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Review–Holdin’ Me

Director: Andrew Cochrane

Director Of Photography: Ernesto Lomeli

Editor: Mike Merkwan

 

Okay, so this is a music video. Do I review music videos? I do now. This guy (Andrew) sent me his video with this request, “I guess I’m ready for a pounding. I’d love to get your reaction to a short piece I just created. Pound away.” You send me  a screener with that kind of open attitude? You get a review. I don’t care if it’s footage of your mom’s church social.

A video is pretty much a short film. And a good video is everything short film should be: pithy, engaging, unique. A perfect story-telling marriage of images and music.

I would make the argument that short film makers should study music videos for that very reason. Just not this one. Heyooooo! Actually, for an amateur run, Holdin’ Me ain’t bad. But interestingly enough, it has some of the same bugaboos that plague short indie film.

First off, I dig the song, it’s an odd genre I’m not familiar with. But never mind that, I’m not a music reviewer. The video is basically a dude in a truck playing a banjo. Cut to the band playing, cut to some dudes with guns, back to the band, dude with a banjo, done. We’re out in under four minutes. It’s not much to hang your hat on, and it does not do a whole lot to keep my interest. But it looks good, and it’s a good effort.

The video makes use of a device that reminds me of a gimmick from the 70′s: we have a number of individual boxes that show simultaneous action. The difference is that these boxes change in size and number, rather than staying static, like the 70′s motif. It’s a promising start that ends up falling a bit flat. As it turns out, the box gimmick remains the focal point for the video, not much to garner the interest of the viewer. Interestingly enough, one of the boxes is a continuous shot that runs the entire length of the video.

For you screen writers out there, this is the only legitimate instance where you can use the slug, CONTINUOUS in a script.

The video reminds me of The Queens Of The Stoneage video, “Go With The Flow” for some reason. A truck, a band, heading down a dirt road. The Queens’ video is much better of course, they had a bazillion dollars to spend on it, as opposed to the ten dollars that Andrew had to spend on his, but the Queens’ video is a good example of making something impactful, interesting, and different.

Not that bargain basement videos and short film can’t be impactful, unique, and gobsmacking, but they often are not. That is the curse of indie: technical proficiency combined with poor story and lack of impact. And that is the same problem with the Holdin’ Me video, there is just not enough to engage us here, nothing jumps off the screen or compels us. Nothing pulls us into the story.

Now, if that dude in the back of the truck playing the banjo had gone straight “Deliverance” on the deal? I’m so there.

“You got a purty mouth.”

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