Ghosts In A Burning City video

So I’m thinking about doing a video for “Ghosts In A Burning City”, the title track for my album. The song is about chaos in the global South — in my head, it’s about Uganda, but it could really be applied to any place.

I’d like to do a video for the track. The idea I have is this: a chest-mounted camera, facing at an actor’s head (you can see the trick I’m talking about here), as the actor goes through a typical day in Las Vegas…except it’s a feral Las Vegas, a Las Vegas that’s like Darfur or Mogadishu, a burning city. The actor will dodge explosions, bullets, hide from warlords roaming the street. This won’t be obvious immediately, but as the video goes on, things will descend into complete chaos. The end of the video, I think, will be the actor lying dead on Fremont Street, the victim of a bomb blast, the camera fixed on his/her open eyes.

I think I can shoot this with an inexpensive HD camera like a Flip, and do most of the F/X work in post using AfterEffects. (I’m not an AfterEffects expert, but I think I’m capable of adding in matte scenery like smoke rising into the sky and explosions, etc.) I’m wondering about the logistics, though — getting permission from the city to shoot, etc.

If I can pull this off, I’d like to sell the video with the single as a download, with 60% of the profits going to Invisible Children. (I’d donate 100%, but this will probably cost me money out of pocket, unless people are willing to donate time/equipment for me to use. And honestly, I’m not rich, and I can’t really afford a few hundred bucks out of pocket.)

Whaddya think? Does this sound interesting to you? If you’re in Vegas, would you like to be involved somehow? Please let me know, either via the comments or via my Twitter account: (at)jzellis. I think this is kind of a cool idea. If I can do it without incurring a lot of cost, I would probably be willing to donate a higher percentage or all the profits. But I want to know what you think.

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  1. I like it a lot, Josh. I must say I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the album. Wish I could commit to coming to LV to help out, but it ain’t in the card just yet. But full steam ahead with this idea!

  2. This song is amazing and

    YES needs a video. I love the idea. I have access to all the equipment you need, and would totally produce a video for you if you want. But we’d have to do it in Montana. Do you have a concept in mind? Let’s talk about it on the phone… you wouldn’t have to come up here (unless you want to be IN the video), but you’d have to trust me with most of the details.

  3. Wait…. now that I said that…. I was thinking about “Not in This World (or the Next One)”. I am obsessed with that song right now. I think I’ve listened to it 50 times so far.

    That is the song I would love to make a video for. I would also help you make a vid for GiaBC…. but to be honest I would not be AS excited about it 🙂

    I really love the last track on the album, too.

    Lemme know what you think.

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