Video Chats: Zak Stoltz on "Over It" by The Crystal Method ft. Dia Frampton
Posted by Doug Klinger on December 20, 2013 in Interviews
In Over It, the new video from The Crystal Method ft. Dia Frampton, Dia finds herself as the only modestly dressed contestant on a cooking show where looks and eye fucking are rewarded higher than cooking skills. Directed by Zak Stoltz, the video features cameo parts from the Crystal Method guys, a lot of aggressively used baking ingredients, and a really great performance from Dia who steals the show despite being surrounded by sexy bakers and skeevy judges. We talked to Zak about the video, Dias performance, and working with stunt coordinator John Lyke.
Doug: Despite technically being a Crystal Method song, the video focuses most on Dia Frampton. Was it part of the brief to have her be the feature, or was that your decision?
Zak: I think it was a combination of the two. She's so prominent on the track that it never really crossed my mind to not feature her in the video. That said, it didn't hurt that Dia's manager was the one who approached me to write on the track and mentioned that both artists should be in the video. :-)
Doug: So was it always a plan to have her and the Crystal Method guys in the video somehow?
Zak: Scott and Ken were a bit more prominently featured in the original concept I had for the video, which was very, very different, but somewhere along the road leading to the final baking competition idea, we collectively decided that the main focus should be on Dia. If you look at previous TCM videos, they typically only appear in cameo roles. They're all about the music. At one point, they weren't even going to be in this video, but I'm glad that we got both of them in there. They're super nice guys, and I'm really glad I got the chance to work with them.
Doug: Dia's performance is really great, did you have to work with her to get her to keep a straight face while there were girls in underwear fighting behind her, or was she pretty on point with her performance?
Zak: She kind of nailed it. My direction for her was to just get in character and focus on the competition. Yeah, at the beginning of the video she cares more about the other girls, but by the end of it, she's over it. Why even pay any attention to them? I never wanted the performance to feel like a performance. I wanted her to make scones as quickly and as skillfully as possible... and sing while doing it, almost like an afterthought. We cut to Dia when we want to see our protagonist. If she's singing, all the better, but my goal was to have her vocal performance be tightly integrated with her acting performance. She has a bit of acting experience, so it wasn't too tough. I do recall her having a very hard time keeping a straight face when she hits Ken in the face with the cupcake though. She did a really great job on the first take, but then instead of walking away after hitting him like she was supposed to, she just stopped and looked at me and was like, Oh no! I messed it up! and I said, No, that would have been perfect! and then she felt bad. But other than that, she was wonderful!
Doug: What was the casting process like for the judges and bakers? Did you have people in mind for the parts going in, or did you do an open casting call for sexy bakers and skeevy judges?
Zak: Casting was a bit of a mixed bag on this one. I had worked with Corey MacIntosh before on a web series pilot, so I knew he'd be great as one of the judges (even though he's completely the opposite in real life), but everyone else we had to find. The sexy baker auditions were pretty weird. Asking someone to mix invisible ingredients as seductively as possible is awkward. We had one actress throw a big container of salt at the wall. It exploded all over the place. So that was pretty memorable. I don't have many stories about these auditions though because we were quite selective about who we brought in. We wanted women with backgrounds in dance or stunts because of how physical things were going to get. Improv skills were a big plus as well.
Doug: Beyond being sexy and skeevy, were there specific things you wanted out of the performances of the judges and bakers? Or was it more of a free-for-all like it seems in the final video?
Zak: It was always supposed to devolve into a free-for-all, but I wanted there to be significant separation between the sexy beginning of the video and the disastrous end. I REALLY didn't want it to just feel like a food fight with hot chicks, so we had a lot more violent actions planned. I wanted the judges to get caught in the middle of the baker battle and sustain injuries. I wanted it to be a bit more brutal and visceral. The whole idea of this video was to plop Dia into the middle of one of those early millennial EDM videos where they seemed to pick a theme out of a hat and throw as many boobs at it as possible. I wanted to draw attention to the absurdity of it by looking at it through Dia's eyes and having the judges represent us as viewers. I wanted the women to gain some agency and stop playing to the judges, but at the end of the day, it was the end of the day. We were limited on time, and we could only accomplish so much. I'm still very pleased with how the video came out; I think it's fun, but there are definitely specific themes and actions I would have liked to explore more deeply. I don't think any of that's on the actors though. Their performances were top-notch.
Doug: You work frequently with stunt coordinator John Lyke, in fact he's actually in your last video. What were his contributions to this project, was it mainly in the fighting scenes?
Zak: Yes! John and Dia are both in the Strangeheart video actually. Even though it just came out, I delivered the Crystal Method video back in August, so it's been basting for a while now. John came on to help with the fight scenes and make sure that everyone stayed safe. I wanted the action to look real and everyone to feel comfortable doing it. That was the biggest concern. We had originally planned on doing a bit more with the fight scene and engaging in more specific actions, but the realities of time nixed some of those. There was an oil spill/slip that we shot that didn't make it into the final cut. I feel bad that more of his work didn't make it into the video. But he was a valuable resource. And he's a good buddy, so it's always fun to have him on set!
dia frampton, over it, the crystal method, video chats, zak stoltz
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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