Met a talented and exceedingly personable young music video director, Raul Gonzo, over dinner in Long Beach CA in early January 2014. A friend of my daughter Vail’s, he drove quite a ways to meet and visit. We were at the time staying with Vail’s long time Van’s friend, Amanda in her charming upstairs apartment. She took us to a great little Mexican place nearby for the rendezvous.
Raul and Vail have known each other a few years now as he’s worked on several projects with her boyfriend, Blake Harnage doing videos for his band, Versa Emerge. They enjoy and admire each other’s art and watch and hope for collaboration opportunities from what I can tell.
He invited us to a music video shoot that he was obviously very excited about where he was going to get to play with some “old school” techniques. The opportunity soon followed a few days later and we went to a what seemed to us to be well hidden little studio. My friend from Ojai, Stephanie O’Neill’s daughter Austen was with us (our incredible hostess for a week!). We came in on a project near completion with an exhausted group of artists and technicians watching the last bit of creating. About 13-16 of them
The bit with the extra large, made on location, doll house was already done. It was made to appear life sized with good old fashioned camera magic. Fun techniques.
The part we got to see was the band riding in the car with man powered leg muscles creating the street textures, hand fanned fog effects and the mannequin like model moving on a man powered small conveyor built to simulate the vehicle driving up.
Raul would peek at the results and do tweaks and reshoots but once you’re past a portion, you’re past it.
I went around and met several of the people on set.
I first met the art director who pointed out the “doll house” to me. They had made it there in the room in the far back corner where there was a full shop.
There was a lady settled cat like on a counter watching with intensity. Turned out she was an owner of the production studio and was marveling at Raul’s talent with people and abundant creativity. She said she’d seen a lot and not necessarily any better. It was her first time watching him. She was impressed and said so several times.
Here’s what he was making: the link takes you to the actual, just recently released Video
It was such a treat and honor to watch the production. Real Deal!
Raul Gonzo, director