Watch: Sleepy Drops New Video for ‘Bahamas’
St. John’s indie rock outfit Sleepy are the screaming whisper of local artists; that is to say their music falls somewhere between hooky indie and straight up garage pop. This week the band released a video for the track ‘Bahamas’ which appears on their 2015 release Asleep at the Switch.
The video totes a visually captivating blend of Saturday-morning television and a depressing, alcohol induced hallucination. By incorporating various thematic elements and contrasting bright, cartoony scenes with the lovable grit of some favourite local venues, ‘Bahamas’ stands out as being ‘not your average music video.’
We had a chance to catch up with Dan and Nathan from Sleepy, as well as the team behind the project to get some insight into the making of this charming video offering.
Dan Greene: Well the crew that made it all happen was Graham Hunt, Nora Barker, Caitlin Bolduc-Whelan, Russell Kokroen, Anna Swain and Nathan Day. They deserve mad props because they did such an awesome job in planning and executing this project. A lot of hard work went into this and I am forever grateful for their help. I think it turned out really great. They each had a hand in every part of the process from set design, to camera and lighting, editing etc. And Caitlin was the master of puppets. All I had to do was show up and act like a goof.
What did the storyboarding process of the “Bahamas” video look like? How much of the video was pre-planned, and how much was off the cuff?
Nathan Day: The storyboard was developed on cue cards – numbered, ordered and illustrated. The script was then written to flesh out the story – to allow us to have something concrete to write over. This was then condensed into a shots list for reference. Finally we devised a shooting schedule to know who needed to be where and when. We had very little time to get the close to 150 shots we wanted. Some of these came out beautifully. Some of them were awful. We shot candid footage like lunatics, knowing we would need to do a LOT of cutaways to cover our mistakes.
Who has the passion for puppetry?
Caitlin Bolduc-Whelan: I began at age 14 after being involved with musical theatre. There was an R rated puppet musical spoofing Sesame Street and I was captivated by what puppetry could do. It’s a medium that appeals to all audiences and I find its content can be so diverse. It’s as much fun as it looks.
We noticed the production of the video was attributed to the diploma in performance and communications media at MUN. Who’s involved with the program, and what’s it all about?
Nora Barker: The Diploma in Performance and Communications Media is a program offered at the St. John’s campus of Memorial University that consists of six English courses at the 3000 and 4000 level. The program, run by Dr. Jamie Skidmore, is an introductory program to theatre, film, and television production, and it’s unlike anything else offered at the St. John’s campus. The six courses touch everything from acting, play production, introduction to stage craft, documentary & short film, and directing. It’s kind of like a stepping stone program for anyone interested in pursuing further education / a career in theatre or film. Although the diploma consists of all English courses, you don’t have to be in the department to take the courses, so anyone can do it. The program also includes a work term upon completion of the courses, and students can apply to a variety of companies to work with. I have friends who have been placed with the CBC, NTV, Shakespeare by the Sea, and the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival. I am really inspired by the dedication the instructors have to our classes despite the fact that they’re already flat out working professionals in the local theatre and film community. I highly recommend “the diploma” for anyone who is the least bit curious about theatre or film. If anything it is the most fun I’ve had at university thus far.
What’s upcoming for Sleepy?
Dan Greene: Our second album, New Health, is well underway and will be released early in the new year. I’m really liking how it’s sounding so far and looking forward to finishing it so we can get started on the next one. We’ve also got a show coming up on Saturday, January 9th at the Rockhouse with local dream rockers Bleu, fuzz-folk duo Land of the Lakes and new indie cats India. Once the snow melts, we’re gonna do some shows off the island. My parents have an old minivan that they’re trying to get rid of but more on that later. Other than that, we plan to keep making music videos cause that was a total blast.
You can check out more Sleepy here.