When it comes to local music videos, the kings of over-the-top, all-out productions has to be Captain Squeegee.
Every video release is another celebration of music and visual artistic collaboration, each so different they are no better or worse than one another, only brilliantly different. So, too, is the case with the dizzying "Dually Noted," the sixth and final video from Captain Squeegee's 2013 album To The Bardos! The song has been a fan favorite since the album was released, so it's sensible to end that cycle of stunning videos with a crowd pleaser. The video was directed by rising star Freddie Paull.
"This song has always been anthemic for our fans," says main guru and cult leader of Captain Squeegee, Danny Torgersen. "We knew we needed an epic video. This song is about making music, art, rebellion, being you."
Taking that for the base of the song and the spirit of the video, Torgersen and Paull decided to make a modern day myth/odyssey out of the modern-day televised talent show.
"This story was seeded by fate many years ago when I auditioned for American Idol like five years ago, literally because a psychic I deeply trusted suggested it at the time," he says. "But she was wrong and it was evil ... a cattle call, looking for freaks or 'the chosen ones.'"
The process of making the video was an arduous one, as well as a dangerous venture. It took well over a year from start to finish with location shootings and making the necessary arrangements.
"Freddie Paull and Zach Slager [of Electric Legends Pictures] wanted the most cinematic experience they could provide, so it took months and months to secure locations," Torgersen says. "Especially going underground in a restored 18th-century mine shaft — that took forever to secure. But we wanted to actually go underground. Everything else just seemed lame. You gotta fight Baphomet in the underworld, ya' know? It was dangerous. ... We needed hard hats at all times unless we were in scene."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
In addition to having an ace director, they needed the visage of Baphomet to come to life as best they could and the results, as you can judge for yourself, are stunning. So a makeup magician was needed to transform Drew Leathem into Baphomet.
"We knew that Baphomet had to look badass if we were gonna risk our safety to go down there, so we absolutely had to call Brandon McGill," Torgersen said. "He was incredible... a true artist."
While producer Robyn Sturgis negotiated for six months straight with University of Arizona so they could film in the mine, they also needed a stage. This was where their friends at Mesa Community College (MCC) allowed them to film in their new performing arts center coordinated through Rob Hunter.
"Our fake show had to look totally real, so Freddie and Zach brought all the big camera-guns to MCC," Torgersen says. "The floating pentagrams above the stage are my personal favorite. We also need lots of extras and actors, so we just hit up all our Arizona musician buddies! Harrison Fjord are all contestants, Danger Paul is wearing a Dinosaur costume, Shea Marshall from Sugar Thieves is playing accordion, and Cassidy Hilgers from Sister Lip is a judge."