Music Video Shot in Santa Cruz Tweeted by Ashton Kutcher, Goes Viral

'Dream Music: Part 2' received two million views in the first two weeks alone, and was tweeted by Ashton Kutcher and praised as 'visually outstanding' by Steve Wozniak.

Marc Donahue, 32, and Sean Michael Williams, 27, of PermaGrin Films didn't get much sleep during the six months they spent creating the video Dream Music: Part 2, and it shows.

The video, which garnered two million views within two weeks of hitting the web on August 20th, is a surrealist journey that follows one man's dream through California and Nevada after he falls asleep on a couch listening to his headphones.

"The real inspiration was to screw around with the production techniques that we had been trying and to really make something that has really never been seen before," said Marc Donahue.

Building on their first video, Dream Music: Part 1, Part 2 is shot entirely with a Cannon 5D Mark III camera, and uses time lapse and stop motion techniques—millions of still shots put together to form a whole, distorting hours and hours of video work into mere seconds.

The sole actor's mouth also moves in synch with the lyrics, which the film duo calls "lyric-lapsing."  

Their Dream was an incredible amount of work, but renders fascinating and clever results, or in the words of Steve Wozniak: "visually outstanding" results.

"It's kind of like animation but with a real person. We had to take a picture, and move a little bit, remeasure out the shot, do that a couple hundred times until you pull out your hair... that's pretty much what we were doing for the past six months," explained Donahue. "It's really, really tedious work." 

In his dream, the actor skimboards over Davenport beaches, builds umbrella-topped sand castles while buried in the sand, snowboards over train tracks in Capitola and Santa Cruz, and finds himself wandering through the crowded and colorful Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which serves as an idyllic backdrop to the song "Making Castles" by Santa Cruz's Robbie Fitzsimmons's band, Rabbits Running, around the 1:30 minute mark. 

Filming at the boardwalk on a busy day attracted a lot of attention from passers by, said Donahue

"I just had to say 'just ignore everyone around you and let's just get this done,'" said Donahue. 

There are also many scenes shot in the Bay Area and an impressive long-exposure sequence of the stars moving over Lake Tahoe.

Embracing independent labels rather than mainstream, the film duo also chose the music of the Joelistics and dredg for Dream Music Part 2.

As tedious as the work was, the film crew didn't forget to set up additional cameras for their Behind the Scenes video, also miraculously shot in the same stop motion style, and featuring scenes of Santa Cruz and Capitola Village.

Although he took a few classes at UC Santa Barbara, Donahue is mostly self taught.

"I used to skateboard and snowboard so I would pick up a camera and started filming my friends, just as kind of a hobby... I really got into the editing portion and really fell in love with cutting stuff and creating this surrealistic feel," said Donahue.

The duo will be having lunch with Steve Wozniak next week, and is excited for their next projects, which include teaming up with a big time music artist to make a music video. (Identity of artist has yet to be disclosed.)

"I'm trying to team up with a big time music artist and make a music video. I'm also looking into a couple commercial gigs because I feel the new technique that we discovered is really slam, bam, in-your-face and can really capture your attention in a really short 30 second segment," said Donahue. 

Other recent music videos featuring Santa Cruz include Cruzmatik's Party Don't Stop and Chris Rene's video of Young Homie.

Cissy October 11, 2012 at 10:48 PM
So cool
June Smith October 12, 2012 at 02:43 PM
I didn't think I'd be watching all 8 minutes, but was curious to see some of it. Oh my, I can see how it has attracted so much attention - dldn't miss a second of it, even the credits!
CLARA E MINOR October 12, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Very cool...love counting all the places I recognized...then I just stopped cuz there were too many! Love that Tahoe ending too and the credits shots are amazing...! This clip DOES act like a dream...thumbs UP~
Marion October 12, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Love it! A piece of art!


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