May 20, 2021 3 min read
Jason Charles Miller’s new music video for "Expiration Day" is an electrifying journey of waste wondering and fate pondering with a bit of creature feature action to boot. His voice soars over cyclical acoustic riffs with a dusty vinyl patina applied to the intro that gives way to the full thunder when the pulsing guitars and crying lap-steels kick in. Unlike the often-over-polished Nashville sheen that slickens up contemporary Americana, “Expiration Day” comes out all guns blazing with texture, fortitude, and character to spare. This strikes the critical balance between big production and real-deal flavour. The sights and sounds from this narrative evoke resonance from some of my favourite 90s’ films such as Dead Man and Dusk Till Dawn, with their gritty, supernatural and distinctly western vibes. Let’s dive in with the director and prop/costume designer to explore what goes into making such a killer music video.
"We wanted it to have that forest god feeling but not be a specific animal skull" -Katherine Walsh (Costume/Prop Maker)
"The idea for this music video came about through a lot of talk between Andrew Fogel and JCM about cool themes as well as Covid safety. As soon as they had a bit of a plan, I was able to do sketches for the red creature based on the kind of creepy feeling they wanted. We wanted it to have that forest god feeling but not be a specific animal skull. We found and purchased a skull pattern from Wintercroft, which was such a perfect starting place. It saved me so much time to be able to build off an existing pattern."
"Using recycled and home renovation materials is great. There's no shortage of things to use and no worry that you're wasting expensive products on experimentation"
"The first shape is a goat skull which I made from cereal boxes and staples. Then, I adjusted the pattern around the eyes and nose to add details of a horse and cow skull. The layers added were torn cardboard attached with hot glue and masking tape to give it an organic feeling. Once the shape was finished, I covered the whole outside with joint compound to get a nice bone texture. It is easy to apply and really nice to sculpt into and sand later. After drying for a few days, I added some support structure to the inside and began making the horns. They are set into the inside of the skull with the top parts of old Gatorade bottles and gap sealing foam. Using recycled and home renovation materials is great. There's no shortage of things to use and no worry that you're wasting expensive products on experimentation."
Huge thanks to Director Andrew Fogel and Katherine Walsh (prop-maker, wastelander, snake mother and textile artist) for creating and capturing the skull-headed creature in such vivid detail. It's amazing to know that this top level production and incredible costume were created from regular waste materials. We are thrilled for JCM fans to see this new video and look forward to hopefully working with this team of talented artists in the future. In the meantime, check out the full music video below and if this awesome project inspires you to shoot your next film with one of our designs, we'd love to hear from you.