August 27, 2011 by Scott Finley
Gagaism.org is proud to bring you this special interview with the mastermind behind the viral fan video to Lady Gaga’s ‘Bloody Mary.’ Read on to unlock the video’s mysteries and see exclusive behind-the-scenes pics!
Scott: I must also give special recognition to your choreographer and fashion designer. What is your relationship to them, personal or otherwise, and what was it like working with them? Did you collaborate much with them and did they collaborate with one another, or did they develop the fashions and choreography independently?
RC: Without them this project would probably fall to the ground. Actually, no, it would! They were FANTASTIC!
Bryan Hearns was the fashion designer for the project. He is definitely one of the most talented individuals I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. We shared mutual friends in high school, but I didn’t come to fully meet Bryan until pre production of SHICD. I was asking all my friends if they knew of anyone who could make costumes, and my friend Erika told me about Bryan and how he had just graduated FIDM.
So I literally contacted him weeks before the shoot and asked him to pull a miracle and create all the crazy costumes. He made all the costumes in a matter of a couple of weeks from New York, and I was jaw-dropped impressed. He was literally the first person I called when I had the video treatment for the video, and we went crazy discussing the outfits.
Bryan definitely kept me in the loop about the fashion side of the visual, and guided me through all of that. His work method is insane! He understood what I wanted and took it to another level. We definitely had some head-bumping moments and we are both very stern about what we wanted, but working with Bryan has helped me grow in many artistic ways and has been a phenomenal journey that I wish to continue.
Nicholas Kanyer did the choreography for the video. He was one of my dancers in the SHICD video, and I asked him to do the dances since his style is more contemporary, so I knew he would do a perfect job with making the slow dances ooze with eeriness. He brought in his own dancers and they were all a delight to have on set! Nick is amazing at what he does and is the biggest goof ball, especially on set. So, it was really fun to have him around, having him dance everywhere.
I explained my vision to both of them and basically gave them creative freedom and trusted them with carrying out that vision, but at the same time we all collaborated with one another, Bryan would check in with Nick to make sure the dance moves were compatible with the outfits and vice versa. All three of us were together at dance practices discussing what worked well from each field.
Scott: Did you and your cast and crew face any particularly difficult challenges in the making of this video? If so, what were they and how were they overcome?
RC: I think we faced every challenge that could have been thrown at us. The biggest was time and money. We prepared the shoot in a month, and we had a budget of 4,000 dollars that had to be dispersed appropriately to every department. It may sound like a lot but that money goes super fast! So we were always stressed about improvising and getting things to work.
We also decided to build our own sets, so we ended up making 35 movie flats, which was quite a challenge. I actually think the art department had the hardest time. They pulled off amazing elaborate sets with very little resources. Erika Alcoran, who was the production designer, literally invaded my house and took a bunch of paintings and a bunch of props that actually made it into the video. I was very impressed by how they used what they had and made amazing sets.
Scott: Similarly, were there any major challenges you faced in school before reaching your final project? How did you overcome them and what advice would you give to other film students facing difficulties with their lives and/or education?
RC: It was really hard to keep focused on the educational part of school because my mind was consumed with the project. I would leave things until last-minute which caused an intense amount of stress. I had to really prioritize and get things done as soon as they became apparent. The best advice I can give is DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. It is the worst thing you can do as a film-maker.
If I have learned anything at school is that preparation is key. The more prepared you are, the more time you have to concentrate on the creative part of your project, and you have less time to be consumed by everything else. You have to be on top of everything and take care of things when they are meant to, or else everything suffers, even your project.
Scott: Thank you for granting us this interview. We are so thrilled to present this story to our readers and show them the outstanding work you have done.
RC: I have to thank you again for showing interest in our project. I know our crew and cast appreciate it very much, and again we are just honored!
Excluse Hi-Resolution Photos: ‘Bloody Mary’ – Behind the Scenes!