When someone asks you what you do for a living the answer is often simple. “I’m a postman”, “I’m a computer programmer” “I scrounge off tax payer’s money” etc. When I’m asked it usually results in a sigh of breath and a response of “It’s kind of complicated.”
I co-host a mostly unknown podcast on QuickStopEntertainment.com called Cabin Fever. I’m also a desk monkey in an office for ten hour shifts a day to earn some money and have the joy of taking calls from angry members of the public. But neither feel like they make the statement of who I really am.
I studied for three years in college to get a Higher National Diploma in Television production. I once directed a documentary that took me to Zambia. And despite all the failed attempts to make a wage off of it and all the rejection letters of application, when people ask me what I do for a living my gut reaction is still “I’m a director.”
I’m really not, but it may help you understand why the following excited me so much when I first found out about it.
[ad#longpost]Fight Like Apes are one of Ireland’s brightest musical groups at the moment. Plying their trade on the Dublin scene for the last three years has now exploded into international airplay and touring. Their debut album, Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion was released last year on Model Citizen Records and charted in the top ten, an excellent achievement considering the market they were dealing with (see Boyzone and Enya). They’ve been reveling in the current high-demand market of indie-synth-pop crossovers and 80s references. Songs such as “Jake Summers” and “I’m Beginning To Think You Prefer Beverly Hills 90210 To Me” showcase their quirky sense of humour but don’t be fooled by the tongue in cheek presentation–a fierce live show and critical acclaim by their peers add the backbone to what could have so easily been a throw-away kitsch band.
Their last single was called “Tie Me Up In Jackets” and was directed by Eoghan Kidney. The video is made up mostly of animated oil paintings and, personally, blew me away the first time I saw it.
Eoghan is not much older than me. Looking into his portfolio my green eyes started to glow brighter. Due to the success of this video they asked him back for what will be their first internationally released single Something Global. This is where I come in.
I first saw the update on Myspace: Fans wanted to come see a gig and bring a camera.
The concept reminded me at a base level of Bon Jovi’s “Bad Medicine”, however I could see that the execution and presentation would end up being very different. One hundred people would attend a Fight Like Apes gig and each record on their own equipment what was happening. After some panic on my own end I was signed up and the lovely producer sent me an email to confirm details. It was on.
I arrived at Whelan’s, one of Irelandâ€™s trendier venues, early on a Sunday morning. As soon as I entered the queue I realised I was going to be one of the older and more conservative members of the crowd. Teenage expression was in full effect. But I also realised that most people were going to be using their phones or digital cameras to be recording the video. I started to feel slightly foolish with my HD money eater.
Inside the door I was greeted by the band’s singer (who was surprisingly perky for this time of the morning), MayKay. You could tell everyone was appreciative of the turn out and wanted to go out of their way to make the day worth it. Smiles abounded and chats were had with everyone. I made some new friends in the queue, but their age and enthusiasm just made me feel even older when I thought about it too much. At least we could have no complaints about how we were treated. Signed copies of everything you could think of were given out. I managed to bag myself a signed vinyl single although I had my eye on one of the painted original stills from the “Tie Me Up In Jackets” vid. A short gig topped the generosity off before filming, Fight Like Apes played the most popular songs voted by everyone on their application forms so (as they put it) “You can’t complain if we donâ€™t play the song that you like”.
We got down to business and our director took centre stage with his giant arrow and weird kabuki style mask. We did about three takes and despite the odd false start it all went smoothly. The suprises of giant paintings of Tom Selleck and golden phones were discussed down the line as we waited to hand in our footage. The day seemed a success. And with over a hundred cameras with their different resolutions and storage, I did not envy Mr. Kidney.
Here we are now, a couple of weeks later and the video has been released officially. Did any of my footage make it? I honestly can’t tell. I’d like to think so but it wasn’t important really. I had fun, got a free gig, got some neat signed stuff and met some very nice young people. Who cares if my footage wasn’t used?
Who am I kidding? *searches through video obsessively*