By Jamie Sapp | Editor-in-Chief
Senior communication students worked with an Augusta University professor to create a music video for the indie rock band, Luna, on their new single, “Friends.”
That video will have its world premiere on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 5 p.m. in the Maxwell Theatre.
The students are involved in The Agency, a senior capstone course for communication majors that allows students to gain experience with real-world skills, such as videography, journalism, and public relations.
Assistant Communication Professor Matthew Buzzell, and some of his students in The Agency produced the band’s music video on Sept. 8 and 9, along with cinematographer George Su, who flew in from Los Angeles to photograph the video.
The music video was shot at Aquinas High School and students from Aquinas and Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School were cast in the video.
In a recent interview with The Bell Ringer, Buzzell and two of his Agency students, Casey Rowland and Elizabeth Hundt, discussed the process of creating the band’s music video.
Hundt, who worked as a producer and an assistant director, said that the cast was polite and fun to interact with.
“They were excited about the whole process,” Hundt said.
Rowland, who was the first camera assistant, said she was very surprised at how professional the students were on the set. She mentioned their willingness to try different things in the scenes.
“They were willing to do anything in various things, and that was exciting because we can get more out of them through shots,” Rowland said. “Professor Buzzell really directed them in a good way in making them feel comfortable.”
Hundt said that the process started on the first day of class and always kept her busy.
“We started day one of the Agency, like the two weeks prior to us actually starting the film,” Hundt said. “It was like every day I had something to do, some task that I had to complete. Each day and each assignment that I completed we got closer to making it one production.”
Buzzell said he wanted to do something nice for the storyline of the video.
“I wanted to make a music video that wasn’t arbitrary – that wasn’t just cool,” he said. “A lot of music videos are like, ‘Woah, that’s a pretty cool concept.’ I mean, it’s cool, but it doesn’t really say anything or do anything.”
Buzzell decided to recast the band as high school students.
“Initially, this started as a one-trick pony,” Buzzell said, “… and then I wanted to have high school students play the band. That was all I had. And then the rest of it came along.”
Buzzell said that the band isn’t the main part of the video’s storyline.
“The band is there, and they are supporting everything that is happening, and they are contributing to the narrative at a certain juncture,” he said. “It’s not about the one-trick pony anymore. It’s not about the gimmick of having high school students standing for a 40 or 50-year-old band.”
Luna is an indie rock band based in Los Angeles that formed in 1991. Its members consist of Dean Wareham, Sean Eden, Lee Wall and Britta Phillips.
Buzzell expressed his gratitude for the Agency students working on the music video and said he enjoyed seeing his students learn and grow during the process.
“I was extremely heartened to see my students rise to the occasion and to take on tasks that were outside of the norm for them,” Buzzell said, “… and for them to work in a professional configuration, something that reflects the real world of film production.”
Tim Howard contributed to the story.
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