The Director Explains: Crystal Cities - 'I Hear a Cold Wind Calling'

We chat to director Brad Schmidt about the brooding cinematic visuals for Crystal Cities powerful indie rock single, ‘I Heard a Cold Wind Calling’.


Where was the video for ‘I Hear a Cold Wind Calling’ filmed?
The clip was filmed down around Wollongong area (NSW, Australia) at several locations. It's a really stunning stretch of coast with a lot of unique places hidden away which made it a great spot to achieve what we were trying to capture.

How does the video connect with the song?
The video connects with the song in a lot of ways as aside from its dark undertones, the title and lyrics allow for the idea of pursuing escapism as a major theme. My hope was that people could somewhat empathise with the main character without the video itself explaining everything to the audience about who he was, where he was going and why he was running as I like the thought of the audience thinking for themselves and drawing their own ideas and opinion on the clip could mean.

Do you have any behind the scenes stories you can share with us?
There was plenty of laughs behind the scenes but one thing I took away from it all was Chris's acting capabilities and just how perfect he was for the role. We spoke quite deeply pretty early on about life and his personal ups and downs which really made directing with him a much more powerful experience as he was willing and able for me to hit him hard emotionally to get visual results from his performance. His professionalism and enthusiasm to get the shots and emotional reactions that we wanted is something I think really speaks true to his character and talent as an actor as there was more than one occasion where we wanted tears and he allowed me to push him to that extent to get genuine pain out of him which I still find extraordinary. Hats off to the big dog.

Could you tell us about the ideas/themes/ imagery used?
The main themes I was aiming for was a lot of movement in contrasting environments, in an attempt to portray a man trapped in the world and his mind, battling to escape it all whilst emotionally falling in and out of a place of power and control. Again I never wanted to be too specific on a structurally sound emotional journey (visually) but rather erratic up and downs which I think (for me) is more accurate in regards to depression and anxiety in modern society where things really seem out of your hands in those states of mind and stability can seem non-existent.

What do you hope people take away from watching the video?
All I hope people take from the video is a sense of relation to the hardships that everyone can encounter throughout their life and evoke some thought in the audience's mind, whether it be empathy, some form of relation, or simply reflective of someone they don't know making them feel something. Any form of an emotional response is more succinct way of putting it. If if they felt something or anything, I'd be happy with that.

Interview feature by Karla Harris

’I Hear a Cold Wind Calling’ is taken from Crystal Cities debut album, ‘Under the Cold Light of the Moon’ which is out now.