Video Chats: Scott Cudmore on "Hot Dreams" by Timber Timbre
Posted by Adam Alexander on February 25, 2014 in Interviews
The music video for Canadian folk act Timber Timbre’s “Hot Dreams” is a beautiful, honest, and mesmerising one. It takes place in a strip club and explores the more artistic side of exotic dancing. Directed by Scott Cudmore and Michael Leblanc, the video manages to find beauty and class in a location that is typically associated with a much different atmosphere. We talked to Scott about the video’s setting, exotic club selection, the video’s tone, and how it avoided controversy.
IMVDb: A strip club seems to be literally the best possible location for “Hot Dreams” to take place. How was this concept conceived and were other settings ever considered?
Scott: The concept was actually Taylor’s [Kirk, Timber Timbre frontman] idea. It was just a loose idea, I think he just felt that the video should be a striptease - and he wanted it to feature the band in some way as well. So no, no other settings were ever considered. We started right from that premise when he told me that that was what he wanted to do.
IMVDb: The club in the video seems to be an exceptionally classy and stylish adult establishment in comparison to some of the dives I’ve come across in my travels. Explain how this particular location was chosen. Was the quality and aesthetic appeal of the bar an important aspect during selection?
Scott: We shot it at a landmark club in Toronto called Filmore’s - they were actually incredibly helpful in getting this video made because we really didn’t have a lot of money as this is a very low budget video. They let us shoot there really cheap. It was actually providential that it is such a perfect location because before we found them we scouted some other clubs that were far less ideal and far more money to rent. We definitely didn’t want to shoot in a dive because I thought it was important that the video not be sleazy - it had to be classy and it had to be sexy. Mike and I wanted it to be lush and beautiful and not divey. The whole thing had to be elevated to a kind of ecstatic level. We would have tried to accomplish this wherever we shot, but we definitely got lucky that Filmore’s was a much nicer place. We also got lucky because it has a lot of depth and space compared to a lot of other clubs. And we used one of their feature dancers, Mystery, who is incredible, just such an amazing performer. She’s an amazing dancer and we really didn’t have to tell her anything - she immediately knew exactly how to engage with the song.
IMVDb: “Hot Dreams” is a melancholic, bittersweet, and uncommon vision of strip clubs. It reminded me of how lonely and desperate people can appear in their longing for intimacy. Describe the ways in which you were able to capture these moods and tones in the video.
Scott: I’m not trying to offer any commentary on strip clubs and whether they are this or that or another thing. But they are powerful places because people are publicly engaging with something that has a certain level of intimacy and vulnerability in it. There’s room for all sorts of opinions and discussion on that and people have all sorts of different points of view about it, but we wanted to show the beauty in it. I don’t see any of the patrons as desperate. I saw everybody as being reverent, in fact, in awe of what this dancer is doing and communicating on the stage. Striptease can be powerful and beautiful and it’s not just about sex, I think there’s something visceral and sort of sublime about it and that’s what I wanted the video to be about. It's different from a lot of what we usually see in music videos and films in general that feature strip clubs. It was important to get away from those stereotypical representations of that industry.
IMVDb: While there is definitely nudity in the video, it’s presented in a very tasteful and inoffensive way. What methods or techniques were employed to avoid the controversy that might be associated with a video of this nature?
Scott: I didn’t really anticipate controversy, and we certainly weren’t trying for it. I don’t think there’s been any controversy really. It just would have been ridiculous to make a video that features striptease without any nudity. It would have been dishonest and kind of weird. It’s never gratuitous because it’s always just a fact of what you’re watching rather than something sensational that is intended to draw attention to the nudity. I don’t even think about it in fact. It just is.
IMVDb: The video stars some very interesting secondary characters that left me wondering about their backstories, particularly the man in the wheelchair and the woman with the bowtie. How important was the casting for this video? Did you imagine a backstory for these characters when plotting out the video?
Scott: I wanted there to be an audience that we see up close because I wanted the viewer to have to imagine who these people might be. It gives another dimension to it and adds a layer of narrative. We wanted it to be a cinematic video. The woman with the bow tie I thought of as the manager of this club and in fact, she really was a manager of a strip club in real life. She responded to a casting call that we had put out and told us that she used to manage a club, so she actually already had her wardrobe and everything. She was perfect. Her face blows me away, it’s one of my favourite shots in the video. There’s such a story there. Some of the people were cast like that and others were people that I knew that I thought would be right for it, like the guy in the wheelchair. I see him as a regular of the club, knows all the dancers.
hot dreams, scott cudmore, timber timbre, video chats
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