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Behind the Video: Miranda Joan Discusses the Clip for Her Tribute Song to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

We connect with Miranda Joan for a Behind the Video interview about the clip for her Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson tribute song, “I Love You, Dwayne.”

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Although he’s been internationally popular for over two decades now, with each passing year, it seems that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson somehow keeps becoming increasingly popular. Lately, he’s been ruling the box office as the lead in the DC comic book movie Black Adam, and the public just seems like they can’t get enough of the wrestler-turned-actor.

You can count Miranda Joan as a big Johnson fan, so much so that she recorded a song in tribute to him titled “I Love You, Dwayne.” The single is significant for the Canadian singer-songwriter, for it reveals a different side of her personality with the more comedic and playful tone she took when writing and recording the tune. In writing the song, Joan was drawn to Johnson’s life story and his persistence and values. A family-loving individual, Johnson’s work ethic is unmatched, and that’s been the case since long before his popularity really began to blossom as a WWE wrestler in the late 1990s. She was also delighted by his Canadian roots as a former Canadian Football League player before his wrestling career and his father’s history as a Nova Scotian-born Black Canadian.

With Joan having recently released the official music video for “I Love You, Dwayne,” we connected with her for our latest Behind the Video interview to discuss the background and concept behind the clip, the shooting process, and how the video relates to the song.

Who directed the video?

Miranda Joan: “The video was directed and shot by Alexandra Martin. We have worked together on many projects, including three music videos and many photoshoots. She is a true partner in crime, and much like our previous projects, it was a very collaborative experience. I love what she does, I love her energy, and I love working together. It is really the best to have great friends who are also extremely talented; it never feels like work and looks a lot more like play.”

Where did the concept/idea for the video come from?

“The concept for the video blossomed from the concept of the song, which is a parody love song to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. It started as a joke gone rogue between my brother and I while we were separated during lockdown, and no one knows how to run a joke into the ground harder than us. And so the video was born after a couple glasses of wine and a peruse through the cardboard cutouts available of The Rock online. From there, I started to build on an idea around the video that volleyed between shots of myself and the Dwayne cutout and the classic Dwayne ‘90s look, which is what’s featured as the album art.”

Where was it made?

“The video was shot in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I am Canadian and split my time between New York and Vancouver, but at the moment, I’m based in Brooklyn. We chose these neighbourhoods firstly because Greenpoint is where my friend lives and where we had roof access to shoot and secondly because there is a lot of outdoor space in these neighborhoods that were going to work well with our shot ideas.”

  • miranda_joan_BTS of roof set up for filming
  • miranda_joan_A rock amongst rocks
  • miranda_joan_Miranda & director Alexandra Martin
  • miranda_joan_MirandaRock_1602
  • miranda_joan_Shooting in Brooklyn
  • miranda_joan_Getting ready to pop the Teremane tequila

What was your favourite part behind the creation of the video?

“The entire thing was a blast start to finish. I mean, a group of women carting around a life-size cutout of The Rock, eating pancakes, drinking tequila, and watching me doing whatever ideas popped into our heads, it’s hard to go wrong. I do think a highlight for me, though, was dressing up as an actual rock for the ‘you are my rock’ drone scenes we did amongst a bunch of rocks by the shoreline in Brooklyn. It just made me laugh!”

If you could get one actor to play in one of your videos, who would it be?

“Not to be extremely on the nose here, but the question sort of answers itself. If I could get one actor to play in one of my videos, it would be Dwayne! My dream is a remix or extended cut that features The Rock, and we go full throttle on an alternate video!”

Is there any part of the process you’d do differently now?

“I would try to avoid shooting a music video on a roof with a giant canvas screen while the aftermath of a hurricane is blowing through… If you watch the video, you’ll see in some of the green screen shots that the background is moving. We did the lip-sync part in three takes because the wind was really picking up, and we were growing increasingly concerned that the backdrop would double as a sail and fly off into the streets of Brooklyn. We had sandbags and people holding down either side!”

Any mishaps on set?

“The hurricane piece was unfortunate, but another mishap that sticks out is that my creative producer Mikaela Gauer ate a wasp. We had cans of coffee for the morning, and she’d put hers down on the ledge of the roof where we were shooting the first scene and right before we began she went for a sip, and a wasp crawled out from the can into her mouth and stung her! It was out of a horror movie! We recovered, but it was unfortunate, to say the least.”

If money was no issue, what would be in your perfect video?

“If money was no issue, I think more time would be a part of my perfect video process. Being independent and self-financed, we had to do the best we could in a day. Simply coordinating everyone’s schedule was a challenge because when you don’t have a big budget, it’s hard to lock people down far in advance. I did my best to prepare, to write a production timeline and shot list ahead of the shoot, but the actual logistics and shooting all came together quite last minute. Everyone was available, and we just had to go for it.

“All to say, I think money helps with that side of things, as well as having the luxury to stretch the shoot out over a couple of days versus a mad dash from sun up to sun down. We had a great time, and I’m really happy with how it turned out, though, so everything in perspective!”

Artwork for the single “I Love You, Dwayne” by Miranda Joan, photo by Mikaela Gauer

How does the music inform the video in terms of visuals matching sound?

“In my mind, the video is another opportunity to tell a story or establish a vibe. In this case, the hope for the video was really to land the joke. If you listen to the song and aren’t too up on your WWE Smackdown references or The Rock’s life, you might just think it’s a sexy song for some guy named Dwayne. The music, in this case, has a throwback, sexy kind of vibe, which in part inspired the choice to go for the classic ’90s Dwayne look as the reoccurring aesthetic of the visual, and it also informed the editing choices to go for those zooms and cuts scenes you see and to lean into the comedic side of the music.”

As far as the production crew goes, who did it include, and how did you put together the team?

“The crew for this video was an all-female team, largely made up of Canadian transplants landed in New York. It’s also important to note that this team is also made up of friends, and it would not have been possible to pull this off without their talent, energy, love, and support. Every piece matters, and not only did they each nail their respective pieces, it was also an incredibly hilarious and fun day. To make art with people you love is a big gift, and this was certainly one of those moments.”

The team is as follows:

Director of Photography – Alexandra Martin
Creative Producer – Mikaela Gauer
Editor – Olivia Gee
Hair and Makeup – Renee Orshan
Stylist – Savannah Scott
Production Assistant – Aviva DeKornfeld

Born in 2003, V13 was a socio-political website that, in 2005, morphed into PureGrainAudio and spent 15 years developing into one of Canada's (and the world’s) leading music sites. On the eve of the site’s 15th anniversary, a full re-launch and rebrand takes us back to our roots and opens the door to a full suite of Music, Film, TV, and Cultural content.

Alternative/Rock

Behind the Video: WESSON Discuss Their “Made Me Happy” Music Video

British alternative rockers WESSON join us to discuss the importance of music videos, including their clever new video for “Made Me Happy.”

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Wesson, photo by Nicholas O’Donnell

Relatable, meaningful, and just plain catchy, WESSON has been gaining a lot of supporters lately. Beyond individual tastes and preferences, the most important element of being in a band is the sheer feeling of a need to make music. That would describe this British alternative rock band led by singer-songwriter Chris Wesson. The quartet formed under a simple circumstance: four men who needed to make music as part of their everyday lives. They each individually have their own partialities, but passion is what is the motor behind WESSON. Their sound is a mix of pop, punk rock, and indie rock with a gritty rock undertone.

WESSON has been enjoying some breakout success over the last year with a string of successful singles. Fans really began to take notice of the band upon the release of their “Voices” single last year. This was followed up by “Made Me Happy,” an infectious indie rock anthem inspired by personal life experiences. It’s those everyday life events which WESSON successfully are able to tap into. They take a very organic approach to songwriting, which gives their music a very honest twist. Wesson’s ultimate goal is for you to feel inspired to be true to yourself, live the way you want to live, and not be scared to be yourself.

Part of what helped make “Made Me Happy” a hit for the band was its rather original video. We spoke with drummer Dale to discuss the video, the ideas behind it, the creative process, how it came along, and more.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do or seen being done during the making of a music video?

“For ‘Made Me Happy,’ we were all wearing black Morph suits and had to do funny disco dance moves. We didn’t choreograph the dance moves; everybody just did whatever they felt like. Also, we were wearing these big masks with the smiley faces on, which was a pretty strange experience! We seem to have a habit of this, as we were also wearing gas masks while performing our video for ‘Breathing In.’”

Was there anything during the making of this (or any other) music video that happened unexpectedly, or you were surprised to learn?

“Chris didn’t realize how the black lights would work with the fluorescent strips. So once everything was set up, and we turned on the black lights, he was really impressed to see how vibrant they were.”

What’s your favourite thing about music videos?

“We love seeing the end result. When the first draft comes back, it’s always a lot of excitement to see how it turned out. We love how filming is like a band day out. It’s an experience, it’s good fun, it’s team building! It’s something that people don’t normally get to do.”

Which genre do you think makes the best music videos?

“We love videos with energy, that are just fun. Pop/punk bands like Green Day, Blink-182, and Sum 41 have videos that are silly and entertaining. They are clearly just having a good time and enjoying themselves.”

Wesson BTS Katie Mayer (@katiemayerphotography)

Wesson BTS Katie Mayer (@katiemayerphotography)

Any mishaps on set?

“Plenty!

“During the ‘Made Me Happy’ video shoot, the fluorescent strips weren’t sticking to our outfits. Luckily we had a different type, and that just about worked!

“The dry ice machine in our video for ‘Breathing In’ didn’t have a power cable wired in, so we had to do it on the day.

“We borrowed a motorbike for ‘Stay Or Leave,’ and it wouldn’t turn on. We had to wheel it in, instead of riding it in.”

Any concepts where you started and midway through thought, “What the fuck are we doing?”

“Basically all of them. Especially for Callum and Jimmy. I remember hearing Jimmy once literally saying the words, ‘What the fuck are we doing?’

“The whole band doesn’t always know the full extent to a video concept until the day and so they are sometimes very surprised.

“We were planning a music video recently for our single ‘Second Chances.’ We very nearly all ended up in fruit costumes, dancing around on a greenscreen. In the end, we scrapped this concept, just in time!”

If you could have any guest appear in your video, who would you have?

Sting and Kevin Costner.

“We basically love Sting and The Police, so would love to have him involved one day. We have a song called ‘Call the Police’ which will be on our second album. Sometimes, we joke about how we’d call Sting and get him to come and perform it live with us.

“We’d love to do a big budget music video and have Kevin Costner as the main character. We just think he would fit in with our aesthetic.”

Do you prefer writing a video around the theme of a song or just going to a warehouse and banging out a live performance?

“They are both great and it’s hard to choose.

“Writing a themed video is great because it’s fun to explore the storyline and imagine how it’ll look in the end, then seeing that come to life. It’s good to mess with ideas and it’s exciting to see the possibilities and push our limitations.

“Doing a live performance is easier because it’s less stressful generally, giving us a better chance of having something usable afterwards. Doing a video like ‘Unhappy Ever After,’ ‘Made Me Happy,’ or ‘Breathing In,’ which have some cool visual elements, are a mixture of the two. Which I think is the best thing for us.”

Wesson ‘All We Are’ album artwork

Wesson ‘All We Are’ album artwork

What is your favourite childhood music video, and do you have any secret nods to it in your catalogue?

“‘Take On Me’ by A-ha. This was such a groundbreaking video at the time. I was very excited watching it for the first time at maybe 10 or 11 years old. It was so futuristic!

“‘Money for Nothing’ by Dire Straits. It was cutting edge technology and also looked futuristic. We are just generally inspired by these videos, but haven’t tried to give a nod to them.”

Is a well-made DIY video just as good or beneficial as a professionally made/directed video?

“Absolutely, if you know what you’re doing. What we are seeing at the moment is that a more natural and organic video sometimes seems to inspire our audience more than the bigger budget videos, which creates a separation and makes us seem like something we’re not.”

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Behind the Video

Behind The Video: EB & The Deadlights Talk Through Their Ghoulish “Hollow Eyes” Music Video

In this new Behind The Video interview, shock rockers EB & The Deadlights take us behind the scenes of their new video for “Hollow Eyes.”

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EB & The Deadlights

Since the early days of the genre, horror and rock/metal have gone hand in hand with the end result, seeing everyone from Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden to Rob Zombie and Slipknot turning their sinister ideas into visual masterpieces.

Taking inspiration from the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie, Belfast goth/rock crew EB & The Deadlights have put their own twist on the genre for their latest video, “Hollow Eyes.”

Too good an opportunity to pass up, V13 spoke to Ethan to get all the ghoulish details from the video shoot in the latest edition of Behind The Video.

What’s the concept behind the video? Help us to understand the video’s concept in more detail and how it ties into the lyrics.

Ethan: “I (Ethan), for the most part, handled the directing of it, but it is usually a team effort at the end of the day. I always roughly have an idea of what the video will include, and then Luke Carlise, who films, as well as the rest of the guys, throw their thoughts in when they have an idea.”

Did the band have a concept in mind based on the song, or was the video creator given full reign to come up with a suitable visual companion?

“We had this full concept built around the album, but I think if we were to really try and pull it off how we wanted, we would’ve needed about a 5k budget minimum for video, haha! We started this mini concept of all the videos being tied in about this guy who is basically losing his mind and can’t differentiate whether it’s in his head or real. ‘Hollow Eyes’ is the wrap-up of that storyline and sort of shows someone who’s reached the edge of the cliff and decides to jump, for lack of a better term.”

Where was it made?

Carindhu House, which, coincidently, is apparently one of the most haunted houses in Northern Ireland.”

EB & The Deadlights - Behind The Video Photo 1

EB & The Deadlights – Behind The Video Photo 1

What was your favourite part behind the creation of the video?

“All of it, probably. To be honest, this is probably my favourite video we’ve done. The whole day was just very fun, also to see the end product turn out more or less exactly how we visioned it is a very good bonus.”

Based on how this one was made, are you looking forward to doing another?

“Honestly, I personally could give or take videos. I do enjoy them for the most part, but I think if I got told I would never have to do another, I wouldn’t be overly concerned. I’d love to fully take the director seat someday when we have the budget to do so and have actors take part and fully fledge out our own mini movie to our music; that would indeed be very cool, but other than that, I’m not overly fussy.”

Was there anything during the making of this (or any other) music video that happened unexpectedly, or you were surprised to learn?

“Well, the Carindhu House place is extremely creepy and obviously, your mind goes into overdrive in places like that if you start panicking and you thinking you might’ve heard something coming from the opposite direction from everyone, or maybe that’s just me. To be honest, I didn’t look into the location much beforehand. I just assumed it was an old abandoned house, not an old abandoned mansion that was used as a military hospital and is supposedly the most haunted house in the country!”

What should a music video set out to accomplish? Do you feel like yours did that?

“In my opinion, you should be getting more eyes onto the song; putting out a video is all well and good, but if it doesn’t benefit the actual music, which, let’s face it, is your product to sell to people at the end of the day, then it is pretty pointless. I like to think ours have complimented each song they’ve been done for, at the very least!”

What do you hate about music videos? What did you wish there was less of? What could the medium do away with?

“Honestly, as I said earlier, I could get told I’d never have to do another video, and I wouldn’t lose any sleep at night, even though, for the most part, I do enjoy them. I mean, for us, if we aren’t shooting near someone’s house or a bathroom, we have to sit in our cramped cars and try to fumble on a face of makeup, that’s usually quite awkward to get done. Other than that, no real complaints.”

What is one thing you absolutely refuse to do for a video that everyone else seems to be more than happy doing?

“Honestly, again, nothing really. We usually have some form of blood involved in one way or another, and I think I’ve had either a beating or a death to be on the receiving end of in our last 4 consecutive videos, so I’m pretty much open to most things as long as it isn’t a god awful idea.”

EB & The Deadlights - Behind The Video Photo 2

EB & The Deadlights – Behind The Video Photo 2

What is one thing you’re more than happy to do for a music video that everyone else seems to absolutely refuse to do?

“Again, honestly, I’m not too sure. I know some of the guys are a bit standoffish when it comes to using blood, but when you’re in a horror band, there’s not much can be done about that!”

Is there any part of the process you’d do differently now?

“Not really, for things like videos, we’re always usually quite prepared and know what we have to do, and it’s just a case of getting it done. We’ve had a few lineup changes, but I think even the newer guys, like Reuben & Reece, have seen how myself and Mac usually operate at them, and it’s just the general vibe of ‘Right, let’s get this done.’”

Which statement seems most true to you: Music videos are a “high” form of art; music videos are a “low” form of art; music videos can be “high” or “low” art; it doesn’t matter, all art is art; it doesn’t matter, nothing really matters.

“Oof, that got unexpectedly deep towards the end. I think they can be a high or low form of art it just depends what you are doing. Honestly, the video should complement and fit the theme of the song. Like, if we do a song like ‘Hollow Eyes’ then have this big happy, positive video for it, it doesn’t really work. Everything needs to complement everything else.”

EB & The Deadlights - Behind The Video Photo 3

EB & The Deadlights – Behind The Video Photo 3

Any mishaps on set?

“Well as I said earlier about the cymbal stand thing for ‘Heaven Into Hell’, that stumped us a bit. The first video we ever shot for our song ‘Empty Frames,’ our guitarist at the time brought a speaker to play the song through, which didn’t work, which obviously made us all panic, but we got there in the end. I think we’ve been pretty fortunate for the most part, we’ve used a real knife in most of the most recent videos, so I’m honestly just happy no one’s gotten stabbed!”

Any concepts where you started and midway through thought, “What the fuck are we doing?”

“I think that’s just a part of being a band like ours! Honestly, not really we’ve gotten everything done for the most part, but when we looked at the album concept then started planning how to bring that to life, I think we sort of realised that we just didn’t have to budget to pull it off and make it not look terrible unfortunately.”

For more information on EB & The Deadlights, visit their Official Facebook Page.

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Alternative/Rock

Behind The Video: Daedric Take Us into the Haunting World of Their “Coldharbour” Music Video

In our latest Behind The Video interview, Daedric take us into the haunting world of their music video for the single “Coldharbour.”

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Daedric

A creative venture from Dallas/Fort Worth-based vocalist and artist Kristyn Hope, Daedric draws inspiration from an eclectic array of sources, including David Bowie, Anthony Green of Circa Survive, Sia, and the popular open-world role-playing game series Elder Scrolls, from which the Daedric name is derived.

Late last year, Daedric released the haunting music video for “Coldharbour.” In the latest of our Behind The Video series, we sat down with Kristyn to talk about the video, the inspiration, how it came together and much more.

Before you head into the interview, check out the haunting video for “Coldharbour” below

Who directed the video?

Daedric: “‘Coldharbour’ was directed by Brittany Davis, Clay Schroeder, and Kristyn Hope in a collaborative endeavor to bring together striking aesthetics and modern music.”

What’s the concept behind the video? Help us to understand the video’s concept in more detail and how it ties into the lyrics.

“The concept behind ‘Coldharbour’ is recreating an atmosphere found in The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim that feels almost like a cold and desolate hellscape. I wanted to focus on texture and movement to highlight expression and emotion from the song.”

Video Still from Daedric’s “Coldharbour” Music Video

Video Still from Daedric’s “Coldharbour” Music Video

Where was it made?

“We filmed in two locations: a public park/forest and my own kitchen. All of the wide outdoor shots were shot in a mesquite tree forest behind a dog park, where we shot close to sunset in order to achieve a dull twilight look throughout the video. The closer shots of the faces were all done in my kitchen using fabric and an Aztec clay mask for textured effect.”

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever had to do or seen being done during the making of a music video?

“I’ve done a lot of strange things for the sake of art and music, but I have no shame about it. For this video, I walked around the public park with massive layers of black fabric encasing me, so I’m sure I looked terrifying. A couple kids stopped to ask what we were doing, and I told them I was haunting the woods.”

Video Still from Daedric’s “Coldharbour” Music Video

Video Still from Daedric’s “Coldharbour” Music Video

What should a music video set out to accomplish? Do you feel like yours did that?

“A good music video should tell the story or vibe of the song it’s created and paired with. It should make the audience feel strong emotions or even ask questions about themselves. I do feel that the ‘Coldharbour’ music video echoed the song and enhanced the emotions for anyone watching and listening.”

Is there any part of the process you’d do differently now?

“What would I do differently? I would film when it’s not super hot outside so I don’t feel like I might suffocate and pass out while performing.”

If money was no issue, what would be in your perfect video?

“If money was no issue, I would hire a VFX artist to create hyper-realistic landscapes and creatures to further cement the otherworldly feeling I’m aiming to establish with Daedric’s visual art. I want dinosaurs, dragons, spirits – you name it, I want it.”

Do you prefer writing a video around the theme of a song or just going to a warehouse and banging out a live performance?

“There’s absolutely a time and place to produce a performance-only video, but I will always prefer to fabricate narratives that add to the track. I’ve always been a visual artist, and I don’t think that’s something I can let go of easily.”

Video Still from Daedric’s “Coldharbour” Music Video

Video Still from Daedric’s “Coldharbour” Music Video

Is a well-made DIY video just as good or beneficial as a professionally-made/directed video?

“When a DIY video has the right minds and determination behind it, it can be just as striking as a full-production video. It’s quality over quantity every time, and if you have one brilliant person on a project versus ten unmotivated people, the one person is going to outperform the others.”

For more information on Daedric, visit their Instagram Page.

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