Filming a music video can oftentimes be a “wham, bam, thank you, ma’am!” type affair — choose a location, use the hell out of it for the allotted time, and then, “That’s a wrap.” Not so for Shiny Toy Guns‘ most recent video for the single “Waiting Alone,” which was filmed over the course of 27 days and 6,000 miles and has both a linear and interactive version.
“Waiting Alone” comes off of the band’s highly anticipated third studio album, III (due out in October) and is the most ambitious video it has created to date, according to bassist and keyboardist, Jeremy Dawson. “[Lead singer Carah Charnow] and I were sort of brainstorming about the basic-ness of running through a field and then we started thinking and were like, ‘Wait a minute, what if you ran through many fields? And mountains. Rivers.’” And thus the idea for “Waiting Alone” was born.
In the video, Charnow plays a character named Love Runner (all kitted out in what Dawson calls “a New Wave Lewis and Clark-looking thing”) who is on a quest — on foot — from Hollywood to Brooklyn to reunite with her lover. Along the way, an evil character called “The Chosen One” — played by the band’s Chad Petree — tries to waylay Love Runner through various forms of violence. “We actually threw her in a river with underwater cameras and we had to catch her at the end of the river because it was going like 30 miles per hour,” Dawson says.
The video was filmed in a multitude of locations across the U.S. and makes use of the band’s RV as well as a passel of armored trucks outfitted with radars — apparently, half the band are professional storm chasers who have access to such gear. Once they hit the Midwest, the band and crew drove directly into massive storms — with Carah capering through on foot — “to get the effect of the power of the Midwest,” Dawson says.
If the whole thing sounds a little too high risk, Dawson would tend to agree. “Our label was like, ‘You’re crazy, we’re not going to take liability for that,’” he says. “And we were like, ‘That’s fine. We’re leaving at 5.’ And we just left.” The band paid for much of the video out of pocket, called in a lifetime’s worth of favors and officially signed on as producers of the project in order to make it happen.
The linear video drops on VEVO on July 17, and while that’s sure to be an exciting unveiling, the band is also working on another, interactive video as well. Dawson says that the band documented the making of the video on their iPhone cameras and they plan to use that footage in a clickable video featuring an interactive map. Users will be able to stop the video, drop a pin somewhere along Love Runner’s quest and watch the making of that particular section of the vid. The band is currently deciding which map client to use, so a release date has not yet been set.
Social media lovers that they are, over the course of making the video, Shiny Toy Guns frequently took to YouTube and Instagram to share snippets of its progress, but did little to explain what it was that they were posting. “People were like, ‘What the hell are you talking about?’” Dawson says. “And now that it’s time, I’m really thinking about going back to those images and reposting them now that it’s starting to become a relevant topic of discussion.”
You can check out a series of teaser videos on YouTube right now — the most recent is posted above.
Will you watch “Waiting Alone” when it drops next week? In the meantime, fans who are in STG withdrawal can indulge in their Instagram Tour Diary here.