Damn The Maps
The Try This video is 2 and a 1/2 years in the making. We accumulated 6 guitars, 5 basses, 6 amps, 2 drumkits, 2 keyboards, PA wedges all from junk shops, garage sales, FB marketplace and the side of the road. Almost none of the gear was fully functional and no single piece of gear cost more than $100.
Then we destroyed it all in about 4 hours on film.
The teenager in me always wanted to smash a bunch of guitars just like the famous guitar smashers. eg Kurt Cobain, Pete Townsend, Billy Corgan, Matt Bellamy etc. This was our once in a lifetime opportunity to smash a record number of instruments in one sitting for the sake of art. A little inspiration came from the famous Office Space fax scene.
Note: Matt Bellamy holds the Guinness World record for the most amount of guitars smashed on a tour (140)
We smashed 10 in one day.
This video cost $50 to make. Covid lockdowns were still ongoing so once again, whatever videos we made had to be produced at home. Given that the song is about consumerism and advertising, I thought it would be a funny idea to make a music video that is a series of infomercial fails and ridiculous solutions to problems that nobody has. Many infomercials show people in black and white struggling with things that nobody struggles with. This video takes that one step further. The products were found in a local op shop and slightly modified here and there. Some inspiration came from the Cinco range of products. See Tim & Eric.
I had to tell someone
As Covid lockdowns continued in 2020, this video could only really be done from home. So I purchased 100 images from Depositphotos, set up the greenscreen and carefully put myself into each shot. Another kind of montage video; a mixture of photoshopping myself directly in to an image and using split screen to have me appear to be involved with the person on the opposite side. For example, sitting at a table across from a lady having tea. In this shot, it's just a pillowcase on a coffee table, a plate, cake and a cup and I'm sitting against a white wall. It leaves the viewer to imagine that I'm having a conversation with this beautiful still image.
I was in a toy shop in Tasmania in early 2020 and I spotted these things called Timberkits
They make a little wooden automaton drummer, guitarist, bass player and piano player. I thought it would be a great idea to make a full rock music video with them. Then Covid-19 came along. So I ordered them online, purchased a bunch of plywood and went to work for an hour or so each day putting the little models together and building a stage. One of the challenges was getting the little turn handles to be hidden behind the stage so you don't see hands turning them. A series of wooden cogs and even a hand made wooden universal joint solved the problem.
I got the inspiration for the rock show from Foo Fighters' All My Life video. There are many references to it in this video including the huge wide red screen behind the stage. This is simply a Dell super wide screen monitor. In around June of 2020, the lockdowns eased for a few weeks so I got Nick and his daughter out to my house and 5 of us shot the video in my garage.
not my department
Not My Department was inspired of course by Nosferatu. The idea was pretty simple. Imagine Orlock working in an office environment. The performances by Brendan Bacon and Jarrod Riley are magnificent. It was a real pleasure to film them. Filmed over 2 days at 4 separate locations. We were super fortunate that a friend of ours rented an old office in downtown Melbourne with the amazing stone staircase connected to it. The inside of Orlock's office is just Martin's old garage. Huge thanks to David Leadbetter for working with us on this one. It was also great to be behind the camera for this video instead of always in front of it. This one is full of classic gags.
This song describes a real dream I had where I experienced the most intense sleep paralysis I have ever had. I was literally trying to say to my girlfriend to wake me up but my mouth wouldn't move.
The video was shot in 25 locations around The Macedon Ranges, Melbourne, Northern Tasmania and New Zealand over a 6 month period. It has many references to my favourite horror movies including The Shining, The Exorcist, Poltergeist, Vertigo, Scream, Dracula, The Ring and many more
I actually got a pretty decent fright shooting the 'Karma Police' scene when a huge wombat ran out on the road in front of me. Heaps of fun to make.
I was sitting at home trying to think of an idea for our next video, procrastinating. So I went out to the garage and set up the green screen with no real idea other than that I wanted just one light on one side of the subject. I shot some footage, added the 'tonight's the night' effect and came up with the concept for Chemicals.
Nick and I simply play the song with just one light on us while some interesting facts pop up about chemicals and their effects on us and our children. We have shown our sources for each statement.
how do you break down?
In this video I worked out the length of my street and divided it into 45. We started at the top of the street on day one and filmed me walking about 10 metres. I started with a freshly trimmed beard. Then every afternoon at about the same time, we filmed me walking another 10 metres singing the next part of the song and starting from where we left off. As the video progresses, the leaves on the trees go through green, orange, gold and then fall as my beard gets longer. That's it.
My very good friend Carty Vuong is a Wing Chun Kung Fu instructor. We were sitting at a bar one evening talking about making a Kung Fu video. "Let's definitely do this" I said. So we did. I wrote up a story, bought a bunch of costumes, staked out locations and we shot the video in a day. 2 actors and 1 camera operator. Lots of fun throwbacks to the Kung Fu movies of the 70's.
what's my punishment?
Inspired by the gangsta style interview shots from 'People Just Do Nothing' and 'On Our Own' by Blur.
I was into hip-hop and gangsta rap from an early age and I always found it funny listening to all the deadly sounding threats that rappers make in their songs. I imagined walking into a club and accidentally saying the wrong thing to a rapper and being on the receiving end of whatever hard core violence they decided to dish out.
So it made sense to shoot this video like a street-level gangsta rap video with a little artistic effect added. Shot in double time around the streets of Fitzroy, Brunswick and Flemington.
Reverse Engineer uses 5 splits in between all the band members. Similar to the Behave video (see below), we filmed each of us around 5 times being very careful to stay in our area of the screen. There are invisible slices between each band member. Then over many months we edited them all together so that we all appeared in the same room together.
For the drums, Nick and Martin take turns hitting each drum separately so we have a shot of the kick, the snare, the hi hat etc. Then because we have the individual audio tracks eg all kicks, snares, hi hats etc, we then simply match the video of the drummer to the correct drum hit at the correct time.
Nick's guitar solos were super fun to build. Because we had sliced up the audio of his solos into small repeating parts for the song, (ie we reverse engineered his solo) we were able to also slice up the video to match roughly what Nick was playing, resulting in some pretty fun looking choppy video loops.
Filmed at the beautiful Aviary Recording Studio in Melbourne.
I made a virus
This video was inspired by a Tim & Eric sketch and South Park. First get around 10 funny photos of Martin, then green out the mouth, then film Martin's mouth in roughly the same pose as the photo and join them together. The result is a super weird looking animation that is somewhat similar to Saddam in South Park. Then we took a bunch of free stock footage and carefully worked Martin in to each shot. Lots of layers and weeks of photoshop work.
haven't we evolved
In Haven't we evolved, Martin took 99 one dollar coins and a sign that said "I don't need money. If you do, feel free to take whatever you need" and sat in downtown Melbourne on a busy Monday morning. The idea was simple: Martin looked a lot like a homeless person begging, except that he was giving away money. We wanted to see A) who would notice B) How long it would take to give away $99 and C) what kind of response we would get.
This video did quite well. The Age Australia interviewed Martin about it as it raised awareness for the homeless in Melbourne. The video was a simple idea that cost $99 to make with 100% of that money going towards something good. The video got over 30,000 views on Facebook and Youtube combined in just 2 weeks.
Look up was filmed with a camera on the floor and a green screen on the ceiling. Given that the song is about looking up, it seemed like the right idea. Lots of free archive footage used and pretty much every effect that Premiere has to offer.
I was at the dog park one day teaching my dog to catch a frisbee and I started thinking about the similarity between throwing the frisbee and the old golf video games of the 90s. They only had 2 controls: velocity and direction.
From there, the idea of creating a dog frisbee video game was born. The idea was that the song should have nothing to do with the video but be like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater where it seemed like the song was just part of the soundtrack to the game. A Gopro was strapped to my chest and Betty Dog had a blast. There are lots of references to old games that I remember, golden tricks, Unlocking levels, sonic booms and finishing moves. We sneakily shot the intro in a burger bar in Fitzroy and the animation footage was all Betty Dog and the greenscreen. They say 'never work with animals' but Betty Dog was amazing.
application to the real world
I really liked the idea of a wild animal or monster going for a job interview which would suit the concept of the song well. After a bit of searching on the internet, we found a wolf head that had a moving mouth. From there, the idea came together pretty quickly. We shot it outside a building on St Kilda Rd Melbourne and in our friend, Cameron's office in the city. The walking shot was filmed on an iphone as it had the best stability at the time. it was shot at double time. We got a lot of funny looks with this one. Another bit of Damn The Maps Guerrilla film making. Thus everybody's faces are blurred out except our little crew member.
Martin had just resigned from his day job and bought a new Gopro. Resignation was written and filmed as a resignation letter in song format. Something that you could burn to a CD and give to your boss.
The video took about 2 years to make as Martin travelled around Australia and New Zealand doing some of the most fun stuff he could think of whilst getting it on the Gopro. The video included jet boating in Taupo, windsurfing, surfing (or trying to surf) in Tourquay, Skydiving and more. This is still the most fun video we have ever made.
somebody went overboard
This video is simply a desk, a typewriter and a green screen and a little montage theory. Once again we play with timing as we speed up between the vocals and slow down again to be back in time with the words. It is a single shot. From there it took about a month to trawl through archival footage looking for mainly horror movie clips that match the words of the song. I always found it funny whenever I saw an actor tapping away blindly at typewriter keys in comedy shows. I think the candle flame might have been added later.
for a moment
This video was made using classic guerrilla film making. Shot with a crew of 2. Take a hidden camera and a dude running past in a whole bunch of places heading out to the country and almost nobody noticed us doing it except the farmer who owned the hill we climbed. (sorry)
It took several days to shoot given that there were so many locations. I'd like to say that it was inspired by Run Lola Run but I hadn't seen it at the time. I was more inspired by Touch of Evil for this one. Our dear late friend Myles let us shoot the beginning in his apartment. This video is dedicated to him.
Inspired by movies like Drive, we shot this video in the Mullum Mullum tunnel in Melbourne. 2 Gopros and about 4 trips to make this video. I'm simply singing along with the song on the stereo while Nick drove. The sunroof and green fluoro lights helped.
somebody to love
We used the same camera harness that was used on the All Aboard video, strapped it on and went walking around 5 or 6 locations around Melbourne. Inspired by Aronofsky and used by many film makers since then of course. This was a great way to be both in front of the camera and behind the camera at the same time as I control what the camera sees. I was delighted to get a hug and a high five from people while shooting. The video was shot at a faster speed than normal to get a smooth slow motion effect.
This was our favourite cover song that we played live many times. It was a total re-write of the Jefferson Airplane version, switching to 6:8, rearranging and adding our own riffs here and there. It was always interesting to see people's reactions at live shows when they started to realise what the song was.
This video was filmed and produced by Nick. We were temporarily recording in a family member's library whilst Nick's studio was being remodelled. It was quite a nice room so we thought we'd film us playing in there.
change your mind (acoustic)
We filmed this in Martin's home studio. Just a simple live video featuring Chino the cat.
In Filling Spaces, Martin turned heavily to green screen. Trawling the internet for catalogue images of furniture and 'stuff' to build in to huge animated scenes filled with an outrageous number of layers. Filling Spaces turns the greenscreen effect off at the end of many scenes to reveal how they were actually made. We even purchased a treadmill, removed all the top parts and painted it green to create the 'walking' effect. This video broke our record for the number of layers of footage stacked on top of each other.
This was another video where we played with time a little. We shot several takes of us playing the song fast, normal speed and slow. This way when set to the correct speed, sometimes the wacky inflatable tube men move fast and erratic and sometimes slow and graceful. The idea came from the movie 'He was a quiet man' at around 58 minutes as well as Family Guy. The 'skydancer' rental company let us film right there in their carpark. To date, this is our most viewed video.
In 2013, Damn The Maps were invited to headline a small music festival (Scorcherfest) in Adelaide. So we rented a Van, took our friend Scott Woodhouse and 2 cameras and filmed the trip there, the full show and the trip back. We may have been quite hung over on the way back. This was a super fun experience. We partied.
This was made for us by Mitch McKeever at Hum Radio Productions. An example of Soviet Montage Theory.
Made using archival footage from The Prelinger Archives. Mitch contacted us and asked if he could make us a video. So we shot the footage of Martin in Melbourne and sent it by post on a USB drive to the US where Mitch compiled the video. The chosen footage certainly emphasises the disdain for the day job expressed in the song.
Damn The Maps videos usually start with a simple idea, an editing trick, a new toy or a story.
I was making a video for a friend with a fixed camera and I noticed a neat effect when I cut between 2 pieces of footage. The subject seemed to flick around the screen like an animation. So we set up in a factory, gaffa taped the camera to the ground and filmed 5 takes of us playing the song. We then synched all 5 takes to the music and sliced them all up to the beats of the song and then cut between each video track. So it cut from video track 1 to 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3... etc. A very simple idea that took an afternoon to shoot and a month to edit. The film strip background was a slide projector with slices of the edge of film all cut up and placed into a single slide.
stare at the screen
Stare at the screen was our first attempt at using the greenscreen (blue screen back then) effect. We sourced blue overalls so that our bodies could be made of lightning etc and blue glasses and shot it in Martin's living room. The shot of people walking past was produced by actually setting up a blue screen on a real street in Melbourne and filming people walking past. We painted an old CRT screen protector green and hit it with a hammer at the end which looked like we had smashed in the TV. The vintage footage came from Prelinger archives. At the time, this video had more layers than anything we had done before so it took a long time to make.
the way it was
This video was made for us by the team at steeplejack creative in 2009. We filmed ourselves in a white room and then gave the footage to Stuart and the guys. From there, they printed out 5,500 frames to A4 sheets and using pencil, they rotoscoped the frames by hand. Then they scanned the images back in and recreated the footage. From there the footage was 'flown' in to a 3D landscape. Truly a remarkable effort and a spectacular result. This is a video we will be forever grateful for. Steeplejack Creative are Stuart Evans and Simon Hawkins.
All aboard was our foray into playing with time. It is a single 12 minute take shot at 1/4 speed and then sped up 400%.
The camera is mounted to Martin's chest and he is sitting in 2 shopping trolleys joined together. The trolleys are pushed along at a speed so that the events in the background line up with the correct parts of the song (mostly)
This was directed by Jarrod Riley. Lots of neat effects in this video like the possessed effect from horror films.
For more info on the making of this video, go here
the gods giggled
This video was made for us by Jarrod Riley. It was made from footage of Damn The Maps playing live shows in Melbourne circa 2007/2008 and mixed with filmed stormy footage.