Friday, October 7, 2011

Matthew Daniels on the Making of Happy Happy Halloween

Matthew Daniels won a 2011 Best Horror Music Video Tabloid Award for Happy Happy Halloween. He now offers us a "behind the scenes" look at how he did it.

"The funny thing is," says Daniels, "how little time and money I spent on this. I already had the instrumental song. We had all the props. All I bought for this was the lolly pops and costumes.

"We [Daniels, his wife, and two daughters] just hopped in the van and went looking for locations. Within two hours, including driving time, we had all the footage.

"I found a hill behind the local mall that hadn't been mowed. And, I was shooting uphill, you couldn't see the neighborhood behind them. Conditions were serendipitous, as there was a dark storm cloud behind them and the sun was setting in front of them. That was the opening and closing shot.

"We jumped back in the van looking for another location, before we lost our light, and ended up at a nearby park. That lone tree seemed perfect. We actually went shopping and out to eat -- with the girls still in costume. While shopping, a girl asked Nikki if they were dancers for some band.

"We got home and spent another 15 minutes in the now darkened front hall with some flashlights to light from below. I played the instrumental, so they could get the rhythm and Nikki could get the right notes, but they weren't hearing them when we recorded that bit. It all just worked out and was easily mixed with the instrumental.

"I'd never tried to properly edit a video, before, and whipped it together overnight. (I do go by Midnight Habit for a reason.) Knowing a bit more about editing, I went back and redid it this year, changing some framing, lighting, and timing issues. Plus, I wanted to add two clips of Jazzy that weren't in the original."

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