The Oh Yeah Wow team have been behind some intriguing and entertaining pieces of film for the likes of Gotye and The Paper Kites in the past, but most recently, their attention has been turned to the story of a woman and her love for a parasite.
The brains behind Millington‘s music video for “Being”, in competition at SXSW 2017, are Josh Thomas and Darcy Prendergast and they fill us in on more of the story.
Who are you and how did you get into the world of music video direction? Tell us your origin story!
We here at Oh Yeah Wow cut our teeth on music videos. We worked from a grungy, low rent ex automotive garage with milk crates for seats; gradually carving out a name for ourselves. After a few big concept videos for bands including Gotye, Clubfeet and The Paper Kites, we somehow found sustainability and have been doing what we love ever since.
How did you come to work on this project?
It takes a special set of circumstances to lure us back to music videos these days, but with this one we thought, ‘If this guy is willing to finance a batshit crazy concept like this, we’d be idiots to say no.’
Tell us a bit about the concept of the video.
“Being” is about a lonely woman falling head over heels at her first speed dating session. The only problem is her date is not human – he’s a giant parasite. Undeterred, she embarks on a whirlwind romance with him, gradually succumbing to the downside of having a parasite literally attached to her shoulder.
How much of the concept was the artists/bands and how much of it was yours? Or did a third party get involved?
The concept itself was 100% ours. We pitched it, but he wanted something a bit more child friendly, as the song is written about his daughter. So when he asked us to pitch again, Darcy said, ‘We have no intent on making Sesame Street here nor are we pitching again. You’re a new artist, so if you want eye balls and exposure – make this’. The clip was greenlit minutes later.
What were the biggest challenges with the project?
The biggest challenge to the project was the balancing act in tones, oscillating between gritty realism and the inherent fantasy/surreal vibes that are bundled with such a premise. Nailing this down was crucial for the piece, we really wanted to play out an outlandish premise with semi-realistic consequences.
Our ultimate goal was for the audience to walk out utterly confused and disturbed by what they’ve seen, plagued by an insatiable urge to hunt it down and watch it again in the hopes that any light could be shed on why it exists or why anybody would ever make it. If we could have that, we could sleep at night- even if the audience no longer can.
Darcy and his sister Paige, who is our costume designer, literally lost their Grandad the night before the shoot as well, so it was a tough circumstance for them to push through, particularly when you’re trying to make a comedy.
What surprised you most about the final product (compared perhaps to the original vision)?
We were amazed at how convincing the relationship actually comes across on the screen. There seems to be some genuine emotions stirring in the parasite’s eyes and our lead actress generated some genuine pathos too. It’s amazing the sort of terrain you can cover in three and half odd minutes.
Do you have a favourite shot in the piece OR was there something in the video that you’re particularly proud of – an element that you know only you were able to deliver?
Josh: I won’t spoil it, but we put a ridiculous amount of work into the final sequence, so in turn I would say that definitely takes the cake.
Darcy: One of my favourite moments on set, was when there are some heavy goopy make outs on the bed- and Josh turns to me mid shot, and says, ‘Should we have it go down on her?’
What do you have coming up and where can we learn more about you? ‘
We’re cooking up a whole bunch at Oh Yeah Wow! We’re knocking out a few TVC’s to fuel our expensive taste of two minute noodles, we’ve got a new clay animated kids series pilot in the works called Monsters Playground and another 2D animated series called Wormholes doing the hard sell at Kidscreen and the like.
Darcy is also busy writing his first feature called Carnivores, a TV series called Wife On Mars and is soon to be starting on a part live action/ part animated doco called Wild Life about his rather outrageous father who was attacked by tigers on multiple occasions.
So, plenty on the boil! Feel free to keep an eye on ohyeahwow.com and all our socials to see these bits as they launch.
“Being” will screen as part of SXSW’s Music Video Competition, which commences this weekend in Austin, Texas. Learn more about the event and find out when the screenings take place HERE.