Once, we managed to come together, I felt the song ‘We’re Still Alive’ was like a journey through life and its different stages and emotions.
Immediately I had images in my head I once filmed but never used. Whenever I travel, I have this habit of filming without the intent of using it for a specific project. During the last six years I had gathered a big amount of material never used or shown. I thought ‘We’re Still Alive’ was the perfect soundtrack to those random images. Also, as mentioned earlier, due to our different schedules, it would have been difficult to plan and film a shoot together. (Although we are still trying).
The Tame and The Wild agreed to proceed in this way. I would sift through all my material (over 300 GB and squattered on six hard drives) and let the song guide me to find a narrative. That alone took me quite some time, as I would do that after work and on week-ends.
Then I realised that although I had a lot of material, I had to pay attention to not fall into the trap of having afterwards a video which was too random or just a succession of cute pictures without transmitting an emotion. And there were great images I couldn’t use because somehow they didn’t fit in the whole feel of the song.
Finding a structure was the most challenging part, because an image not only conveys something if it’s beautiful, but gains or looses in meaning depending on what comes before or after. It is mostly the sequence, the compilation of several moments which together create new sensation. So instead of using the song to ‘get rid’ of my many material, I tried to enhance what the song was about. This is why some of my material did not fit or go well together.
Therefore I started canvassing archive material from the 50s-70s. I could have achieved this old film look by applying filters, but I firmly believe the real texture can’t be copied. And since The Tame and The Wild have a very true and honest relation to their music (and also as private people), the idea of using as well old footage seemed naturally appropriate.
Furthermore, I felt that the chorus and in particular the line ‘We’re Still Alive’ had a comparison to what was before and what would come after death – another generation. I did my research on the Prelinger archives, which I had come to know after doing video projections on a theatre play. The best part of working with free images is that you recycle its longevity by creating something contemporary, but the old intrinsicate qualities of those excerpts lend the new project a ‘je-ne-sais-quoi’, which ends up being the perfect fusion.