By Joshua Koopersmith
Recently I helped out on a punk rock music video for the band ‘Sewage’ from New York City. I had seen Sewage perform live at the Tompkins Sq. Park 25th anniversary show so I was excited to work with them. They headlined the day’s performances playing after local favorite band ‘Team Spider’.
It’s a “low budgit” production. So the whole crew for the day was 3 people. The Director/DP: Directing, Camera and Lighting, Rachel: Make up/SFX person and myself: doing anything extra that was needed on set, generally what a PA does on set.
I got to the Director/DP’s apartment at 1 PM, which was my ‘call time.’ Soon to arrive was Rachel, who did the make up for the days shoot. I soon found out that Rachel and the Director/DP had meet at the Zombie Pub Crawl which had happened recently. (Part of the music video was shot at the Zombie Pub Crawl.)We headed over to the apartment of one of the band members. It was a quick walk. We arrived at the building and entered. The Director/DP, Rachel and I gave our IDs to the receptionist. After a few moments, a rather tall punk rocker with blonde hair was standing behind us and said the Director/DP’s name in a very mysterious tone. We turned around and Spike, the lead singer of Sewage, was standing right behind us. We went up the elevator and meet Roger (I later found out that the bassist of Sewage lives in the building.) After Roger was asked how he was doing he said ‘Well I’m alive’ and that he had coffee being made for us. Upon getting up to the floor of his apartment someone made a joke about Roger being a squatter. Rachel began applying the zombie make up to Spike. A few minutes later, the Director/DP and I took a walk back to his apartment to collect lights, gels, lighting stands and camera equipment and then headed back to Roger’s apartment.
We needed to make it to Astoria Sound Works and we were running a little late for the band’s scheduled playing time at the music rehearsal studio. Rachel left us just as we were leaving to head to Astoria. She gave them their final touches and some mint zombie bloody teeth goop. The Zombie make up looked awesome: Realistic looking flesh bloody wounds, Punk pins seemingly piercing through the skin. It was AMAZING. We took 2 subways (transferring once) to get to Astoria. The looks on people’s faces on the subway upon seeing the band as zombies was absolutely priceless.
We made it to Astoria Sound works and the band quickly set up and begun to play. The Director/DP had me set up a light that he used to make that cool light-moving-spotlight-effect that you can see in the video in the shots of the band performing. We had about 45 minutes at the space which didn’t seem to be too much of an issue. (If we had arrived earlier we would have had two hours at the rehearsal space). The Director/DP had his camera on a slider and took wide shots and close ups of all the band members playing ‘SEWAGE HI DEF’. It was a fun experience to have a private Sewage show in the midst of helping out!
The Director/DP then got some shots outside of the band members making scary faces. Then as zombies mauling one another and the Director/DP got his last shots of the day of the band walking through a dark alley in Astoria.
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***Contact email@example.com to get in touch with Rachel if you want her to do your make up! As you see, she’s amazing.