For musician American Tomahawk’s new single Dames, director Matthew Goodhue has come up with a love story-music video that’s better than Twilight.
In the music video-short film hybrid, a store employee driving to work runs into a bloodied former fling and decides to help him out. From there, things take a macabre twist.
With most of the scenes filmed from inside the vehicle, Goodhue makes clever use of the car radio to subtly play American Tomahawk’s single Dames. The track only features in certain scenes too, giving the audience an oddly amusing contrast.
In an interview with Short of the Week, the LA-based director explained: “With the song and story happening simultaneously, we wanted to create a strange tone that was kind of uncomfortable but entertaining to watch.”
Suffice to say, this horror-comedy short is bloody good, quite literally.
We recently caught up with Goodhue to learn more about his work.
Tell us more about yourself.
“I’m an independent filmmaker from New England, currently living in Los Angeles. Movies have always meant a lot to me: meeting characters you may never meet in real life, hearing stories that you can learn from and relate to your own life. They teach you a lot about other people and yourself – that’s what I hope to do with the movies I make.”
We loved how you turned a music video into a short film. Who came up with this idea?
“I write with a good friend and talented musician, Adam Halferty, who puts music out as ‘American Tomahawk’.
“We’ve made some music videos in the past – and never quite felt like we got it right. We both love film, storytelling, and the intimacy and comedy that comes with dialogue and interactions in a film. American Tomahawk is finishing up a new record now, so he has a bunch of beautiful songs that are waiting to be released.
“We thought it would be a good exercise to release a video for American Tomahawk, but try to encapsulate it into a film narrative. Essentially placing the song within a story.”
Take us through your creative process. How did you go about making a music video that’s also a comedy horror film? How’d you balance all those elements out?
“We wanted to tell a story that really brought along the audience for a ride. We liked the idea of keeping the camera attached to a car the whole time. It defines the timeframe in which the story takes place, and allows the audience to experience the story at the same time as each character.
“We like incorporating strange or surreal elements within a story grounded in reality. That helped us pick and choose the moments we thought we could get some laughs or make the audience jump.
“The creative process started with asking ourselves how many places we could mount a camera onto the car, and what framing would those shots provide for us to fill in a story.
With pop culture having so many vampire stories, did you turn to any books or movies for inspiration?
“Adam and some friends created a character we call ‘The Count’ a long while ago, and it’s a character that continuously came up in conversation or jokes, but we never performed it for anyone. When we crafted the concept of making a music video within a film, and we wanted to involve a car ride that got weird. The Count popped into our heads right away.”
What type of feedback have you received about the film?
“Feedback on the film has been very good! We were featured on Short of the Week, and got a ton of messages from folks on Vimeo and social media saying they enjoyed watching the little movie. We just want to make people laugh and have them take the time to watch a weird little short that we put a lot of effort into – it’s super rewarding to hear that people enjoy it.”
What’s next for you?
“I’m working on another short film for an American Tomahawk song. We’ll be going into production for that at the start of the year. Our hopes are to submit this new one to some festivals and see what happens!”