After focusing my entire life on writing music, I suddenly found myself in the proverbial director’s chair! My first music video, “I Don’t Want to Die a Virgin” for Young Beautiful in a Hurry, is now online for all to endure… I mean enjoy:
My video is featured in the end credits of the feature film Chillerama (I also scored the anthology film’s Zom-B-Movie segments). In fact, Chillerama is the reason I ended up directing it in the first place! The sordid saga of my sudden transition into music video director is chronicled below…
I worked with director Joe Lynch, scoring his Zom-B-Movie segment, all last summer. My score to his film is, without doubt, the most outrageous, offensive and delightfully retro one that I’ve ever composed — fully deserving of its own blog entry (which I will post next month when the soundtrack album is released in both physical and digital formats).
Shortly before the final film elements were due, Joe and I discussed the end credits. He wanted to feature “I Don’t Want to Die a Virgin,” an original song that my brother Brendan McCreary had written for the film. This song was the perfect choice because it nails the comedically apocalyptic tone of the film, and also because Brendan is one of the lead actors in Joe’s movie.
The problem was that Joe had no visuals to accompany it, and didn’t want to obscure Brendan’s great song with bloopers or outtakes. I immediately suggested we shoot a video. There was only one problem: this conversation was taking place on Sunday afternoon and the finished film elements were due on Wednesday morning!
Still, I thought of a simple concept: Young Beautiful in a Hurry performs the song as if they were in an old 1950’s movie, and one by one the band is eaten by zombies. Joe and Brendan were totally on board. But, Joe was busy with post-production on Zom-B-Movie, so I stepped into the director’s position, confident I could get the shots we’d need.
The next task was finding the location, cast and crew. To my great surprise and even greater fortune, we assembled top-notch talent across the board. The lovely Magda Apanowicz (who Caprica fans will instantly recognize as Lacey) and Raya Yarbrough (singer / performer on BSG and many other projects) were the adorable, doomed backup singers. YBH (and The Walking Dead soundtrack) drummer Bryan Taylor volunteered to have his neck bitten while he still struggled to keep the beat.
Deric Hughes (writer / producer of Warehouse 13) cameo’d as the first bloodthirsty zombie, and Ward Roberts (a fantastic director, and another actor from Zom-B-Movie) appears as the poor sound guy who becomes his first victim. The rest of the zombies all volunteered from my hard-working music team: Michael Beach, Jessica Huber, David Matics, Ashley Matics and Jonathan Ortega.
Our behind-the-camera crew really delivered as well. Desiree Falcon did fantastic make-up work. Our camera operators were CJ Woodring and Chris Frasier. Joe Lynch operated the second camera himself, picking up great impromptu angles.
Kevin T. Porter edited the footage, and Jason Miller from Skull Tree VFX did the stunning digital blood and film grain effects. Andrew Craig got these great behind-the-scenes photos you see here. And Yuri Lowenthal arranged for us to shoot at Monkey Kingdom Productions, which was the perfect setting. (Sorry about breaking your boom mic, Yuri. But it was a GREAT visual gag!)
From a casual idea on Sunday afternoon to a final delivery on Wednesday morning, we cranked this thing out. And during that time period, Brendan also had to complete the recording of his song and supervise the mixing. It was an intense 56 hours, but totally worth it. “I Don’t Want to Die a Virgin” made it into the end credits of Chillerama and is now online!
“I Don’t Want to Die a Virgin” will be the first track on my upcoming Zom-B-Movie soundtrack, which will be released on November 2nd from Buy Soundtrax Records. The rest of the album will feature nearly an hour of my original score, songs and sketches. This soundtrack is my callback to 1980’s-era Jerry Goldsmith and John Carpenter, 1970’s Lalo Schifrin and 1950’s Bernard Herrmann. It’s infectiously fun, and includes both sophisticated orchestral writing and absolutely juvenile musical mischief. So, mark your calendars for 11/2, because I’ll be autographing the first CDs ordered.
In the meantime, you can enjoy my music video for “I Don’t Want to Die a Virgin” and look forward to my new weekly zombie music with new episodes of AMC’s The Walking Dead, premiering this Sunday.
Directing this video was a blast.
Maybe one of these days, I’ll do it again.