GHOST ATLAS – “NIGHT DRIVE”
Music Video Directed By
Orie McGinness & Enlighten Creative Studio
Cinematic, filmic, old school vintage style footage. The whole video is subtly portrayed as one long out of sequence dream that feels as real as it gets.
Showing the exterior of the motel we get and fake that ALL of the light outside is a single color (Red, green, harsh yellow) could be really cool and could add to the dreamlike mood we will be portraying. This is something we can simply do in post.
Characters to portray:
- Jesse Cash - Singer during performance, also roams the motel at night and discovers the other actors along his walk.
- Woman #1 - Anorexic, lives in the motel, trades sex for drugs and money, horribly smeared sweaty makeup, ratty clothes.
- Woman #2 - Similar to woman #1, but is more so portrayed to be there with Jesse, although he is distant from her the entire time.
- Large man - Face is never revealed, very tall & dominant, controls everyone and everything in the motel once they enter. This man interacts with all characters individually.
Nothing is shown in sequence to have it play out as a standard story format. The only thing that sync’s up are the really powerful ‘portrait’ shots we get of the characters dying off during the choruses. The plot is essentially an array of metaphorical visuals that sync to the lyrics in the song. Shot list is below:
Scene 1: Jesse sits on the corner of an old stained bed in a grungy motel. On the wides, we see one of the drugged out women sitting towards the head of the bed on an old wind up phone with a cord arguing in slow motion as jesse sings. She yells and cries, which eventually gets more and more intense and turns into screaming.
Scene 2: Jesse sings the song in slow motion completely submerged underwater in the bathtub of the motel as he is fully clothed. Bubbles constantly coming from his mouth.
Scene 3: Jesse is shown in a car (Tight shots to hid the style/look of the car. We just want to see his emotion and let it be clear that he is driving somewhere.)
Colors to use:
All bright neon lighting. Seemingly motivated by neon "Open", "Vacancy", etc style signs that would be hung outside the motel window.
Mostly slow motion footage is used. Long drawn out shots for parts of the song that allow a clip to breathe. Quicker cuts mixed in on quicker parts of the song.
Intro - David Fincher style ECU's of a plastic bag floating in parking lot at night. A woman's face under a plastic bag laying with eyes wide open, not breathing. Water spilling over the sides of a bathtub. Faucet running at full blast. Elements of neon light fixture flickering inside of the glass tubes. Cigarette burning in ashtray or in the fingertips of a passed out hooker.
0:16 - 0:20 - "Drive too fast to give you a scare" Show this whole line as one shot. Jesse sits on the corner of the shitty motel bed with Girl #1 behind him OR in the car.
0:21 - 0:26 - "Because I am sick" Show various b-roll shots of the motel room, introduce the characters, establish the rest of the elements in play.
0:27 - 0:33 - "And I hate myself for letting you panic" We see Jesse sitting on the edge of the bed with the Girl #1 arguing with someone on an old landline style phone. Jesse and the girl never acknowledge each other.
0:34 - 0:49 - B-Roll montage of each actor living and thriving in their own element. The large man shuts the door with the camera outside as we see him enter the room to beat one of the girls. The other girl is shown in her room by herself sobbing uncontrollably. Jesse sitting still in various parts of the shitty motel room.
0:50 - 0:55 - Super slow motion shot of water pouring from faucet in bathtub.
0:56 - 1:04 - Montage of girl #2 sitting in front of a blue-bulbed vanity crying and cutting off all of her hair with old rusty dull scissors. Close up of mouth talking into her ear. She listens for a moment and then turns to look at the person speaking. Cut to a different angle to reveal that she is alone in the room.
1:05 - 1:20 - Jesse stands up and walks out of the motel room, the large man enters the room, we follow the large man in as he crosses paths with Jesse, never acknowledging each other. He enters the room, Girl #1 never acknowledges him even though he is in clear eyesight. He proceeds to the bathroom and turns on the bathtub faucet.
1:21 - 1:25 - Girl #2 is shown back in front of the mirror, now with all of her hair chopped off in a very sloppy and sad looking way. "Portrait" style shot of of her staring into the camera lens.
1:26 - 1:36 - "And now you feel sick" We see her instantly become sick to her stomach. She stands up and rushes to the bathroom. Leans over the toilet and begins to vomit a thick, oddly vibrant, blue substance. On the line "Shrunken stomach", we see an already thin midsection suck inward to reveal ribs, hip bones, etc.
1:37 - 2:07 - Drift into a montage of all actors performing previously mentioned actions, cut with footage of Jesse singing in the car, B-Roll of him standing outside the hotel room as we see a struggle between the large man and the girl in the hotel room. The man finishes and comes back outside. Jesse goes back in and sits back down. The girl sits at the head of the bed again but this time shes screaming into a pillow, screaming facing forward, etc.
2:08 - 2:15 - The large man enters the room and stands beside Girl #2 sitting at the vanity staring at herself. He looks at her reflection with her. He Reaches down on the table top of the vanity and grabs a clear plastic bag and slips it over her head. She willingly lets him do this.
Next, the large man is shown walking over to Girl #1 who sits upright on the bed (in a “different” room) beside the phone with a lifeless expression. He lifts the phone off the hook and begins to wrap the phone cord around her neck slowly, wrapping it tighter and tighter on every pass.
Jesse stands up and walks to the bathroom and turns on the tub full blast. He stares into the water as it spews out from the faucet. We see the large man lurking behind him as if he is guiding Jesse to do this subconsciously.
2:16 - 2:34 - Super slow motion. Montage of all three characters. Girl #2 has the bag over her head and begins to suffocate at the hand of the large man, screaming out and sucking in air.
Girl #1 start to lose breath as the large man is pulling on the cord and forces her eyes shut.
Jesse is now shown in the overflowing tub screaming out as he is completely submerged by the water in the tub. We see OTS of the large man looking at Jesse in the tub.
2:35 - 3:04 - "Running free to find each other but we only found ourselves after all." We see Jesse scream this line out from inside the tub underwater. Camera is directly over the tub facing down as he faces up at it.
3:05 - 3:26 - The two girls from the motel are now shown desperately crawling outside of their rooms with almost zero energy but very determined attitudes. They constantly keep looking back over their shoulder. We reveal the large man (Still never reveal his identity) exiting the room, following them, looming over them as they try to get away.
3:27 - 3:59 - Montage of all actors (Need help figuring out what they're doing specifically)
4:00 - 4:16 - Montage of all of the scenes during 2:16 - 2:34 being played in reverse.
4:17 - 4:37 - End on the same shot we intro with. Bag floating around in the parking lot of the motel. Bag falls out of focus, credits appear on screen.
The editing and dream-like feel of any David Lynch movie.
For closeups, I really like David Fincher’s approach as these are used to highlight the “grit” of what he wants the audience to focus on. Also how things move across frame and cut to match that.
The way the showcase “portrait” footage in this is something I’m into: