posted on September 04, 2008 20:00
Today's feature is on Moth Complex and their recently launched video for Tied Up In Knots. Key Notes recently caught up with front woman Aoife O'Leary (or 'what's her face from Moth Complex' as the person who introduced us called her) to ask her about the making of the video.
Firstly who directed the video?
Tied Up In Knots was directed by Gerry Owens (Aoife's Moth CompleX co-writer). He, Ian Kane (video producer) and I began planning and storyboarding the video about 6 weeks before we shot it.
Where was it shot?
The shoot was meant to be in a disused warehouse on the outskirts of Dublin, but a couple of weeks before the shoot date, the roof fell in and everything fell apart… So I started asking everyone I know if they could think of any good locations. No luck. Eventually, in an ironic stroke of luck, my car broke down and I went up to Colm, my mechanic, who is based in Drimnagh, and while he was fixing my car I told him my story, and on the spot, he offered us the use of his garage.
Colm was brilliant - and so trusting as a whole crew of us not-very-normal-looking people arrived and took over his garage and livelihood. We hung lights from everywhere, covered walls, ceilings and floors with red sheets and filled the place with smoke. We had pulled in favours from everyone we knew – lighting pals, film pals, family pals – and were determined to make this video the very best we could…
We worked over a weekend in Colm’s garage, we did all the band performance stuff, my second verse stuff and also additional stuff, which I’ll come back to. It was so much fun, but also freezing cold being filmed in January in Dublin in a garage.
After we finished shooting, I decided to edit the video. I had never intended to. But as I done audio editing and the video was so important to me, I decided I could learn video editing software in order to edit the video. So I did. I knew that if I didn’t, I would have been seeing
someone else’s interpretation of it, and I wanted to see mine.
So after I did an initial edit of the video and I looked back at it, I loved everything but our footage for verse 1, which we originally shot against a white background. It just didn’t suit the rest of the video, to my mind. So rather than let it go, I decided to re-shoot it. So we rented a room, a load of lights, etc, and re-shot. Then I was happy.
So what was the concept behind Tied Up In Knots?
For the performance part, I wanted it to be about our band playing the song and for the verses, I wanted it to be about me singing the song. No concept as such. Just singing and performing a song that means so much to me. Nothing else. And the performance part was so much fun. We played the song over and over from different angles and it was so full-on, but in a different way to a gig or a rehearsal. And so focused. I loved it. Everyone was so “on”. Such intense energy. Gerry, the director, was shouting all the time we kept playing the song over and over 'keep close up in the camera, don’t block your face with your hands' etc. It was all brilliant. I’m sure I sound like such a novice, but I am, this was my first time to do anything like this.
Finally, how does the concept relate to the song?
The video edit that is out so far is just us performing the song, really. There is an additional part coming in a second edit. This came to me in the weeks before I began storyboarding the video with Gerry and Ian. I couldn’t shake the idea of someone being “tied up in knots” in the video. I kept fighting with myself. One part of me said that the idea was ridiculously obvious and unimaginative, so I kept rejecting the idea over and over, but somehow, I couldn’t shake it and it kept coming back to me.
So I suggested the idea to Gerry Owens, who the idea very much appealed to, and he expanded on it to an idea of having a girl, naked, suspended from a ceiling with rope and “tied up in knots”. Naked. Bare. Restricted. Exactly the emotional base of the song for me.
It looked amazing in storyboard – we threw around various ideas and Gerry, ultimately, came up with this comic book like drawing, and I laughed out loud thinking how cool it looked, but thought “who in hell will do this?” I didn’t want to do it myself. I loved the idea and in another circumstance, I’d be cool about doing it but I wanted to be singer in this video. Singing and performing a song that means so much to me. Nothing else.
So at that stage, we put the literal idea of Tied Up In Knots on hold. As it happens, I was dancing in a show at the time, as was a friend of mine. She was a big Moth CompleX fan and so supportive of me and the band and everything. Then one day, having tea and biscuits, she was talking to me about how she had been photographed naked for a “Suicide Girls” shoot recently. She spoke in such a relaxed and open-minded way and a bell went off in my head! I asked her if she felt like being “tied up in knots” and suspended naked from the ceiling in a garage for my video. She said she’d love that!! I explained the freezing cold (in a mechanic’s garage at the end of January, wearing no clothes, hung from ceiling with ropes meant for big boats, lads on the shoot working staring at her etc…) And she was still on for it!
So that is the footage that ties the concept to the song. Yes, that footage hasn’t appeared in the edit we’ve done to date. Not sure we could see MySpace or TV playing it so we did the first edit with the band first… But the second edit is on it’s way!