Todd Durrant’s Random Thoughts
Follow the efforts of a creative, crazed entrepreneur.

Getting Together With My Family

Between Christmas and New Year’s Day I was able to experience a very rare treat.  I was able to get together in one place with my siblings!  We are scattered all over the country, from California, to Utah, to Tennessee, to Georgia.   I hadn’t even met some of my newest relatives in person yet, including my little sister’s new husband and his two girls, or my brother’s latest child.   So, it was an event to be cherished and remembered.  My mother rented a cabin at Bear Lake (in Garden City, Utah) for a nice, wintry atmosphere and we all hunkered down together for a few days.

We watched movies, played games, sat in the hot tub on the deck, played in the snow, and of course found a little time to film some crazy music videos.   I filmed three of them, but have only had the time to edit two so far.  One other short video starring my nephew, Ethan,  is yet to be pieced together.    The first video came to life as I was talking to my niece and nephew who were a bit bored at the moment and wanted to simply “do something”.  I said, “hey let’s go for a walk down to that little store about a mile away and make a video on the way.”   The first reply was, “eh…no” because Christine didn’t necessarily think that walking out in the cold sounded like fun.  But Alexander was game, and we started talking about any random video concept.

I explained that any idea was a “good one” as long as it was bizarre and we could film it with a “serious look on our faces”.   Alex grabbed a handful of mints for the walk and we joked that we could use the mints in the video.   But how do we use the mints?  Well, we could throw them at other cabins…great suggestion!  Christine was now interested, so we grabbed our coats and the camera and headed out the door.  I grabbed a couple other items on the way, like a coin for flipping, and a bottle for spinning, and we set out to make a video that could mean…well…anything…0r nothing.  And I will admit, it took several attempts at some shots because there was so much laughing going on.

So, here it is, the video for Saudade’s “A Lifetime”:

As a side note on this particular song, “A Lifetime”, the concept was recorded back when I was a teen.   To this day I like the strange mood and atmosphere that I achieved back then, so I wanted to recreate it again with better technology.   I liked the results of my attempt, but didn’t really like the way I sang it (and I’d changed some of the minimal lyrics as well).    Before we left to the cabin for my family reunion, some of us met up at my mother’s house where much of my studio is currently set up.  I was showing the setup to my two nephews, Ethan and Seth.  They both sing in the San Francisco Boys Choir, and they are very interested in anything musical.   I threw some headphones on them and propped them in front of the microphone and asked them to try singing with me on the chorus.  It was fun, and they did a great job considering they’d never heard the song before and I just threw them on the spot.   So, my family contributed to this song in more ways than just the video.

During the last day at the cabin, I decided to film a video which could include anybody who was in the mood for some silliness (or who wasn’t otherwise involved in a couple of intense games of Risk 2210).   Since my siblings have a great sense of humor and don’t mind doing strange or even mildly painful things for kicks, it wasn’t hard to get a lot of footage quickly.  The basic concept was built on a video game / mind control idea.   We had a lot of fun with it!

Now, when it came to adding music, I thought of a track that I had just reworked called “The Answer” because it only has a few lyrics saying things like “I am the master!” which fit the video really well.   I’d originally recorded the song as something of a joke over a year ago, and that original version had a processed, high-pitched voice rapping some verses.   I’d recently removed those verses and had stuck with just the strange chorus chant.   But there was a problem matching it up to the video– it was only three minutes long, and we’d shot a lot more footage than that!  So, I after returning home, I had to find some time to extend the track to more than twice it’s original length, ending at just over seven minutes.   But the music fit so well that I had to do it!   Here is the result…the video for Sauadade “The Answer”:

See what utter craziness can happen when my family gets together?   Ah…good times!

-Todd

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One Response to “Getting Together With My Family”

  1. Oh those were great Todd. I was laughing throughout the “The Answer” video. Good job.


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