The Strands of Time (The Making of the ‘Real Thing Video’)
Is there a reason and a purpose for everything? Maybe – maybe not. And maybe the reason’s just not clear at the time. Ten years ago I started scotch taping pictures into old phone books. The original idea was to create an image file for drawings, otherwise known as an Art Morgue. This turned into a sort of mega collage, while it’s original function was completely engulfed by Google images.
Around the same time I was writing music for documentary filmmaker Larry Johnson for things like The Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Texas and a museum exhibit about Buffalo Bill in Colorado. We also traveled to Vietnam twice together to work on Larry’s film ‘Ghost Money.’
Fast forward to the present. The Nu Shooz band had come back to life, rising from the swamp like the creature from the Black Lagoon. The creature wanted CONTENT, and it wanted it NOW. Valerie got busy making a series of short films about life in Nu Shooz-land; in airports, in rehearsals, in the studio during the making of Bagtown.
Now she wanted to make a “lyric” video for the first single – ‘Real Thing.’ Our dining room table was soon cluttered with scissors, paste, and magazines as she started cutting out letters and pasting them together to form the words from the song. But she needed a background. The phone book collage! It would be the perfect backdrop for this frenzy of fonts. Two days later, after 100’s of photos and video had been taken, she sat for 6 hours and started to edit. 30 seconds in and it became obvious that unless she wanted to cancel life (and upcoming gigs) this project would never be completed in time!
A call to Larry was made. Could he take over the editing chair? Does he have time to get it done in a week? Yes! He’s available and into it!
So there you have it. All these crazy strands came together – the collage book, Larry Johnson, Bagtown,the films, the songs. Sometimes you have to do these things just for fun, and let the strands weave together on their own. - John