SA Life

Get CityMag in your inbox. Subscribe
April 4, 2024

How to make a music video with a stranger in 10 days

This weekend, music videos made in just 10 days will air on Channel 44. CityMag sat down with a filmmaker and musician to find out how they did it.

  • Words: Helen Karakulak
  • Graphic: Jayde Vandborg
  • Pictures: Supplied

For the Adelaide Fringe, Channel 44 and US filmmaker Norwood Cheek played matchmaker, partnering up filmmakers with local bands or musicians


10×10 music videos airing on Channel 44 and on-demand on CTV+
Saturday, April 6 at 9pm


That’s how Hepé Mateh met Jose Rafael “Maui” Mauricio. 

In February, Jess Foenander, vocalist of the band, told CityMag that as soon as he looked at the list of filmmakers, Maui stood out. 

The two connected and developed a thesis for their video, starting by choosing between one of two Hepé Mateh tracks and discussing the vibe they wanted to capture. 

A quote by composer Brian Eno was a feature of their early conversations and a throughline for their video. The full quote began by stating: 

“Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit – all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided.” 

With that in mind, they had their vision: a low-res, lo-fi production for Hepé Mateh’s then-unreleased track, ‘The Funky Drummer’. 

The camera in action.

So, Maui set out to find the perfect camera. 

He loaned a 2009 Sony Z7 camera from UniSA’s creative industries unit, but it wasn’t his first choice. 

“I borrowed an old mini DV camera…the one that I wanted was broken, but I was going for old anyway, I was going for vintage. You know how they shot 28 Days Later, that camera,” he says. 

“That wasn’t available. So Andre [Gostin, from UniSA] gave me the next best thing, which turned out to be the best thing.” 

The shoot itself was a one-day operation, clocking in at between eight to 10 hours.  

Maui says you can do so much more as long as you plan properly. 

We got everything that we needed because it was just me [shooting] and it’s a short song,” he says. 

Jess says Maui took the reins stylistically and the band trusted Maui, even if their acting felt awkward at times. 

“It can be tricky for a band to just walk around and stand there looking at the camera and be engaging, but I think in those times in like 90s in the 2000s there was quite a lot of clips like that in that kind of style,” Jess says. 


Connect with the band on Instagram.
Connect with Maui on Instagram.

But Maui brushes off any suggestion that the band didn’t step up in their acting. 

“I wanted it to be low-key. I didn’t want them to smile, I wanted to be offbeat,” Maui says. 

 “I’ve seen and been part of music videos of all varying degrees of quality, you guys weren’t awkward, what are you talking about?”

Jess says the nature of the challenge is a blessing in some ways, with such a short time frame for turning around a music video not letting them fixate on the little things for too long. 

“We were just so tired, honestly, that’s what was funny; I think we probably gave a better performance because we were tired, we didn’t have time to overthink anything,” Jess says. 

“Rather than movies that are super long, having a shorter project with heaps of freedom but a very limited time and less freedoms in a way, it’s a good mental exercise.”

Even though they had the full 10 days, Maui didn’t seem to need them, finishing the first version of the video within a day of filming. 

“I was so buzzed, Monster [energy drink] is really good, man… it kind of carried me on until midnight,” Maui laughs. 

Jess says the band saw a first cut land in their inbox 24 hours after we started and they “couldn’t believe it”. 

In the editing phase, Maui played with AI to look at how current technology responds to or proves the Brian Eno quote. 

Even with music like guitar distortions or for low fi different effects, the thing that we remember most about like a medium the moment it becomes obsolete are the flaws, so glitches, film scratches, noise, the grain, and eventually with AI once AI’s output becomes indistinguishable we will miss the mistakes,” Maui says. 

To show this, there is a scene where Jess begins to morph into a disfigured AI, and is deliberately made to look like “a kickflip in his body”. 

“It was a bit shocking to see my face, but it’s not my face,” Jess says. 

“It’s like everyone else’s face. together to create my face like a puzzle… I’m just like looking at him like, ‘that’s me, but it’s not me’, so it made me feel a bit strange.” 

Jess says seeing how that worked was a shock on the first watch, but once they talked it out he understood it fit their brief, and was Maui’s take on the quote they mentioned earlier. 

“Once that technology becomes obsolete, we do want to use it, like we want all that grain, we want that analog,” Jess says. 

“With AI it’ll get to a stage where you can’t distinguish it and then people will go, “I remember those days where we could tell the difference…yeah, I want those weird hands!’”

The music videos from the 10×10 project, including ‘The Funky Drummer’ will be on air on Channel 44 and on-demand on CTV+ on Saturday, April 6 at 9pm. 

Share —