VIDEO PREMIERE: ‘The Flood’ captures Scranton bassist Grant Williams in stop motion story
After winning Video of the Year at the Steamtown Music Awards earlier this year for “Alpha Centauri” (which premiered on NEPA Scene in April), Scranton solo bass player Grant Williams had to follow it up with something special, which he has certainly done with “The Flood,” an artistic stop motion-style video premiering exclusively here with behind-the-scenes photos.
Shot at Endeavor Audio & Lighting Services in Scranton, photographer Lisa Petz took over 1,000 photos of Williams playing his bass against a white backdrop, which were then painstakingly edited together by himself and Jer Tobin of Big Idea Photo & Video Productions to achieve the illusion of movement.
“‘The Flood’ is about being swept away by inaction. It’s easy to ignore one, or many, raindrops, but they’re all contributing to the rising waters that can overtake you. It is also easy to ignore that one bad day, that one toxic relationship, that one extra night of hedonism. ‘Just one won’t kill you’ is absolutely true, but there’s a limit on how many times you get to say it,” Williams told NEPA Scene about the song, which features Chris Langan on drums.
“I wanted to reflect that in the video. It’s very easy to overlook a single frame/photo when you have over a thousand of them scrolling past you, but they’re all playing their role. We split it up by having a photo for every note played in the song, so step one was to sit down with the song and individually mark the milliseconds where each note landed – and then do it again when I realized the first time was wrong. With my notebook of timestamps and finger positioning, someone would call out the note to be played, I’d play it, and Lisa would take the resulting photo. We’d also lay out the ‘story arc’ for the girls and which frames they’d be in. Lisa and I spent two or three days just sitting and discussing each frame’s positioning, the path the girls would take, and where their handprint would land.”
The enormous white backdrop had to be covered with paper paths and runways after they realized that the girls’ dirty footprints were visible as they approached to leave colorful marks on the bassist. Bree Buonomo played “Yellow,” Ashley Matthews is “Green,” Jennifer Elizabeth is “Red,” and Courtney Marie O’Connor is “Blue,” with hair by Lena Wolf, owner and colorist at LWR Hair Expressions, and makeup by Lauren Szymanski.
“The girls appearing throughout are a more in-depth representation of the factors that would cause a person’s drowning. Yellow is dissatisfaction – buried issues, low self esteem, deflection are all encompassed in ‘Yellow.’ Green is vices – sex, substances, money, whatever method you employ to remove the creep and impact of ‘Yellow.’ Red is anger, specifically caused when ‘Green’ not only fails to remove the impact of ‘Yellow,’ but leaves an additional mark. Blue is the depression caused by the YGR cycle of behavior. ‘Blue’ was the only one with both of her arms painted, as she is the most impactful and the color most noticeable,” Williams explained.
This marks the fourth music video from his 2016 debut album, “Suspended Animation,” adding another creative entry to a planned series of unique videos for each of the 11 songs on the album. Williams recently wrapped up shooting the first half of “The Red Queen” with After Image Studios, and he is also working with Springwood Productions on a second collaboration after their video for “Alpha Centauri” was so well received, focusing mainly on video production in 2018.
Those who want to see Williams live can catch him with Scranton metal band Behind the Grey, who he joined earlier this year.