DIRECTOR JOSHUA NICHOLS CREATES COSMIC LIGHTSHOW FOR LATEST PINBACK MUSIC VIDEO
Barren Desert is the Perfect Canvas for Director's Music Video Debut.
LOS ANGELES -- First-time music video director Joshua Nichols brings his sci-fi savvy to the desert for "From Nothing to Nowhere," the brand-new video for indie rock band Pinback. "From Nothing to Nowhere" is the first single off of their new album, "Autumn of the Seraphs." Nichols set out to create a visually astonishing performance piece. Knowing that location would be everything, he took the band to one of the most magical and remote places he could find: a dry lake bed in El Mirage, California.
The video features Pinback performing in the desert at night, bathed in massive floodlights. The dead calm takes on an otherworldly quality; the landscape appears almost moon-like. As the song builds, the dark skies illuminate and a mysterious Aurora Borealis forms above. The cosmic phenomenon mirrors the song's uplifting and mystical sound. As the song plays, the Northern Lights evolve and become more complex in form. When the song reaches its climax, the video features a wondrous, visual effects sequence in the nighttime sky. The end result is a powerful and moving counterpoint to the lyrics, shot with a sharp artistic flair.
Although Nichols had never shot a music video, the band discovered him through his previous commercial work at the SCI FI Channel, where he directed spots for the series "Battlestar Galactica" and "Stargate SG-1." "Pinback are huge science fiction fans and wanted to collaborate with a director that shared their interests," said Sara Tolbert of Touch and Go Records. "It didn't hurt that he wrote a killer treatment, either," she added. "What he set out to accomplish was very extraordinary and ambitious—and he delivered."
After being awarded the video, Nichols was determined to give Pinback a grand, cinematic showcase despite the limited budget of only $10,000. "I didn't want the video to have a lo-fi-look—I wanted to shoot on 35mm film. We virtually spent the entire budget on film stock and processing," said Nichols. "If we just captured the band rocking out at night in the middle of the desert, I knew we would have something special." Nichols went for a minimalistic approach: "We didn't have an art department, we just focused on keeping it pure and simple. It was about the band performing in this beautiful environment."
Nichols enlisted friend and cinematographer Larry Dolkart. "I've shot at El Mirage before, but never at night," said Dolkart. "It took on a very surreal quality." The production crew was even greeted by a curious baby coyote who checked out all the action.
Nichols was looking to create a lush, gorgeous look for the Aurora Borealis sky, so he turned to former collaborators Rezn8 for visual effects duties. "The challenge was to create a sky that starts off natural and evolves into the supernatural at the conclusion," said Jim Steinhaus of Rezn8.
When Touch and Go received the final video they proclaimed "it was the most stunning video we've ever received." Not bad for the first time.
Born and raised in New York City, director Joshua Nichols has worked as a graphic designer at Condé Nast and MTV, and as an art director and producer at the SCI FI Channel. He has won accolades from The One Club, The Art Directors Club, and the Broadcast Design Association. He currently lives in Los Angeles and is a Creative Director at Fox Sports. For more information see www.joshuanichols.net.
Director : Joshua Nichols
Producers: Marsha Hunt, Joshua Nichols
Director of Photography: Lawrence Dolkart
1st AD: Byan Delorenzo
Gaffer: Barry Gross
Best Electric: Harry Slyders
Electric: John Tanzer
Key Grip: James Madigan
Best Grip: Adam Lozuk
Grip: Kevin Hites
Production Assistant: Andy Dardaine
Editor: Christopher Gernon
Visual Effects: Rezn8
Senior Creative Director: Seton Kim
Design Director: Tom Palmer
Animator: Travis Yohnke
Animator: Dave Thompson
Executive Producer: Jim Steinhaus
Special Thanks: Sara Nichols