Demanding Excellence / by Nick Neon

Set Construction is complete.  

Late last summer.  I was recovering from a lot of pain + confusion and the only way I could make sense of it all... Was to turn it into art.  I pitched an idea to one of my favourite people, Nikolas Kite of Kite Flying Robot, to direct a music video for one of my favourite songs, "On Your Merry Way."  It was a very spontaneous + ambitious undertaking.  But it was so vital that I make this piece to set myself free.  

It would be a very simple fairytale with an even simpler lesson:

No matter how much you love someone, sometimes all you can do is let them go.

I promised myself that I would not settle for anything less than my exact vision for this clip. My twelfth music video project.  I would demand excellence from my team.  I wouldn't settle for good enough.  The final clip would utilize a mix of live-action miniatures, watercolour, CG animation + practical effects to tell a story of endless hope + the acceptance of loss.

We began pre-production at the start of December 2014.  We've since spent many a day preparing the art direction and building all the miniature sets with a very small team of people.  Four of us, to be exact.  #TeamCrown.  I love my team so much.  They have taken my very, very specific vision and they have been bringing it to life so selflessly and with passion.  Every week.  Little by little, we have been breathing life into a fantasy I dreamt up.  This is the first time in my life where a completely surreal vision I have had in my head, is coming to life right before my very eyes.  

I often wondered about the times I kept pushing everyone to do more, to go a little farther.  To break past their comfort zones.  Although, I would not show it... I felt guilty for asking them to push harder.  They were already working hard as it was, but here I was demanding blood.

Well, we have just wrapped on our miniature set construction. And seeing what we have created and how it will look on the big screen...  I have nothing but gratitude.  I love my team and I am so damn lucky.  From my initial sketches to the final character and set designs.  I can't believe it's all happening.  

We're making magic. And magic demands an exchange of blood.  I love my team.  Thank you Young Hwa, Sung Jun + Jung Woo for stepping into battle with me.  Thank you Nikolas for being one of my magic-making, ride-or-die partners in crime.  Not only are we all making magic...  But I have also made some new and beautiful friends along the way.

We shoot on April 18.  Time flies.  When you're having fun.  Time flies.  When you're not having fun.

Make whatever time you have worth it.

There is still so much left to do before the final clip comes together.  But we are most definitely on our merry way.  

XII