RevolverMag.com recently conducted an interview with Ian McFarland and Mike Pecci, the directors behind FEAR FACTORY's new video for "Fear Campaign". An excerpt from the chat follows below.
RevolverMag.com: How did the concept for the video come about? How involved was the band in that?
Ian McFarland: Mike and I met Burton [C. Bell, FEAR FACTORY singer] back in 2007, when he was on tour with MINISTRY and MESHUGGAH. We talked for quite a bit and from that point on every once in a while… One day, out of the blue, I got an email from Burton telling me that Dino [Cazares] along with Byron Stroud and Gene Hoglan were in the lineup, and that they had just recorded a new album and that they wanted to work with Mike and me on a music video for it. I can't tell you how excited we were to get that email.
Mike Pecci: Burton is an extremely creative person, and he had some very specific visuals in mind. He said that he wanted to bombard the audience with rapid images that supported his lyrics.
Ian McFarland: Our goal was to make a video that was inspired by all those really cool stock footage '90s music videos, but rather than using stock footage of the atrocities of the world, we decided to shrink those things down to single images and objects that can be identified as the tools used to create those problems. Essentially we wanted to make an ad campaign for fear. One of the other things that Burton really wanted was to figure out a way for him to play a role in the video. He wanted to play a character that represented some sort of authoritative entity and would represent the word fear to the fullest. That's where the cop/priest character came into play.
Mike Pecci: Both Ian and I agreed on one thing right from the start, no stock footage! It's cliché. With my photography background, and our relationship with photographer Heather McGrath, I proposed that we take all original photos, and instead of shooting big, we should break down each issue addressed in the song down to one object that would be shot on a stark color. We spent a lot of time researching symbols and objects that would best represent each lyric or idea… The best part of working with FEAR FACTORY is that they wanted to look original, fresh, and new. They said that they were willing to put themselves out there to make this thing that much better. We decided that we wanted to use vibrant primary colors — yellow, blue, and red — and that the video be lit with strong and revealing light. The black-and-white footage would be shot with rich blacks and high contrast to give it the feeling of a graphic novel, and all of the photography of the objects was heavily influenced by Frank Miller's illustrations. We would also film the band voyeuristically with a special focus on repetitive technical detail.
RevolverMag.com: How much do the lyrics of the song tie into the imagery? It seems like there's a pretty close correspondence in many cases.
Mike Pecci: The trick with the images was to find a few specific objects that represented an idea or action. For instance when Burton says "war," instead of showing epic images of people running from tanks and bombs being dropped from planes, we show a single bullet, gun, or a gas mask. These images force the audience to fill in the blanks, to put their perception of war in mind during the video. This will hopefully keep the video from being too heavy handed.
Read the entire interview at RevolverMag.com.