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The Corbins are a young and classically underpinned (though you might not recognize this at first) punk band currently crashing through the Toronto music scene. They wanted to play around a little with their branding and have some fun with some off-center teaser promo videos to help promote their debut album release. So they hired our film production company to create a bunch of themed up videos corresponding to one of their social media touring tags: #corbinsarmy.

This one was an adolescent riff on the ridiculously low-budget and laughably preachy PSA spots that the 90’s will never live down. The parody revolved around those anti-drug campaign messages where a parent barges into their child’s room and clumsily reams them out about bad behavior like a Catholic school abbess on angel dust. The switcheroo of the joke was that this Corbins Girl has been listening to The Corbins, her “devil music” and her mom, the sanctimonious protector of her baby ears’ innocence is revealed as a long-time fan herself. Anyway, you know how TV likes to essentialize everything, and this archetype of strict parent histrionics was no less prime for the parody.

We wanted it to look grungy like all TV in the 90’s so we added a custom bad vertical hold effect to make it look a little like the signal came through a coat hanger antennae (if you were born before 1990 you may remember CRT (cathode ray television) TVs; vertical hold was a common problem with worn out elderly sets where the image line scrapes up or down the frame making the picture distort and flash at sketchy semi-regular intervals. This effectively ruined the viewing experience completely. Flatscreens can’t actually malfunction like this, which is one of about a dozen bonuses over the fat bottomed traditional models that are manufactured nowhere on Earth at this point, common sense tells me). We pared back on that effect so it didn’t ruin the view completely, but it did help with the visual logic of most of the video editing transitions you see at the top of the piece with the random archival stuff.

The talent, lights, camera rig and the whole video production team crammed into one of our friend’s bedrooms. We only had room for about three angles of coverage, spanning maybe 80 degrees total so we stuck with fairly wide lenses (Zeiss Primes, our go to lately for their pristine clarity that makes HD only more popping) since we couldn’t help but be close up to the performers. This was fine because there was limited dialogue. A couple day-gelled 650 Arris to match the daylight steaming in the windows and about 5 takes on each angle and bedabing, early wrap and lunch!

Oh, and here’s the actual PSA the concept we wrote was based on:

Thanks to Trinity Square Video for the extra help with videography services and equipment donations.

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