Video Chats: Bo Mirosseni on 'After The Wait' by WIN WIN
Posted by Doug Klinger on November 21, 2012 in Interviews
Reporting the news, making out with a babe, and killing yourself are just a few things that are less important than helping Jim Turner push his car in After The Wait by WIN WIN. Directed by Bo Mirosseni, this hilarious video is actually inspired by real events (the car pushing part, not the car flying part). We talked to Bo about the video, the casting of Jim Turner and Waymond Lee, and the dangers of pushing a Mercedes through LA.
Doug: This video was presented by The Creators Project, and I know a lot of times directors dont have anything to do with where a video premieres, they just deliver the video to the label. However, the name The Creators Project seems to imply that they were involved during the creation of the project. Were they involved with the video from an earlier stage, or is that just the premiere location?
Bo: They came on later in the project, after we had already shot the video. My rep from Partizan told me that they wanted to premiere it on there and wanted to do an interview for it, too. I think it was during, or just prior to production. They work with Vice Records. Since WIN WIN is on Vice Records, they were trying to find a creative way to premiere it other than YouTube or Vevo, so I guess they figured they'd do it on The Creators Project. I actually am not a 100% sure of how The Creators Project got involved but it was pretty cool they did the premiere for it and my interview.
Doug: In that interview that you did with them you talked about origin of the idea and you mentioned that you actually saw a dude with his car broken down, and that's what inspired the video. I wonder if youre able to describe what the process is like taking the video from the original concept of people helping a guy whos car is broken down, to what we see today with the humorous and surreal elements in the story?
Bo: To start with the origin, I had the song playing in my apartment on repeat, like I do every time I'm writing on a track. Nothing was really sticking so I went to go meet my friend for lunch. We were sitting outside having lunch and I saw this 17 or 18-year-old dude whose car had broken down in the middle of the street. On Sunset boulevard in Silverlake, which is a pretty high traffic area. There is a fire truck right behind him and the firemen jump out and start helping him push and I thought, "that's cool. But, that's sort of their jobs." They're not going to just drive off, so it's cool but sort of normal. Then I saw a Heineken truck across the street and that guy jumped out and he started helping them push, too. I stated to think the kid was someone important or something because all these random people were helping him. Then this old dude dressed as a cowboy, who was just watching at first, suddenly just basically said "fuck it" and jumped in and helped push also. So the song was playing in my head, I was watching these people push this car, and it was just this hipster dude who looked so happy to be helped. It was just hilarious that I thought it should be something, and then I realized it should be the video. I wasn't confident it would fit for the song, but I went home with the idea in my head, and the idea ended up fitting really well with it. But, I knew if it was just people helping a guy push his car it would get boring. I had to create little scenes around it where people are doing something and just drop what they're doing to help this guy. It raises the stakes a little bit because the people are willing to stop what they're doing. Originally in my treatment, I think it started with some dude eating a big ass cheeseburger, dripping all over his face and shirt, and when he sees the guy he just drops the burger. I also originally planed to cast a young dude as the lead, someone who resembled the actual dude that I saw on the street. Then I started thinking about it being an older guy in a tuxedo, because that raises the stakes again, implying that he has to be at a wedding or something important. The pieces just starting fitting together like that. We couldn't get all the scenes we wrote, so I changed stuff last minute that ended up being a blessing in disguise because I ended up getting some funnier scenes out of it.
T-Rexin' in LA.
Doug: What did you base those changes on? The new people that showed up? Or did you have some backup ideas?
Bo: I didn't have any backup ideas. There was one scene I wanted to do with one of the guys who sell ice cream out of icycles, the bicycles with theses big ass coolers on the back of them. I originally wanted one of those guys selling ice cream to a kid and the ice cream is slowly melting, and the kid and the guy both see the car and run and help. I couldn't get that because of budget, and time, and availability, so I literally had to write stuff on the spot. Not right when we were shooting, but only about two days before we shot.
Doug: What scenes from the final video were replacement scenes?
Bo: The guy that's trying to commit suicide was written on the spot. I knew we were shooting on a bridge, which was another thing I was doing, I was trying to find characters that fit in the locations. Since I knew we had the bridge, I was trying to figure out how to use it. That's where I got the idea of someone trying to kill themselves by jumping off of it. So we wrote that in. The dude at the end whos running with the T-Rex piñata, we had his picture up on the computer and I kept thinking that he's so quirky and eccentric looking, he should just be running with a big ass piñata in his hands. We knew it would be pretty simple and pretty funny, so we threw that in there. Then we got Waymond Lee, from Workaholics, and I thought that he would make a good news reporter. Then also the suburban boyfriend and girlfriend doing the weird Tai-Chi thing on the lawn, the one with the guy in an American flag shit. That girl was originally supposed to be airbrushing her name onto the shirt she's wearing in the video. The kind that girls in middle school used to wear. It was originally written with her air brushing the shirt in her front lawn, just slow motion shots of the airbrush. But when we got to set, there wasn't really anyway to set up the airbrush so it would look cool. We couldn't decided if we wanted to put the shirt on a table, or a chair it just wasn't going to be awesome. So literally five minutes before we shot, we scratched the whole idea. Since we had the other guy and the sai, I just said, "what if theyre doing Tai-Chi and are perfect at it, like they do it everyday when they get home from school." So we went with that last minute and I think it ended up being funnier than the airbrushing would have been.
One of Bo's storyboards.
Doug: The guy who is about to commit suicide is probably my favorite part. Its like, the world is ending, there is nothing to live for, oh wait this guy needs help pushing his car I need to go do that. You talk about raising the stakes
Bo: Yeah, that was funny because that guy got up there and said, "I'm afraid of heights." I originally wanted him to stand up on the pillar that in the video he's trying to get up on, but he said he was afraid. So, I just told him to just go through the motions like you're about to climb up on there, and since we're shooting slow-motion we could cut out of it.
Doug: You mentioned casting Waymond Lee from Workaholics, another recognizable character in the video is Jim Turner, which people may know from Arliss, who plays the lead character in the video. How did the casting of those two actors come about? Was it written in the treatment for those roles to be played by familiar actors?
Bo: It wasn't originally planned. We were actually first trying to get Shelly Desai, he plays Charlie's landlord on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but we couldn't get him. I'm friends with John Ennis from Mr. Show, and I went to a comedy show a few weeks before shooting the video that John and Jim were in together. I basically just saw Jim in the show and thought he would be perfect for the video. I told John and he gave me Jim's contact info, I then emailed the treatment and he was totally into it. So, while Jim came through a personally connection, Waymond Lee was totally random. We put up a casting call and he just submitted. We thought, "what the hell? Waymond Lee is submitting? We've got to go for it."
Waymond taking a break from car pushin'.
Doug: In this video you guys are actually pushing the car, it isn't being towed or anything, and in another interview you mentioned that every time you wanted to stop the car, Jim had to jump in and hit the break. Where there other complications involved with pushing the car?
Bo: It was really weird, man. We had permits to shoot in downtown LA, but we didn't have permits to shoot in the street because it's a different kind of permit. It was actually a very dangerous shoot because we would roll the camera, get everything ready, have a PA with a walkie at one end of the street and another PA at the other end, and we would just wait for the light to turn green or traffic to be clear and then shout action for them to start pushing the car. The car was in neutral, but it can still start gaining speed, especially when you have eight people pushing. No one was fake pushing, either. It wasn't like they were just putting their hands on the car and acting it out, because when you shoot slow-motion you can see their muscles and their arms and their face react to pushing. If they're faking it, you don't get that. We couldn't shoot anything up hill because even thought there were 8-10 people, it was still too dangerous in case the car started rolling back. Everything is pretty much on flat ground. To stop, Jim would literally have to jump in the car. Most of the time we were cool, but there were sometimes where they would push it so far that the street would start slanting downhill. We would have our fingers crossed like, "come on, Jim. Come on. Make it." We would have to do that however many times we needed to get the take, just like with any other scene. Sometimes someone would be looking in the camera, or their facial expressions weren't right, or someone's timing is off, we'd always have to do a few takes.
Doug: And what would have been the alternative? You said you guys were like, "come on, Jim, make it." What would have happened if he didn't "make it"? Was that a rented car?
Bo: He would make it out, but the car would probably crash. We rented it from the producer's friend. But, I say the car would crash, but we were sort of in a controlled environment... sort of. We didn't really take streets that were super crowded and even though people were actually pushing the car, they weren't pushing it to where it built up too much speed. Also, a lot of the times if the frame was really tight, we'd have people pushing on the passenger side of the door who would be able to hold the car when we yelled cut.
after the wait, bo mirosseni, video chats, win win
Doug Klinger is the co-founder/content director of IMVDb and watches more music videos than anyone on earth. You can find him on twitter at @doug_klinger.
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