We met the gentlemen in Lucky & Wild over the summer of 2012, in preparation to work on the groups first music video for their at the time single Adult Life. Immediately we all clicked, hatching ideas for a love-induced nostalgic ridden story. We wrapped production within that month, and the video was released in June. Immediately after we began brainstorming for Maniacs.
"The song is generally about letting [other people’s perceptions] drive you insane, so we had to work with that. Then we came up with the idea to play organized criminals in the video," the band explains. "We combined those two ideas to form the plot and finished product. We can’t give away the plot but we can tell you that it involves lying, cheating, stealing, killing, and driving."-Lucky & Wild
Our initial idea had begun with a car, and we decided to let the car be the set for our story, and more specifically the backseat the stage. The animal masks had made an appearance in the Adult Life video, and seem to be developing a bit of iconography although having different meanings in each story. Here, they are literally masks to conceal an identity but in turn still reveal more about the creatures within; a lion and a rat. Unlikely duo but based on basic intuition we can create identities for these two, especially when a gun is revealed.
*As a discretion, I’d like to make a quick statement here. In film, or at least the film we love, there is nothing done without direction, meaning: everything has purpose deeper than visual aesthetic. I think a lot of video work has abandoned this idea and consequently desensitized our ability to recognize an actual idea, or meaning in most of the work we see. Cinematography is a language.
With that established, I can say that we wanted to pack this video dense in symbolism, but in a way that wasn’t distracting. We covered simple elements from Shakespearean tragedies, to greek mythology, to basic visual effects used in old film like projecting video of a road behind the car to simulate the sense of motion, but not hyper realistically. We wanted this initial sense that you were on a movie set, watching a story unfold; we wanted there to be zero sense of reality by playing with these different planes of existence: movie set to acting to story to finally real life at the end. It’s a journey I think we all take when watching and it’s hardly noticeable until brought up.
In layman’s terms this is a story of death, and betrayal; remorse and realization. Our protagonist driving doesn’t understand what’s happening, he’s confused and lost more in character the further he drives. He only acknowledges the woman without realizing that she is death; his death.
Maniacs had been the most exciting project we had the pleasure to produce and it’s safe to say that we only rose our way up to create on an even grander scale.
The video can be viewed here.