After an amazing cat collaboration with Miley Cyrus last year and delivering award-winning music videos for Jessie Ware, The Drums and Foster the People in the last six months, BRTHR are on top of their game. In this epic, climactic, feverish love tale starring the infamous ATL Twins, the brothers of BRTHR Alex and Kyle present an on point interpretation of Gems’ new track "Sinking Stone".
Where did you find inspiration for this bizarre, climactic love story?
BRTHR: Ultimately, if anything, we think it's the song that inspired everything. We randomly heard "Sinking Stone" by Gems on Soundcloud and knew we had to something crazy with it. It's such a cinematic track. Our concepts kept shifting around, and at first we wanted it to feel more cohesive in plot, but then we just totally ditched that idea and went to create something more abstract. We love the idea of centering films around mood, aesthetics, symbolism, and character, and we look up to work that does that well. This was one of those cases in which we just decided to fly out to LA with a loose narrative in mind, shoot everything we felt matched the film's mood, and come back to piece it all together. We were inspired to create something disjointed and surreal, like a fever dream.
How closely was Gems involved in the filmmaking process and how did they get involved?
BRTHR: Cliff and Lindsay were heavily involved during pre-production. We were bouncing around ideas for a long time, actually, and this was super helpful because we were able to grasp the sort of visual universe they wanted to be a part of. Cliff showed us all the films he likes, and a lot of it was old Japanese film noir. And then we just thought, "yes, we are definitely on the same page," which doesn't always happen so smoothly. They have great taste and that is so important. Such great people.
We officially started talking after I heard "Sinking Stone" at the gym on soundcloud. I was so blown away, I had emailed them right there and then about a collab. The next day they responded and seemed interested so we met up at their show in NY the following week.
How did you experience the process of post-production - was a lot of it pre-planned or did ideas come as you were working on the footage? Did you ever struggle staying on the right track during the edit, as you were working on a lot of different scenes that intertwine continuously?
BRTHR: This may have been the most difficult thing we've ever edited. We came back from LA with about 2TB of footage. It is definitely a mixture of pre-planned and spontaneous moments… But that's the exact sort of combination we were looking for. I mean, it was literally just the five of us and our producer, Ben, shooting manically all around LA. Our main theme in terms of the project was "fever dream", and we felt it was appropriate to work this way, although at times we were super stressed out. It was a struggle, but a great one. It's always difficult to edit scenes that intertwine continuously, but it's also the most gratifying as that's the sort of style we enjoy most.
What was the casting process like and how did the casting of the ATL Twins come about? What was it like working with them?
BRTHR: Kris Kidd, was a friend of a friend - now a great personal friend, and somehow we knew he was right for the part. He's a really great writer as well, and we had read his book, which really sort of made us pull the trigger in casting him. His book's called I Can't Feel My Face and we might even end up adapting it to a film one day, so stay tuned. It's great.
Krystal Schott is the girl, and we actually casted her an hour before our shoot, which is absolute insanity. We were so stressed out. The girl we had casted before her had bailed out due to the violent nature of the script: a family member of hers had committed suicide and that hit a sensitive spot for her. Then we saw Krystall's head-shots and we knew we had to cast her. Turned out she was actually just perfect for the role. She is such a great sport.
ATL, we met after we did Miley Cyrus' AMA visuals. They were at her after party and were waiting for a cab. So we approached them and they were surprisingly super chill. The next week we sent our portfolio out along with the treatment and they were on board. Those dudes are great to work with. Very enthusiastic. Also they loved the idea of doing their own stunts, which was funny and quite amusing.