Music Video Treatment
Artist - Anthony D'Amato
Track - No Not Tonight
Insomniac Llewyn Davis meets Mr. Magoo
Marc is a down-and-out musician just trying to make it through the day. His girlfriend has left him, he’s not booking any gigs, and he hasn’t slept for days. Shit.
Marc needs to keep moving to stay afloat, to physically dodge a profound sense of sadness. When he's moving, things don't feel so bad. He half-stumbles, half-dances down the street. But the moment he stands still, the weight of the world crushes him.
No rest for the weary, and Marc is very weary.
Meanwhile, D’Amato is peppered throughout Marc’s world: busking on the corner, gigging at the neighborhood pub, or casually strumming as the sun sets. Only with D’Amato’s help does Marc have a shot at peace. Maybe he'll finally get some rest.
We fade in on Marc, tossing in his bed. Dead eyes. He hasn’t slept a wink. Marc reaches over to grab his girl. Nothin’. Just a pillow. He swings his legs over the bed and inhales sharply. His eyes open wide and his head bobbles. Here’s a hint of stylization: not quite choreography but not quite naturalism, in the Kuperman Brothers aesthetic. Too fluid for real life and hitting some accents, but very subtle. Here's a video example, which is still dancy-er than needed:
Jump cuts of Marc pulling on clothing. He grabs his jacket and stumbles out the door. The camera pulls Marc down the street. Mr. Magoo-style, he narrowly avoids a woman with a baby stroller and ducks under some low-hanging scaffolding. The antithesis to Richard Ashcroft in the music video for “Bitter Sweet Symphony.”
As he stumbles along, his erratic, tired footsteps somehow line up with D’Amato’s rhythms. As the chorus approaches we switch to a reverse POV shot, à la SnorriCam:
We experience Marc’s loose, chaotic movement the way he does. Then…
Marc grinds to a halt (and so does our SnorriCam). As the chorus reaches its climax, he closes his eyes and unexpectedly walks out of frame. How did he free himself from the SnorriCam? Behind him, we rack focus to D’Amato, busking on the street corner. D’Amato finishes the chorus and plays a few licks. There is a striking resemblance between D’Amato and Marc. Are they wearing the same clothes? Pretty much, yeah.
Marc stumbles into a diner and sits at the bar. He opens the newspaper someone left on his seat and notices an ad that reads: “Keep Moving.” He tosses it aside.
Cut to a bird’s-eye view of Marc impatiently spinning his coffee cup in the saucer. He brings it to his lips… “It’s just a drink, until you’re drunk,” and we flashback to a bar from last night. Bird’s-eye view again of Marc spinning his (now) beer, but at a crowded pub. Marc places his guitar next to him. He eyes the door, looking for someone. A big bearded dude enters. Not who he was hoping for. He grabs his drink and makes his way through the crowd, forgetting his guitar by his seat. He balances his beer gracefully and glides past a group of D’Amato fans. D’Amato’s gigging on stage:
“The forest burns, but it grows back.”
We’re back on the SnorriCam. Marc dances wildly, anonymous among the crowd. It's joyous. It's free. Cut to his lonely guitar by his empty stool at the bar. Suddenly, we're back to present-day: Marc back at the diner, remembering all of this as the music hits its rest. Shit – he forgot his guitar!
“No, not tonight."
He runs out of the diner.
Instrumental Break. We jump cut through the following:
Marc runs to the bar. Now empty in the daytime. Chairs are stacked on tables.
He asks the bartender for his guitar.
The bartender goes to look. Marc’s nervous.
The bartender gives Marc a guitar case.
The bartender shrugs.
Marc argues louder.
Marc’s thrown out of the bar.
Nighttime. Cut to a super wide shot of a graffiti’d wall. We’ve reached the third chorus. D’Amato plays, leaning against the wall, in his own world. Marc stumbles into the frame. He slumps down next to D’Amato, snaking his head to the music. He listens to D’Amato’s sage advice and closes his eyes. Spent from his “Keep Moving” philosophy, maybe he’ll drift into sleep. But the stillness catches up. He fights to maintain his composure, as we approach the four drum beats at 2:34. Back on the SnorriCam:
He smashes the back of his head against the wall and it turns into his pillow.
Now the bar.
Now the graffiti wall.
Someone grabs his lapels and throws him to the ground.
On the first accent of the chorus, Marc gets punched in the face. It’s D’Amato. D’Amato pummels Marc to the beat. There’s no blood. Marc isn’t getting hurt. Actually, he’s having the time of his life. He’s thrown against the wall. A smirk. Back down on the pavement. A quick laugh. Another jab to the face. A wide-eyed grin. D’Amato grabs his lapels and pins him high against the wall.
Finally a break at 3:04 “no, not tonight.”
Marc slides down the wall slowly. D’Amato brushes off Marc’s shoulders. Marc’s grateful for it all. They hug it out. D’Amato picks up his own guitar and hands it to Marc. Marc receives it appreciatively and nods knowingly.
He makes his way, guitar in hand, back towards his apartment with a bounce in his step. He Mr. Magoos himself through the streets and through the crowds with the gracefulness of a freerunner, a break-dancer, and a ballet master. His trek is full of joy. Suddenly he stubs his toe and stumbles to a stop. Back to SnorriCam. The track ends. His lip quivers dangerously.
Cut to black.
We will shoot with a RED Epic or Canon 5D MKIII using Magic Lantern to shoot RAW. These lightweight cameras will deliver stunning picture quality and will be perfect for the involved SnorriCam shots.
We will also require a Steadicam or Flycam for the longer takes in which we pull Marc through the streets. We will be using natural light for the outdoor scenes. For the indoor scenes we will need several Kino Flo Diva-Lite units fitted with both daylight and tungsten bulbs.
Location-wise, we will need to secure: a small apartment, a diner, and a bar. To keep production streamlined we selected locations that are easy to access. Most of the shoot will be done guerilla-style with a small crew.
The body-brace for the SnorriCam shots will look something like this: