Tune-Yards - "Heart Attack" | Directed by Mimi Cave

Note from Mimi: “Tune-Yards is a band I had worked with twice before, but not in a handful of years. It's worth noting that the singer Merrill and I were already friends, but I don't think she was expecting to see a treatment from me.

Her music overall is very visceral to me -- her voice cuts through any bullshit in my head, so for some reason I'm always able to see ideas super clearly when I hear her sing (this is not the case for most music). This track in particular had a almost violent repetition to it that just seemed over-the-top. So I brought in the idea of these dancers just fully "dying" on camera and coming back to life. The more ridiculous their performances, the better. For all my treatments my images come from all over the internet. It all depends on the look of the video I'm envisioning, the actions I need represented, and hopefully the styling as well.

I got lucky and Merrill loved the idea. We spoke on the phone a couple times and made some tiny alterations -- chose the numbers of dancers we wanted and added the detail of the paper bags over the dancers' heads. Merrill decided she wanted to learn the choreography as well which I was super excited about. Generally speaking, I prefer to talk and collaborate with the artist in some way. Their music is personal and their psyche is attached to it -- that's valuable to how the visuals come out. I think asking questions and keeping the idea open to changes in the beginning of the process is super important. Some of the best moments in the videos I've made have come out of long conversations with the artists.

The budget for the video was $20k, the largest tune-yards budget I'd ever had. The previous ones were $5k and $7k. We ended up shooting on film due to some amazing favors from my DP Logan Triplett, and it was a scream to shoot this vid. I will do anything for Merrill, anytime, for the rest of time. :)”


Watch the final video here:

Daniel Kwan