A music video was once defined as a commercial videotape featuring a performance of a popular song, often through a stylized dramatization by the performers with lip synching and special effects. Today it is so much more and the commercial success or failure of many pops songs depend heavily on the video produced to represent the song visually.
That is where experienced and creative videographers like Alexx Thompson come into the picture (so to speak!). Alexx who handles both Photography and Cinematography, is the founder of the 12 year running LA based artist collective Central Elements that he recently turned into CentralElementsProductions.com a Los Angeles Production Company, specializing in Music Videos, Video Art and Independent Films.
Alexx has just finished shooting an unofficial music video for the band Poolside, performing a cover of Neil Young’s hit song Harvest Moon. To shoot the video, Alexx went down to Haiti with an organization called letsgotohaiti.com run by Tara Phillips. All footage was shot in Jacmel, Haiti with the dance group Dance Explosion, while some of the kids seen playing in the video, were from the ACFFC : Art Creation Foundation For Children.
Music has always been a form of expression. The artist is able to convey their feelings through song, getting their listener engaged and sensing the same emotion. In today’s world, there are less and less songs that people can connect with. Songs try to be catchier and promote good times that people should be feeling, instead of the sensations that they actually feel.
One such man that has yet to succumb to this is Alexx Thompson. He has given Neil Young’s Harvest Moon (interpreted here by Poolside),a languid, peaceful, yet rhythmic ebb and flow; the colors, the delicate fade-ins and fade-outs of the dancers as well as the endless journey of the motor scooters along the streets of Haiti is almost intoxicating.
Though the pictures depict scenery of constant movement, Alexx keeps the atmosphere almost hypnotically calm alongside the restrained flowing rhythms of the song – as everything, from dancers to playful children and a parade of motor scooters converging across a street-filled city, move in synchronized, uplifting harmony. Every bustling scene is beautifully contrasted with visuals of the purifying Haitian waters.
Jacmel which was rebuilt, using prefabricated cast-iron pillars and balconies shipped over from France after a fire destroyed it in 1896, has influenced the home structure of much of New Orleans. It is a city that structurally, has not changed much in 100 years, and Alexx Thompson seems to have perfectly captured that timeless magic within his moving frames.
In fact nearly at the beginning of the video there is a dance scene where Alexx uses a sort of back and forth repeat sequence, where all the dancers are in sweet synchronized movement, without really moving in any new direction at all. I felt a strong analogy with the city of Jacmel come through on those frames, as did the almost sepia color tones or scratched film effects used in the video.
The Alexx Thompson Video together with the Poolside version of Harvest Moon has beautifully captured a fraction of the soul of Jacmel which has been accepted as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
A part of the Harvest Moon lyric goes:
“When we were strangers
I watched you from afar
When we were lovers
I loved you with all my heart.”
Alexx Thompson brings that same warm, uplifting and passionate intimacy to this music video!