The Forest (Music Video)
Music video written, directed and produced for musical artist Cymba featuring the song "The Forest".
I began ideation for this music video by listening to the song and pinning visuals I related to the melody into a vision board. Given the song's title, the setting for the song was a given, especially due to the low budget nature of the project and the no cost option of using nearby woods as a location.
The story came to me after revisiting a few Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales. I came across one story I was less familiar with: The Snow Queen. In the story, two childhood friends, Kai and Gerda, are separated after a gang of mischievous trolls craft a mirror that causes its viewer to see the world in a negative light. The trolls attempt to bring the mirror up to heaven, but accidentally drop it, leaving it to shatter into millions of tiny shards that embed into the hearts and eyes of people all over the world. One of these victims is Kai, who after being struck, does not remember his friendship to Gerda and gets whisked away to a frozen lake by the Snow Queen.
Listening to the song's lyrics, I saw a correlation to the Snow Queen's theme: innocence betrayed, at the result of distraction and neglect. I wrote this metaphor into the music video's story treatment:
We selected our location after visiting a number of local forest preserves. MacDowell Grove was chosen for its grassy, narrow path and heavily-forested seclusion. Cinematographer Stephen Wester and I visited the site to finalize the exact site we would be using for our shoot.
We used Breakdown Express to post a casting call, requesting actors interested in auditioning to submit a video demo to narrow our options.
With an extremely low budget, we set out to assemble a skeleton crew, only involving roles that were absolutely necessary to the shoot.
We created a thorough shot list which we scheduled down to the minute for our 8.5 hour single shoot day.
BEHIND THE SCENES
The video was officially released on November 16, 2016 on YouTube channel Mellow.
The length of the design process is always variable, depending on the needs of the customer. In most cases, I strive to iterate off of real user feedback, setting up moderated or unmoderated tasks to test partial prototypes for usability and comprehension.
At the prototyping stage, I'm working closely with devs to ensure that expected behavior isn't only shown through the design, but annotated and documented for their reference as they bring the design to life.