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  • Writer's pictureMaxwell Mawji

Project Spotlight: I Gotta Go, Gratuitous Platypus

Updated: May 10, 2023

Project Type: Music Video, Indipendent Film



 

Gratuitous Platypus was in their senior year of high school when their music producer approached me with creating their first music video. I was given a long leash and a truly catchy beat to the storyboard. I kept thinking of how fun it would be to use their high school as a location. After touring the space and seeing how the band room walls opened up and faced the drama through the cafeteria, I knew I had the perfect battleground for high school cliche fun. The concept was simple, imagine if the band and drama students got into an epic food fight! I met with the school principal and explained my thoughts and was surprised when he gave me free rain to do whatever I wanted with his school, so long as no students got hurt.

Filming day was a weekend and the band's popularity was leveraged to get over 100 volunteer extras. We did a potluck of soft foods to load up everyone's plates and ran through mock drills so we were ready for the shoot. We knew this would be a "one shot only" kinda thing, so I capitalized by bringing in extra videographers to help capture the food fight. I was the one who walked through the food fight to get the POV view and was struck many, oh so many, times by hot dogs, beans, and more. We filmed this scene first, which sounds silly, but gave time for volunteers to clean the area while we filmed the other scenes.


While the food fight was certainly the star of this project, I am proud of how the other scenes turned out: Spray Painting an abandoned building for the opening credits, choreographing a dance number that lined up with the swinging feel of the music, and the final orbital that ends with surprise; all had their own technical challenges. Unexpectedly, the issue of the talent and my team losing energy after such a draining first scene.


This project was about two weeks of planning, 1 day of filming, and 2 days of editing.


 


 

NOTES: About two years after this video was published, I was talking with a stranger in High River who, after hearing that I'm a filmmaker, talked about this amazing video that was filmed at his work about a war between music and drama students. He was a math teacher and told me about how this video has become a fun touchpoint that the school's faculty and students are very proud of. He was confused when chuckled and stated that it was a small world.

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