"If I’ve learned anything shooting in New York City, it's that people are un-phasable, if that’s a word," says Kim Schifino of the band Matt and Kim. This is the kind of knowledge one accrues after running through Times Square completely naked. Compared with that experience, filming the duo's latest video was a breeze. Well, the kind of breeze generated by swinging a GoPro around.
The video for "Let's Run Away" features Matt and Kim capturing a series of activities in the low-budget equivalent of swirly Matrix bullet-time. (Seriously, has no major pop culture reference replaced that one yet? No? Okay.) How much you enjoy the video will largely depend on how much you can stomach dizzying amusement park rides and catchy dance-pop jams. If the answer to both is "a lot," then meet your favorite music video of 2016.
Inspired by a viral skiing video from Nicolas Vuignier that coined the term "centriphone," the clip from the band's surprise EP, We Were The Weirdos, uses a swinging GoPro rig to get a panoramic, ever-shifting view of some playful band action. Getting it to work took some trial and error, though.
"Doing an initial test we realized the more movement and energy was in the shot the better it would look. If we were standing still there would be no effect," says Matt Johnson. "We shot a little of Kim dancing as she normally would and it just fell flat. She is dancing so aggressively in the shots that ended up in the video, she’s basically moshing with herself."
Beyond dancing, the duo also experiments with water balloon crotch-shots, a cavalcade of confetti, champagne showers, and other activities that look surprisingly cool with the centriphone method. Everything the band discussed filming for the video once the concept was on the table, they ended up trying out. Almost everything made it into the finished product too, except for the concert they attempted to film on stage this way , resulting in just a rotating shot of a festival tent ceiling.
They had much greater luck, though, shooting in the streets of New York City, where pedestrians pay no mind to sights like a famous indie rock duo doing a mad dash with a projectile camera. Luckily, nobody got hurt.
"We’d be spinning this coat hanger contraption as fast as we could. I swear it could take an eye out, and people would just not even stop for their own safety," says Schifino. "When they were almost in the radius we’d have to quickly just swing the thing into the ground to stop it."
Have a look at the slightly danger-forged video above, and maybe put on some goggles if you try this at home.