only people usually credited on a music video are the band and director, I thought it would be cool to list the cast and crew who worked so hard on it.

So without further ado...

Matiana Moreno

Courtney Black

Punk Rock Zombie
Marc Richi

David Hayes

David Hayes

Courtney Black

Wolf Girl
Margy Calabrese

Derby Zombies
AZ Derby Dames

Dr. Frankenstein
Jeff Moss

Bride of Frankenstein
Jess Harter


Brian Pulido

Unit Manager/Asst. Dir
Isaac Bohunko

Production Manager
Kaylee Madrigal

Adam Goldfine


Editor /post-production
Mike Flippin

Graveyard Designer
Mike Flippin

Art Dept.
Marc Dubrey

Grip & Electric Dept.
William Mondy

Joe Boudrie

Mike Burciaga

Brent W.

Chris Espinosa

John Rumbaugh

Jason Kimble

Adam Goldfine

Making of Crew
Isaac Bohunko

Craft service
Freddie Boudrie


Grip Truck
Earl Jones Inst.

Joe M.

Jess Ackeridge

Ernest Robinson

Jib Arm
Ernest Robinson



  1. thanks for the new blog jimmy

  2. Thanks for this look inside the making of a great video! The b-movie feel is great, and suits y'all's style to a "T". I look forward to the invevitible sequel!

  3. Great post. Keep these mofos coming!

  4. I remember asking you about this before a show in Dallas and you were patient with us, ha ha. Great to see good things have come your way.

  5. The new music video for the movie "The Graves" will be released in October. The song used will be "Vampires Don't Exist". Stay tuned for more info on that one!