I’ve been paying attention to I, The Breather ever since I stumbled across their video for ‘Forgiven.’ The mounted cameras and soft lighting really added to my first impression of this band. To be honest, I may have overlooked them had I not seen the way they perform in that video. This time through, Thunder Down Country Productions delivered their latest video for ‘False Profit,’ and just like their new music, their new video exceeded my expectations. During the ambient intro, the video opens with slow symbolism flowing between fades. Already I’m interested, and I haven’t even seen the snake slithering over the naked vocalist yet.
Opening the video with a naked vocalist in the fetal position as one of the first shots is pretty ballsy. (Heh.) But instead of snickering about it, I hope instead people appreciate the dedication the band has to their message.
Before I tackle this one I’m going to talk a bit about Thunder Down Country, who is responsible for videos from Miss May I, Attack Attack!, and Sleeping With Sirens. Their work has always struck me as cinema quality. You can grab a frame from almost any moment in any video they make and it will impress a photographer. Their roster of artists they’ve done aren’t any bands I’d go out of my way to listen to, but you have to agree their videos are top-notch.
The first time I saw Attack Attack’s ‘Smokahontas‘ video I caught myself jaw-dropped. The cinematic quality of the slowpaced intro that literally explodes into the song’s opening breakdown stands as one of my favorite music video moments of all time — on mute.
Point being, TDC produces high-brow stuff, folks.
As ‘False Profit’ kicks in, the performance set is revealed. My first impression was “das pretty,” but throughout the video it surfaced as the only thing I have to complain about. As you’d expect, the lighting is relatively dark and ominous but a nice blue source fills the background with rays.
The lighting during this set just misses that sweet spot between being able to see them and darkness. You can make them out, but you still itch to turn the brightness up on your monitor. The vocalist steps in and out of his key light throughout the video as it seems to be aimed on the step by the front. Subtle negs, yes. But hey, these are the things I notice.
The cutaway sequences were very interesting. As simple as they were, they proved to be very effective in keeping attention during the video. The strength behind the music really shines through the vocalist’s moments with the snake as he screams at him face-to-face. The solo cutaways of the vocalist had a very personal feel that were complimented with some pretty rays bursting their way into the barn in the background.
One of the best things about this video was the pace and editing. The shakey camera movements combined with the well-timed cuts made it really easy to absorb. The images were delivered at a pace slow enough to stick, but fast enough to keep you watching.
Some notable examples of the editing precision would definitely be at 1:46 and at 3:50.
But the editor’s job isn’t just to figure out when to cut, but also what to cut to. Throughout the video, I couldn’t imagine seeing the band perform any other way. When certain instruments or members presented themselves in the song, the video followed suit.
For me, it’s all about those little accents that give it style. If the director and editor accommodate the band’s energy with the appropriate pacing, the video will rise from good to excellent. For example, the drummer shot at 1:00 adds a great deal of energy and power to the video. The moments right before each breakdown have these brief, subliminal cuts that add that tiny bit of power to the image.
This video is a great example of how simple yet strong cutaway imagery mixed with good editing can exceed a video dead set on shoving an obscure or deep story down your eyes. The modesty of the video allowed the band’s passion in their performance to be the main drive.
– Excellent pacing.
– Strong cutaway sequences.
– Live snake.
– Not quite enough light during the performance.
– 1:00 – Drum stick flip
– 1:46 – Quick, subliminal cuts before the breakdown.
– 3:50 – Some of the most spot on breakdown editing I’ve seen.