Phantom Atlantic - 'Beneath Your Moment'

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Toronto alt rock outfit Phantom Atlantic talk to us about the DIY ethos behind their brooding music video for ‘Beneath Your Moment’, shot at a 200 year old farm with no power!

Where was the video for 'Beneath Your Moment' filmed?
The video was filmed on a gorgeous 200-year old farm in northern Ontario, Canada called Spring Green that at one point housed wartime draft dodgers and now operates as a co-operative. It was a super challenging location because there was no electricity or running water, but we couldn't imagine shooting anywhere else so we went for it.

How does the video connect with the song?
The video was definitely inspired by the song, and we tried to capture the mood and rhythm of the track visually. But our main goal was to make a video that felt more like a standalone art piece than supplementary content. We also always talk about the fact that we’re way more into music videos that emphasise storytelling and interpretation over performance, so the associations with the track are mainly thematic. As I dug into our lead singer Kyle's lyrics, I imagined a character stuck in a vicious feedback loop of self-destruction and denial. Then when we saw Spring Green, I knew the space would serve as a perfect metaphor for the character’s compulsion to maintain a well-groomed exterior while neglecting what's broken inside.

Do you have any behind the scenes stories you could share with us?
So many! We made this video completely ourselves over three straight days of shooting during which we were at the constant mercy of the wrong weather and a tiny power generator  that gave no notice when it would run out of gas.

Because of this, the shot of the bonfire framed by a “graveyard” of doors almost didn’t happen. The first night we built an amazing bonfire and tried to shoot it, but the wind was too strong and kept blowing the drone off course. So we had to build the whole set again the next day, but that time it was so overcast that we had about a 15 minute window to get the shot before it was too dark.

Likewise, the same night we lost the fire, we were running on fumes shooting at 2am when our lead fell into a full drying rack and sent dishes everywhere. It was the perfect accident we’d been waiting for… but the generator died at the exact same time, killing all our lights. We were pretty defeated, and it wasn’t until the edit room that we noticed a split second was salvageable.

In both cases, we worked every millisecond of usable footage into the final cut. Somehow, though, these ended up being our two favourite moments of the video. Funny how that happens.

Could you tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
Yes and no. The song itself deals with compulsion, obsession, dependency, and desire so naturally the video reflects those themes. Beyond that, I can say that every element - down to each camera angle, edit, and image - was deliberate and discussed at length before shooting, but as film buffs who love finding new things on every watch and putting the puzzle together ourselves, we don’t really like unpacking it too much for people. We’d rather everyone find whatever it means to them. (I’ll give a small clue to how we view the story, though: pay attention to the link between the shots of driving and the shots that come immediately before.)

Is there a message the video is trying to convey?
Again, it definitely has meaning for us, but we always prefer to keep things open to interpretation rather than start a dialogue on them, so we’ll leave this one up to whoever’s watching!

Interview feature by Karla Harris