Odyssey // The Accidentals
1). Disrespect to Format (Freedom, capturing personality and accidents within the proper scenes)
2). Balance (of Nostalgia vs realism, strength vs vulnerability, emotion vs fun, quiet vs energy)
3). Performance (Each scene is designed to be a platform for the band to shine)
4. Tone (True to the personality of the trio within a powerful cinematic deliverable)
Black becomes a back, as we slowly follow Michael down a set of old wooden stairs into an informal and warmly lit basement. As the soft introduction of Odyssey begins, we see a hangout area and planning center where Savannah strums her guitar and begins to sing. Katie sits next to her quiet and poised in the moment. We push in slowly on the girls, the shot still continuous from the beginning as Michael sits down behind them quietly on a drum set and then comes in on “So I burn my clothes,” giving a tempo and momentum that pushes us to new scenes outside the basement, the band preparing to lug their instruments through wooded and dune trails, Savannah cutting her hair preparation for what's next, Katie packing and preparing her things, and Michael fashioning a way to carry his kit. As the pace is set, we cut in two other elements outside this story of a journey, the water and sky, and our heavy atmosphere. Between the water and sky we’ll find Sav, Katie, and Michael with the instruments out on a lake standing on the surface of the water performing (refrained at first) but with the performance picking up energy and splashing water as the story and song progress. In our third element, the trio is silhouetted in a thick atmosphere of smoke and color, and abstract feels as much like heaven as it does a war zone, an environment that is visually epic but ambiguous enough for the band to be able to shape it with their energy. These three elements give us a story, a journey to follow the Accidentals on and two balanced performance environments that won’t speak FOR the band, but should serve to amplify their energy and voice as individuals and as a group.
The basement is simply a start, the story is the journey from that safe warm space to where they're going, and it’s bolstered by two other scenes. Practical believes that a strong film should consist of three complementary and separate parts that support and balance each other. For a music video those three parts are 1). Performance 2). Story and 3). The Abstract. The STORY is the journey, leaving the nostalgic and humble basement/practice/planning space and journeying to an anticipated outdoor show. The PERFORMANCE takes place between water and sky, with the band playing atop the surface of the water yet somehow without sinking. The ABSTRACT is a place of depth and imagination, an environment of atmosphere and color. In each of the three elements the Accidentals are given a visually stimulating platform to perform. The journey in our story culminates in arriving at a performance location where they play in an intimate but crowded group of excited witnesses and fans. In the abstract environment the smoke and atmosphere swirls around the band’s instruments and slow motion silhouettes. In the performance environment on the water the band is given a sure-to-be iconic image and are free to improvise and have fun, interact with each other, the water, and do what they do best.
The show that the Accidentals arrive at is full of people and color and bursting with energy and movement, a momentous culmination of their visually telling journey and guided and supported by the thoughtful integration and well placed tenacity of the other two elements.
The STORY element follows the trio from a carefully lit and (production) designed basement, something as nostalgic and homey as the basement in Stranger Things but presented as more of a workshop, a safe space for these musicians to hone their craft and spend time together, a safe place that they'll leave to put go out and present their song to the waiting world, a group of people that feels as much like friends as an audience and that will share the energy that the Accidentals always give in their performances. The show could take place at the Hippie Tree in the Grand Traverse Commons hiking trails, a naturally occurring amphitheater where folk bands would perform impromptu shows and to often large crowds of people willing to make the hike and fill the massive tree's ancient branches. The audience would be extras from an open call, friends, family, and fans. The journey between the basement is an opportunity to use brand landscapes like woods and dunes, where the trio can explore and give a brief opportunity for the audience to see the lush lands that inspire so many folk songs.
The PERFORMANCE on the water should happen on Lake Michigan on a calm day or, more reliably, on an inland lake. The band would perform on something like a 3' platform in 3'2" of water, giving the illusion that the band and their instruments (including drums) are trapped between the water and the sky, unable to sink. This would be(come) an iconic image, an idea we're very excited about and can be both thoughtful but also fun, with lots of opportunity for light and water to dance throughout a performance. This would be fairly easy to accomplish and visually very rewarding.
The ABSTRACT is based on a setup we've done before that was so striking that we've been hoping a project would come along that could benefit from it. In a controlled space, an atmosphere of smoke would be created. With the addition of bounced light and large fans, the smoke comes to life to create an environment that's visually stunning and, when filmed in slow motion, feels like another world, urgent and beautiful. Within this context will feel like the creative tension of an idea that's yet to be released, full of potential to be impactful and epic, but still mysterious in its imagined form like an unwritten song or a future moment. We filmed one shot with a similar setup and the results multiply the effort many fold.
Together in an edit these three elements present a story of moving forward but not without a plan and not without uncertainty. The three elements come together in a way that visually hooks and pleases the viewer and acts as a platform for The Accidentals to shine, an amplification not a distraction. Their sound, performances, and relationship as a trio would be foremost in this concept and delivered in a high caliber visual format. Thank you for your consideration.