Monday, April 3, 2017

Joshua Tree (03.23.17 - 03.26.17) & "Blew the Dust Away" Video

I'm not going to write a novel-length post about our recent trip to Joshua Tree. Almost everything I've had to say about that wonderful desert area has already been said, by me and many others. Instead, here are a few specific memories.

The Mother of Invention
The park was the most crowded we'd ever seen it. Not surprising: the weather was perfect and tons of people were flocking to all of the desert areas in hopes of seeing flower blooms from the recent rains. This didn't impact us very much except in one way: we'd planned on getting some footage for a They Stole My Crayon music video at Barker Dam, and it was so packed that we literally could not find a single parking spot, much less plan on a secluded filming location. So, we blew that off and instead went to an area of the park none of had been before... right next door at Echo Rock. The base of the rock formations there is a dry river bed, and perfect for what we wanted to do.

Bunny and Snake
Bunny had spent his entire life without any close encounters with rattlesnakes (the one poisonous snake indigenous to our area) until a couple of years ago, when he had a terrifying experience in the Santa Monica mountains while walking his dogs. Well, on Sunday of our trip, he took two steps off the trail to photograph some flowers, and was met with a huge specimen of Crotalus oreganus. Looking down at this scene from a rock that I'd scampered up, two things happened in a split second: first, I heard its rattle, which was shockingly loud. Next, I saw Bunny jump back in what seemed to be a world record-setting reverse broad jump, scratching his legs up on some dry brush in the process. Other than the resulting cuts and scrapes, no one was harmed in this adrenaline-inducing desert moment.

Shooting the Video
We didn't have a specific plan for making a video while on our trip, and had we gone there and left the cameras at home, it would have been a great little vacation regardless. Since we had all three members of the band together in one spot, it seemed like a good idea to try and grab some footage just in case something could work. It's a lovely location, after all. So a few times over the four days, we filmed ourselves in various places in the park and near our little cabin, Casa Rosita, doing lip-synch to our own music. While we do intend on doing more planned, storyboarded, "produced" videos for other tunes, "Blew the Dust Away" had a musical vibe that we all agreed would work for the footage we got. So, after getting home and doing some creative editing, we were able to formally debut the resulting music video the following weekend (Sunday April 2, to be specific). Check it out.

In case you're interested in such things, we shot it on Kat's Nikon Coolpix at 1080 60p, and edited in Final Cut Pro X. I think we were surprised that the result of this $0 budget video came out with little compromise than what we'd have wanted regardless of budget for the "Blew the Dust Away" vibe, and we're proud to finally have an official music video out there for The Crayon!

Some Pics
Beers at Casa Rosita, our little unofficial home in the desert.

We did some good cooking on this trip, including this egg bake brunch that Christina whipped up. Yum!

The Crayon in the park in the Jeep.

Joshua Tree Saloon. A band with beers.

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