Information Stills Behind the Scenes Festivals & Screenings

Running Time 8:13 minutes. 2003

Anyone that has listened to Technical Difficulties, knows that it is just a matter of time before they are played across the country and the world!.

Directed and Produced by DEREK FREY

"We shot the video over two days, along the rocky eastern coastline of Puna on the big island of Hawaii. I wanted it to look more like the coastline of the Pacific Northwest or New England. I always had cliffs in mind ever since I first heard the song. We were fortunate enough to shoot on a couple of overcast days where the water was really stirred up. Most of the Eastern coast of the big island has scenery like this but one of our main concerns was to find a stretch where you wouldn't see any homes in the background.

TThe only crew involved were RaVani and myself. I threw my camera gear in a bag and brought a portable radio for playback. RaVani sang to a temp mix of the song in which the chorus had not been recorded yet. Luckily once the song was complete it synched up perfectly.

The band was in a transitional period and not all of the members were available for the shoot. Also, I thought it would be more appropriate to focus on RaVani due to the mystical and thematic elements of the song which center around a relationship between a mother and daughter.

The limited crew, however, worked out for the best because it's quite dangerous out around the cliffs. RaVani actually worried me a few times when she stepped out on the edge without warning me. A couple times I thought she was going right over. It made for some great shots but I wouldn't suggest it to anyone. We were probably lucky. The "lack" of personnel may have even helped RaVani a bit because I think it allowed her to feel more comfortable to lip synch without a bunch of people watching.

"Briny Deep" is my favorite Technical Difficulties song and I took my inspiration for the video from the feelings it stirs up inside me when I watch them perform it live. It's one of those songs that you hear and are immediately drawn into because of the composition and the intensity of the vocals. As you look deeper into the song and read the lyrics you grow to appreciate the story that it tells, which is quite tragic. The song would evoke images in my head that really stuck with me. The thread between the music and the lyrics is very strong. It was a challenge for me to attempt the video. I was nervous that it would fall short of the song's power and impact. I merely wanted to create imagery to accompany the song, not try to upstage it.

My take on the song...although RaVani could explain it much better then I could ever hope this; The song revolves around a mother and daughter who are lost at sea at night. The mother has mystical powers which she transfers to her daughter so that she can survive the danger. The quieter portions of the song is when the mother is assuring her daughter that all will be okay and not to fear. The chorus expresses the mothers attempts to keep them both safe to on avail, and the grief of having to give up her powers. In the end the mother drowns in the briny, deep, dark, cold water. 

In the video I tried to represent these emotions without showing them literally. The doll representing the daughter and the boat representing being lost at sea. RaVani is playing the part of the mother and her character is reflecting on the tragic events and trying to control the water, to push is back. She is remembering and pining for her daughter. In the end, when she disappears from the cliff, it is meant to represent that she is a spirit haunting the cliff on the sea where she drowned. 

The song is so pure and I wanted the visuals to stay along those lines so I shot in black and white because I wanted to go for a stark, dreamlike quality. Like the memory of something sad or tragic. The colors in Hawaii can be quite vivid with a lot of green and blue. I wanted to get as far away from that kind of a look as possible, since we had just captured the island feel in another Technical Difficulties video "Jungle" and because "Briny Deep" has such a dark tone to it, it just felt right to make this way. I used an Arri 16mm BL and my trusty Minolta Autometer for exposures. The 16mm grainy film gave it the haunting look that I really wanted. For other sections of the video, I used a Canon GL 1 Mini DV camera and I cut the whole thing on Final Cut Pro.

This video was really difficult to edit and was a tremendous challenge for me. It went through a lot of stages before I felt comfortable with it. Telling a story in a music video isn't the same as telling a story in a short or feature film. With music videos, there are so many possibilities. In the end, it definitely took on a life of it's own. It turned out better than expected, although, there are some more things I would have liked to have been able to do. Like shooting on a boat in the middle of the ocean at night in a raging sea...but that's a whole different kind of budget.

Technical Difficulties is an extremely talented band and I'm fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with them so frequently. I met them in 2001 while working on Planet of the Apes, which shot some scenes on the big island. I saw them play a gig at a club called Fiascos in Hilo. My friends and I were blown away by what we heard. I returned to the island a few months later in August of 2001 to shoot the video for "Sex is Easier." Then again in 2002 for "Briny Deep" and "Jungle". I'm currently editing the video for their song "Mr. Quiet" along with a live concert film I directed for them in January of 2004."

Derek Frey

Briny Deep Lyrics