Last year we caught up with director Grant James and predicted that he would be producing some phenomenal videos, and that he has. In his newest collaboration with Alberta Cross for their music video “Crate of Gold,” James enlisted the help of Drea de Matteo (Sons of Anarchy and The Sopranos) to play the bad ass villianess. We asked James a few questions about this latest venture, his favorite horror movies, and what we can look forward to seeing from him next.
1. How did you and Alberta Cross decide to collaborate for “Crate of Gold”?
Petter, the lead singer, and I are good mates and we have been wanting to collaborate on a project together for some time. Petter wanted the theme to be based on paranoia within your dreams and our only goal was to create something that was a thrilling to watch from beginning to end.
2. What in their music inspired you to create the video?
There is something about their sound that I am drawn to. Between their albums and live performance, they represent a dynamic range that doesn’t sway from what the idea of Rock N’ Roll is. I was a fan of the band long before I met them – so to be able to collaborate with them a couple years down the road is a big pay off for me personally.
3. You tend to have a horror movie vibe to your music videos (i.e. cut off fingers in the Father John Misty video, mad scientist in the Del The Funky Homosapien) and now the crushed crate of gold in your newest venture. Do you have any favorite horror movies that inspire you?
I never considered my work leaning towards that genre but I always aim to do everything in production and incorporate unique physical elements—no matter how obscure or graphic they are. I want these attributes to encompass what the project is about and if you walk away remembering one thing – I want it to be those fingers, the crushing, etc… The fun part is experimenting with large scale ideas to pull off in production vs. adding it in post.
But to answer your question… my favorite horror flicks are The Devils Rejects, Let the Right One In, Videodrome, and the original Dracula (1931 Spanish Version).
4. What made you choose Drea de Matteo for the part of the villain in this video?
I am big fan of Sons of Anarchy and knew that the band has had music on the show a couple times, so knowing that we needed to cast a vixen who meant business, Drea felt like a match worth pursuing.
While we were shooting, Drea mentioned that this role was funny for her whereas she is usually on the other end of the stick—getting tortured or strangled. So it’s a nice payback video for all of the other roles she usually plays.
Then I’m going to focus on narrative and making a short film…which will hopefully be shot on 35mm if I can scrounge up enough funds for it. I’m fairly new to this world since my background is documentary so I’m excited to work further with dialogue and actors. My only other experience is a skit I did for comedian Nick Thune; it features Matt Jones, who plays “Badger” on Breaking Bad.
6. Who is someone that you still dream of collaborating with on a project?
Not sure if I have a specific someone but my dream would be to make an absurd action-based film. I thrive on capturing moments live so putting together the best crew possible to achieve these types of story sequences would probably be my ideal collaboration.