“20 Minutes of Oxygen” Video Shoot

A couple months ago, my friend Casey invited me to see his studio, which he made into a sort of “space bar” using panels from a dismantled set of the TV show “Defying Gravity.” About the same time, my friend Mike Jackson let me know he just got a super duper new HD video camera. Even though the album is nearly a decade old, we decided to use these resources to shoot a music video for the song “20 Minutes of Oxygen.”

Mike and I shot around some ideas and came up with a plot. We rented a space suit, collected other props, and enlisted the help of some extremely talented people, who volunteered their time and equipment and skills.

We rented a “shuttle space suit” from Phoenix 1 in North Van. To make it look more future-space, we had Chris and AJ work on some accessories, namely a X-Wingesque bib and some modified sports gear, as well as a head lamp. We also wired lights to the inside of the helmet to give it the BSG look. Chris also did up a backpack that looked amazing but unfortunately had real O2 tanks on the back so I was constantly carrying 30+ lbs every day I shot in it.

The full suit on set. Click to enlarge

On Friday night we shot a scene where I’m drifting in space outside the space ship (which will be provided by Kerberos “Sword of the Stars” Productions). Mike got a big black board and stabbed holes through it with a screwdriver. Lit from behind it looked like a star field. He bought a ‘star filter’ to make all the lights flare like you’ve seen in the new Star Trek movie. I also picked up a small metal hammer from the flea market on Terminal and Chris bored a stick into it which we wrapped in green screen tape so we could create the illusion of the hammer floating with me in space.

On location for alien planet and space wreck. Photo Adam PW Smith. Click to make large.

On Saturday we drove out to the sand dunes in South Richmond for the ‘alien planet’ scenes. We filmed a lot of me trekking around and Chris and his crew had put together an amazing space shipwreck set, with lots of pyrotechnics. It was very Tattooine, with the added bonus of a lot of dirt bikes tooling around us while we were trying to film.

On Sunday we went back into the spaceship set and rigged up the “Command Information Console” like you’ve seen in Star

Wars and Battlestar Galactica, which we made with film transparency and acrylic sheets supplied by Eamon. Casey had put together a ‘captain’s chair’ and we spread some other “gack” around the set to make it look like part of Spaceship Zero.

The inspiration for Spaceship Zero's CIC

Merrick, Jordan and Warren drove in from Chilliwack and Abbotsford and donned their old Spaceship Zero crew jumpsuits, which I had embellished with the SpaceCorp logo at my workplace EmbroidMe, as well as a couple new SpaceCorp baseball caps.

We used the base from my Rock Band drum kit, some old clear plastic film canisters donated by Chris Lecher and some rope lights from Home Despot to create some space drums, which Jordan put together with his mechanical prowess.

After the band finished their scenes I got back into my space suit, which I dubbed

The band inside the doomed space ship. Photo by Adam PW Smith. Click to make big!

the iron maiden, and did the last shots, including my re-entry into the atmosphere of the planet.

All in all it was an amazing shoot and it’s going to be out best video yet. Stay tuned to thickets.net and The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets Facebook page for more updates as they happen.

The entire project was funded by ourselves and significant contributions from the fans of the band, and we are grateful for that! Special thanks to Adam PW Smith Photography for photos and general assistance and errand-running.