Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Christopher Dallman Interview - "Gimme More" Video Shoot

Not only did CDC manage to get hold of Derek Woods - the director of the new "Gimme More" video - we also managed to steal some time from Christopher Dallman himself!

Christopher shares about how he met director Derek Woods and tells us some tidbits about the "Gimme More" video shoot.

CDC: What made you decide on working with Derek Woods for the the "Gimme More" video ?
Christopher: My good friend Elizabeth Uhl used to work with Derek's manager. When I released "Sad Britney" over a year ago, she sent him the record and he told her he had a client who might be a good fit to direct a video for one of the songs. So, she sent me to Derek's website and I watched his directors reel. I dug his visual style right away.

Liz set up a meeting and we had coffee one afternoon. We got along really well right off the bat. He explained his vision for the video and it sounded really good to me. He didn't sell me on a story so much as a visual scheme, and it felt like a really good 'next thing' for me.

CDC: Why did you decide to make a new video particularly for "Gimme More" and not any other song?
Christopher: Actually, it was his choice. Derek came to me with an idea for this particular song and I was all for it. I'm a big fan of working with people who are passionate about the material and want to bring their own angle to it. It made sense for my own journey because I get to show a different side of myself than I have before.

It's sleek and light and a little bit tongue in cheek without going over the top. I haven't gotten to 'do' that before and the songs that I write don't generally lend themselves to that kind of visual energy.

CDC: What was the most fun thing that happened when you were filming the video shoot?
Christopher: Well, we shot at a really fancy restaurant in Newport Beach, CA called The Ritz. It was closed, of course, but a manager from the place had to be on the premises to supervise and make sure we didn't do anything crazy. Halfway through the shoot, he took it upon himself to open up their dessert kitchen and started preparing all of these great desserts. He fired up some creme brulee and sliced us some cheesecake. It was such a surprise and soooo tasty.

CDC: And the most challenging?
Christopher: I suppose the toughest part was the fact that most of the shots were so close-up that my range of movement was pretty limited. I had to make sure my expressions were interesting to watch even though they needed to be kept pretty contained. Also, I'm used to relying on my eyes when I'm performing and there isn't really a single shot where you see them. So that was a bit of a challenge, but I think it paid off. It's a kind of different video!

CDC: The video took awhile to be released .. was there any particular reasons why?
Christopher: It didn't take that long to be released once it was shot, but it took us a while to schedule the shoot. We first met in January 2010 and didn't shoot until August. We just had a tough time making our schedules match up.

After finally shooting, I believe that the editing process was pretty labor intensive. It took a while to assemble the basic structure and then he had to choose which shots went where. I saw 3 cuts over the last several months and it's amazing how the subtle changes that he made transformed the video. Derek's attention to detail is really what makes the final product sparkle for me. It's just so tight and visually appealing. He's so talented.

CDC: How is the progress with the new album recording so far?
Christopher: Recording is going well. The new EP sounds very different from "Never Was" and it feels really good as an artist to be offering up some diversity. There is still a darkness in the writing, but the tone of the songs and the production itself is much more upbeat. I know which songs I'm putting on it and I think I know what order they will be in, but I'm a little stuck on the title - though, I still have two vocals left to finish, so there is plenty of time for inspiration to strike in that department.

I'm not sure when I will release it - sometime this spring, I guess - but I'm not in a rush. In some ways, I'm scared to put it out because it will mean the end of an era for me. I started recording this EP with George the same week I started at Redstar for "Never Was" and "Sad Britney", all the way back in 2009. With the production team for those two EPs, we had an agenda for release and worked hard to get the songs done in a timely manner without forcing the creativity. But George and I had no such aspirations, so we've been really laid back about scheduling studio time and we've only worked together a day or two every few months.

So soon all of these little seeds that I planted back in April of 2009 will have sprouted and, while it feels good, it's also a little sad and a little scary. It feels like the right time to find some new collaborators, but it's been such a blessing to have worked with the friends who have helped me with "Never Was", "Sad Britney", and this new record.


Such exciting news about Christopher's new album, don't you think?

I'm sure we are all patient enough to wait till it's ready to be unveiled... Right? ;)

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