Meg Myers - "Numb" | Directed by Clara Aranovich
Note from Clara: I love the 90s-throwbacky vibe of the track and how Meg goes for broke whenever she sings. After checking out some of Meg's previous songs I felt we'd align creatively, so I started brainstorming. I listened the track several more times and took the brief to heart, calling up images and memories of how it feels to be "taken advantage of." I remembered a brilliant sequence in Wim Wenders' documentary PINA in which a woman is being touched over and over by a pack of men in suits, and thought a surrealist narrative with a light homage to Pina's choreography could be a great fit. As I often do, I first floated the idea by my EPs and they responded positively to it, so I started on the treatment.
Sourcing images for this one was a bit challenging (which sometimes is a great sign that you've hit on something that hasn't yet been done!). Of course, I started with screengrabs from PINA and then worked my way outward, searching for images of a wealth of hands reaching toward a subject. I looked up a scene from ANTICHRIST (which, amusingly, is a film a detest) and also photos of Born Again baptism rituals.
Once the treatment was submitted and piqued the interest of artist/label, I'd a call with Meg so we could feel things out creatively and personally. We had a lot of shared interests and concerns (e.g. we didn't the video to malign or condemn men, so the people touching Meg are very deliberately meant to be a broad mix of all genders, shapes, ages), and it generally felt like a good fit.
I believe we ended up getting greenlit for a slightly higher budget because of the volume of cast and locations we needed to sell the concept, as well as the fact that I knew we'd need steadicam. We shot the video over one long day with approved OT; not my preferred way to do things (I generally don't believe in going even a minute over 12 and actually aim to make my days in 10, but in music video that's nearly impossible).
Artist: Meg Myers
Commissioner: Steve Gottlieb
Shoot date: Shoot available the last two weeks of February
Treatment date: Monday
Does the band need to appear? Yes
Brief: We are looking to make a music video for MEG MYERS and her new song "Numb", which will be her first release via 300 Records.
"The song was originally written about the pressure to deliver a radio song. Since then it has really taken on a deeper meaning of being taken advantage of by someone when there is a gross disparity in power such as rape, bullying, sexual harassment, etc. and the lifelong impact that had on me and can have on people." - Meg Myers
We want the video to address the issues outlined above, in a very raw, honest, dramatic and creative way. Nothing too literal. We want to include cathartic performance as part of the video, if it can make sense with the rest of the video.
This is a highly personal and empowering phase for Meg. She wants to reveals the highs and the lows and is unafraid to go where she needs to go to tell the story, even if it means revisiting painful memories.
Watch the final video here: