The year was 1989. I was living in Wisconsin and working in one of those tourist recording studio places in Wisconsin Dells called “On Stage”. You know…where you go in, pay your $20 and get a recording of you doing audio or video karaoke to take home.
Well, management had gotten a call saying this band from Minneapolis was shooting a video nearby and could they come by and use the green screen room to shoot parts of their video. The manager said yes and recommended me as the best of their video operators.
And this is how I came to shoot parts of the Soul Asylum video for the song “Easy Street.”
The band and their entourage came in and briefed me on the storyline for the video and told me they wanted me to go wild with the green screen stuff. “Just change the backgrounds at will and try to get crazy close-ups and stuff,” was the direction I got from the video director. So that’s exactly what I did.
I zoomed in. I zoomed out. I even spent a take with the huge camera off the tripod, carrying it around to get some super weird angles. All in all, we did about 10-12 run-throughs of the song before the band called it quits. They all sat and watched them, thanked me for my “really great creative shots,” and then left to go have a late dinner.
Now, keep in mind, this is before the song “Runaway Train” made them uber-famous, so I was just like, “um…yeah…thanks!” LOL
I have never seen the finished product until a post I read at another blog this week about the band made me curious to see if it had ever been released. I first found it at youtube, and I was amazed at how much of my work made it into the video.
The shots of them in the plain room with all of the glass walls were shot by their video crew, but everything shot against the green screen with the crazy backgrounds is my work. Cool, eh? I also recognized the circus stuff as being shot at Circus World museum in Baraboo, which was like 10 blocks from my gramma’s house and the first place I ever worked in my life (as a magician’s assistant, if you must know).
Unfortunately, Universal had disabled embedding the youtube video elsewhere (boo hiss!). But digging further, I found it again at Yahoo! music, which does allow embedding (yay to yahoo!).
So without further ado, I present the video for Soul Asylum’s “Easy Street”:
[Edit: OMG!! I just watched it again and realized there's a spot at around 3:10 in the video where the camera swings around from the Dave and the band and you can see me at the camera for like a second. Sweet!]