1984 found the North Carolina music scene maturing. Record Bar, a very large and likable chain of record stores headquartered in Durham, had decided to get involved in the scene by creating its own record label. And why not. They certainly had the distribution as well as an explosive wealth of musical talent surrounding them. Two music videos for The Accelerators was my contribution to Record Bar's Dolphin Records.
I was to create a video for the song STILETTO, an interesting psychodrama written by lead singer Gerald Duncan. Since this needed a full concept video, I thought it would be fun to also shoot a performance video for LEAVE MY HEART. Of course this had to be shot inside to keep me and everyone else away from the February cold. And so I chose Record Bar's warehouse as the location. Most of the people you see are the folks that actually picked orders in the warehouse.
Gerald Duncan had written a psychodrama song of a psychotic slasher in STILETTO and wanted the video to be a mini movie. This gave me a chance to create something beyond the standard music video and so I was very up for the job. Actors were hired and a hellashish scheduled was put together to create what was described in the original script as "a flashback in a photo, in a news story, on TV (in a livingroom), in a movie, on TV." Yep, that describes it!
To get the image inside an image meant that I had to shoot a scene in the evening, edit it that night, and then play it back to include it in the shoot later that night or the next day. And I shot a second video, LEAVE MY HEART as a performance video a week earlier as part of the deal. And would direct the PKM concert a week later. Here's a diary of those very busy weeks.
Friday 02.10.84 - LEAVE MY HEART shot in one day at Record Bar Warehouse RMA-2 (10am)
Saturday 02.11.84 - STILETTO - VideoCraft Studios (Band) (12 Noon)
Sunday 02.12.84 - Set-up (4:30pm) Shoot starts at 6pm - Nash Park (Killer, Victim #1, Victim #2, Cop, Old Lady, Reporter); Set-up (10pm) Shoot starts (10:30pm) - House/Street (Old Lady, Cop) House Window (Killer)
Monday 02.13.84 - Edit all day & night scenes, band, Park/Street, House/Street, House window.
Tuesday 02.14.84 - Day Off.
Wednesday 02.15.84 - Set-up & Shoot (10am) - Pub (Killer, Victim #2, Photographer, Bartender, Extras), Set-up (5pm) Shoot starts 6pm - Living Room (Killer).
Thursday 02.16.84 - Edit again! Livingroom with House/Street.
Friday 02.17.84 - Set-up (10am) Shoot starts (11am) - Bar (Victim #3, Killer, Extras); Set-up and Shoot after the Bar scenes are complete - Bedroom (Victim #2).
Monday 02.20.84 - VideoCraft Studio (Knife CU for Slomo).
Friday 03.02.84 - PKM CONCERT - The Attic, Greenville, NC
03.20.84 thru 03.27.84 - Master Edit LEAVE MY HEART and STILLETTO
Not a lot of time to sleep. Or make mistakes.
STILETTO would be my last concept music video in Raleigh. I would produce and direct PKM in a live concert a week later. And then by August I was in Nashville. The Comboland scene was evolving. The original bands I worked with were breaking up. And so I split too. My next music video would not be until 1987, for the Cow Punk / Alt Country duo Foster & Lloyd TEXAS IN 1880. A small budget major label video (and finally shot on film!) that would win awards and put me in with the big budget star driven majors until I quit in 1994. Strangely, Foster and Lloyd would also be my last videos in Nashville, but as solo artists Bill Lloyd and Radney Foster.
As for the STILETTO shoot diary, there is one more entry.
Wednesday 03.28.84 - I sliced my thumb with the prop stiletto and was given four stitches. Also that day, the largest and most devastating tornado outbreak to affect North and South Carolina during the last century.
A fitting end.