by Michael Todd
Rarely do audio and video reach an emotional climax together as well as they do here.
Filmed outside Mexico City, this music video for Eli Mardock's "Cut Me Open," off the NE Sorrow is Born EP, follows what seems to be a family of three as they drive down the highway. It opens with a beautifully shot underwater angle, cuts to another camera pointed to the sky and then hits the road without any explanation for those first two seemingly unrelated scenes. With the first chorus, the contemplative visual accompanying the verse gives way to a joyous high point as the female character extends her upper body out the passenger window and smiles back at the boy, smiling, shouting and mirroring her actions.
"Erik contacted me in June about his idea for the video," Mardock says of the director, Erik Zavala, now in pre-production on his debut feature film, Monkey. "He was a fan of Eagle Seagull and had just heard 'Cut Me Open' and loved the tune and wanted to make a video that was personal to him, that he was committed to in 'soul and mind.'
"The video was shot in one day in September in a place called Las Estacas, an eco park about two hours outside Mexico City. Erik shot the video in a sort of retro, melancholic look because that's the sensation he got when he first heard the song — he had an image about a boy hopelessly chasing a distant feminine figure."
We'll let you discover the rest of the story as the rise and fall of the music mirrors the video:
Starring Aidan Vallejo, Daniela Mosca Steinhauer, and Alexandre Doyhamboure
Produced by Paco Arriagada
Cinematographer: Manuel Caballero
1AD: Eduardo Clorio
Production manager: Luli Monsalvo
Styling and makeup: Maripaz Sandoval
Sub-aquatic camera operator: Pedro Westendarp
Special thanks to: Carrie Mardock, Adam Butler, Jordan Ellis, Jazz Vallejo, Rodolfo Velez, Alicia Castillo and Pedro Avila, Comision de filmaciones de Morelos, Venancio Lopez, Las Estacas, Lic. Nancy Gomez Flores, Santa Isabel, family and friends.
Michael Todd is Hear Nebraska's managing editor. He measures the power of music and videos by the number of goosebumps they give him. He estimates this video to have scored a 1,603, which puts it close to the top of the list. Reach Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.