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PRACTICAL makes films and videos that are the culmination of cameras, research, travel, sketchbooks, sleep, screen time, and running wild. Based out of Traverse City and Grand Rapids Michigan, we love sharing our work and process with those around the world.

Odyssey

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written by JohnPaul Morris  -  Project Release  -  October 28, 2017

 
 

Creatively, we're always searching for a starting point. That's true with any project, but especially with a music video since the options initially seem endless. It's often helpful to first establish what can't be done. Like putting together a puzzle where you'd start with the edge pieces and build a frame to work within, we establish constraints that you can build inward from. It limits your options and narrows your focus.

Our biggest constraint with Odyssey was time. We were already in the middle of preproduction for our most ambitious project of 2017 and the band would be gone on a 70 day tour by the time it was done. It had to be pitched, planned, and filmed in a matter of weeks. It's easy to think about what made this project intimidating, but looking back, I'm more interested in what allowed it to be possible. We trusted each other's strengths.

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The Accidental's are a deep well of talent and resources. They should not be underestimated as musicians, as people, or as creatives. It became clear quickly that we could trust them, their label, and their managers. We had co-director's on Odyssey, Paul Genzink and myself. I normally wouldn't recommend it, but because the project was so performance based it allowed us both to be more hands on with set construction and cinematography. Katie Fox-Webb, who produced Odyssey, also did the majority of our art and production design. We played to our strengths and kept it simple.

The Accidental's are, possibly first and foremost, hard workers. The hours, effort, and ethic they put into their art was immediately apparent. I didn't realize how attached we'd become to everyone on the set over such a short production, but we did. The summer and fall have been exhausting for us as a team. Our boundaries and limitations have never been clearer to us. But within that, I'm really proud of how everyone played to their strengths, worked smart, worked hard, kept working, and at the end of it made a really cool vid. We were excited to see an in depth HuffPost Article on the project.

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The work didn't end with production. The editing process was left fairly open ended and Dustin Foster at Chop & Hue in Grand Rapids took over editing for us and worked late nights and early mornings to bring the final piece together. Without them, we wouldn't have been able to make Odyssey happen. That's the main reason Practical opened a second office in Grand Rapids this spring, to create the opportunity for more collaboration. So thank you to everyone involved, including the hundreds of extras who got rained on, waded out into lakes, survived the smoke, and helped us create spaces that didn't exist before.