Video Chats: Corydon Wagner, André Zachery, and Rags & Ribbons on "Rubikon"
Posted by Doug Klinger on October 4, 2013 in Interviews
Trying to recreate the energy of a live performance isnt always easy, but its exactly what director Corydon Wagner does for Rags & Ribbons in their video for "Rubikon." With the help of choreographer André Zachery, Corydon combines paint, dancers, water, and a great performance from the band to create a fun and visually exciting video. We talked to Corydon, Andre, and the guys in the band about the video to find out a bit more about what their goals were and what it was like on set.
Doug: Where did the concept for this video come from?
Corydon: I wanted to give the viewer a taste of what it is like to watch Rags & Ribbons in person. Their music just makes you feel amazing. So I created visual narrative that would allow you to just let go and enjoy a shared experience that aches to be let go of. Paint, dancers, water are all are visual motifs that excite me. So it was just a matter of creating a visual evolution that allowed the viewer to let go and experience.
Doug: Were the actors/dancers in the video part of a group, or were they cast individually?
Corydon: I knew the look I wanted and the style of dance; however, having worked with groups of dancers before I knew we needed a choreographer that would own this piece as much as I did. Collaborating with Andre was just magical. He brought his own vision and assembled an amazing group of talent.
André: I had a personal and professional relationship with the entire cast of dancers. After seeing and hearing Corydon's vision for the video, I was able to assemble the dancers quite quickly because I knew them as amazing artists and as having superb work ethics.
Doug: What was the process for directing the dancers for this video?
Corydon: My desire was to create a fluid, natural world where bodies would cross and the group would meld into each other creating this beautiful mix of skin on skin covered in paint. Andre and I spent a lot of time planning the shots around the choreography so that when we hit the set it just flowed naturally. Having my DP, Jordan Parrott, apart of those long conversations and planning was crucial as well because he was able to bring the dance and the visuals to the next level.You have to know what balance to strike between structure and improv. We all had that shorthand, so working with the dancers on set was a blast because they got what we wanted and instantly jumped in.
André: Corydon did amazing job creating visual animatics and a story-board, which I was able to use in conceiving the feel and energy of the choreography and which we were able to convey to the costume designer, Joy Havens, in building the look. The rehearsals ran smoothly, and as Corydon said, the result in front of camera on set was magical. I must say, the dancers dug deep to constantly explode with energy in their movements for every single shot on set. My choreography was highlighted by their artistry, and incredibly crafted by Corydon's direction.
Doug: Rags & Ribbons, what was your contribution to the video project? How much input did you have?
Rags & Ribbons: We were fairly involved with the project throughout the whole process. We started meeting with our director, Cordy, over a year ago. We had countless conference calls, a scouting trip to New York City, and multiple meetings over the phone for about 8 months leading up to the weekend of filming. Cordy and his production crew were really wonderful about including us in most of the decisions. We had a lot of input in the development of the concept of the video. In regards to the actual filming process and execution, all of those elements were carried out by the real pros, the incredible crew that we had working with us in New York City and New Jersey. We have to give so much credit to Cordy, the director and visionary, Andre the choreographer of all of the dance performances, the amazing dancers, film crew, artistic directors, wardrobe team, hair and makeup designers, and everyone involved . Seeing a 50 plus person crew descend upon our filming location for a 72 hour period and come together to make this project was truly inspiring. The film world is not our arena and we felt so lucky to experience that world first hand on such a large scale.
Doug: How close was the final video to what you expected when it was first pitched?
Rags & Ribbons: The video took on so many different forms throughout the conceptualizing process. So, we didn't really have a complete vision of what the final product was going to look like. At some point, we as the musicians just kind of let go of trying to predict how the final product would appear. There were so many people at work and moving pieces that we didn't really know what to expect. So, the video did not necessarily look like what we expected because we really didn't know what exactly we were expecting.
Doug: Your performance in this video is really energetic, is that difficult to pull off for a music video?
Rags & Ribbons: It wasn't really too hard to get into character and perform for the video. The band footage was the last element to be filmed that weekend. So, we had so much time to observe and get inspired by the professional dancers and all of the performers that when we finally got our chance to perform, we were pretty excited and the energy came pretty easily. We have spent a lot of time performing on stage and as a musician you just have to be able to flip that switch and perform. Flipping the performance switch for the music video wasn't really that hard or different than our live show. Cordy was also very good about directing us and pulling out the visual performances that he wanted.
Doug: Do you guys know Corydon and André outside of this project? What were they like to work with?
Rags & Ribbons: Cordyon and Ben knew each other from their childhood and that is where the connection for the project first originated from. However, a lot of the band's relationship with the production crew was fairly specific to just this project. There is no question in our minds that there was a truly special connection between everyone involved. Cordy and Andre were so easy and supportive to work with. They really went above and beyond to include us and genuinely wanted to get our input on everything in the video. The entire weekend of the video shoot, there was great, positive, hard working vibes from everyone involved. It seemed as if everyone really wanted to contribute their skills and craft to the best of their ability, from costumes and makeup to dancers and cinematographers. Everyone was just stoked and that feeling radiated all weekend.
andre zachery, corydon wagner, rags and ribbons, rubikon, video chats
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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