R.E.M. has been in New York City for the past few days doing press and photography for the new record. Earlier in the week, the band got together with the fantastic, super-talented director Vincent Moon (ninetynights, Takeaway Shows) to shoot a video for “Supernatural Superserious.” Bertis was on hand for the shoot and wrote a few words which we’ve posted below, and we were able to catch up with a very gracious Vincent Moon, who, despite the fact that he was working feverishly on the video and suffering from a fever as well, was kind enough to give his thoughts on the process straight from the cutting room floor/table. We’ve rarely pulled such a trifecta: postcard from the road, video, and the director in one fell swoop, so let’s get to it. If this is any indication of the way this year will go, then what a year it will be!
It is cold. While here we made a video in the Lower East Side, filmed by Vincent Moon of ninetynights, Takeaway Show and Arcade Fire (among many other artists) fame. Vincent’s working style is spontaneous and fun-loving, so going from storefront to storefront on Rivington Street was certainly a unique and memorable experience. And of course, in the age of YouTube, we already have “rushes” (thanks to Devin Sarnoe for the mini-documentary of the video shoot; click below to view) on the web– yoohoo! Anyway, it will be a good video I bet and meanwhile, the record is still a couple of months away. But until then, we will have plenty to keep us busy as it is shaping up as a pretty accelerated year. . . stay tuned for details as we have them.
We asked Vincent to tell us a little bit about the shoot from the mood to the scene to the style. I asked Vincent if he could compare the video shoot for Supernatural Superserious to his work on the famous and trademark Takeaway Shows for which many people know him. Here’s what he had to say (with some slight paraphrasing–sorry Vincent) :
This was a really, really interesting, fantastic experience working with the band in New York; I’m really happy with the result and I’m almost finished with the editing, though there is still, it seems, a crazy amount of work yet to be done.
I didn’t want to create a fake takeaway show with the band lip-synching and playing acoustically–that’s not my style as you know–but I did focus on the improvisational aspect of the Takeaway Shows, hoping to achieve that same spontaneous feeling, by driving around the City, searching for the right place and mood without planning at all. I regarded it as a quest. We essentially were on a quest, a search to find the right place to play the music, and we settled on five or so places on Rivington Street. 2 or 3 were purely spontaneous, instances in which we just walked in and just said, “can we play”; again, it’s not my style to plan so the video, hopefully will have this improvisational feel; the video will capture and concentrate on this feeling. It’s focused on the performance of three guys going around NYC playing music spontaneously without being self-conscious.
As I said, I’m very happy with it. Thanks.