Okay, so it's not that big of a secret after all. If you know me personally, you know how much I love that band. I remember the first time their life-changing music kissed my ears in early 2004. I was getting ready for school that morning and decided to put on the TV while I ate my breakfast. I looked around for things to watch and finally decided to put on music videos. I started eating when a riff immediately caught my attention. I looked up and read the song and artist: “A Favor House Atlantic” – Coheed and Cambria. I put my fork down and focused my full attention on the video. Something about that song moved me. It made me so happy. I could not take my eyes off the screen for the next 3 minutes. After that moment, I was a fan for life. Most people will never forget where they were when tragedy struck on September 11, 2001; Or, for the older generations, where they were when John Lennon was shot. My story obviously doesn't compare to those tragic events, but the significance of it still lingers in my mind to this day. I’ll never forget where I was when I first heard Coheed and Cambria.
I have tried countless times to describe exactly what happened to me when I watched that video, but I have always come up short, or felt like I didn't do the moment justice. Nothing could describe what I felt in that moment. It was more than just a high school kid watching a music video; it was a whole new stage of my life that began as the video was playing. I was being pulled into my future! I was listening to the soundtrack of my up and coming young adult life. At the time, I was really into Led Zeppelin and bands of that era. Although Zeppelin continues to be my second favorite band, I had no idea that Coheed and Cambria's music would come to define aspects of my life. I was hooked. I've attended every concert Coheed has played in southern California since then. Every concert was better than the last. I used to stay up hours learning their music on guitar and singing along the best I could. Coheed is as much a part of my adolescence as Tech Decks, growing my hair out, and learning how to talk to girls.
I could write about Coheed for hours, but back to the story: music video shoot...
July 16, 2012
I was just getting to work around noon and was a few minutes early. I got to my desk and logged onto my computer to kill time for a bit. I logged onto Facebook, as I’m sure people RARELY do, and saw a post from Coheed’s Facebook page. The post said that they were looking for extras to be in their latest video that they were going to be filming by the end of the week. The post said I needed to include a short message and a picture of myself. I snapped a picture on my phone and sent it to the email address provided. Two days later, I received a response inviting me to join them for the music video shoot! I was STOKED!!! I immediately called my little brother and shared the news. He was excited for me, but bummed out that the video shoot was the same night The Dark Knight Rises premiered. He knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I had to go being the HUGE fan that I am. The video was going to be filmed Friday the 20th at 1AM.
July 19, 2012
As far as the first half of this day, it was like any other day. I had class from 8am to 11am, and then I went in to work from 12 to 5pm. After work I drove straight home. I knew I had to get home as soon as possible and sleep so I could be lively for the video shoot that night. I tried to go to sleep, but I just couldn’t get comfortable. I spent most of the afternoon reading a book instead. The plan was to leave around 11:30PM. That gave me an hour and a half to get to the city where the shoot was going to be, which was 50 minutes away from Moreno Valley according to Google Maps. At exactly 11:30PM, I left my house. The drive there was interesting. By interesting, I mean that there were 3 freeway closings. THREE! Traffic was redirected off of the freeway and onto the street for several blocks, THREE TIMES. What were the odds of that?
I was late.
July 20, 2012
When I finally arrived at the location, it was around 1:15AM. I was only 15 minutes late. All the parking lots near the location were completely full. I parked a block away in a nearby neighborhood. I began walking toward the location where the music video was going to be shot. When I got to the door I saw a couple people standing right outside. My first thought was that I was not going to be let in. The place looked packed! I stood there for about a minute assuming that there was a line, but I got impatient and found my way inside. As soon as I walked in there, Claudio Sanchez was standing about 5 feet away from me!!
The lead singer of my favorite band was 5 feet away from me. I was completely starstruck. I wanted to shake his hand and tell him how much his music is the soundtrack of some of the most beautiful moments in my life, but I didn't. I just played it cool and stood by as he talked to all of us. Some people asked him how Mic was doing (Mic was the bass player and had just left the band because of a run-in with the law and resurfacing drug problems). He told us that he will be okay, but kept it vague out of respect for Mic's privacy. Then people asked him about the Amory Wars movie (Coheed has just announced that Mark Walhberg's production company is going to make a movie based off of the Coheed and Cambria story). He told us that the whole thing was just a thought at the moment. The ink hadn't even dried on the contract yet. Now that it was confirmed, they could bring it to fruition. He seemed really excited about it. After all the fans' questions, he thanks us for coming out to the video shoot and described to us the scene he wanted us to portray. He told us that the video was about a fighter named Domino who was on his way to the top and gets involved with the wrong people. Our job was to be the audience during the fights. He thanked us all and said that he was on his way to get on a flight to go meet up with Iron Maiden. They were only a couple of days from beginning their tour. He thanked us all again, said a few goodbyes, and he was off.
It was awesome to see him, but a few people were bummed that during the shooting of this video, Coheed was not going to film anything on that set. Their clips for the video were filmed at another location. Regardless, every was excited to get started. Someone from the crew came and told us that all that was left was setting up the lighting and that as soon as that was finished, we would roll. What I discovered that night was that lighting takes HOURS to set up. We all just assumed that it would be quick... NOPE.... HOURS. A half hour or so after the announcement, a crew member showed up with several bags full of Jack-In-The-Box chicken sandwiches and tacos. After we all ate, we started mingling. It was great to have so many Coheed enthusiasts in one room together. We all speculated about the upcoming double album, The Afterman, and what it might sound like based off of the rough recordings we've all heard online. We also talked about our favorite album and why we chose that one. It was a blast. It was great being surrounded by true fans who knew just as much as I did.
At around 3:30AM, the director came over to us and welcomed us to the set and gave us a brief explanation of what he expected from us. Immediately after, he got us all into our positions. Our job was to cheer as soon as he said, "ACTION," and quite down once he said, "CUT." We did this for hours into the morning. The actor who played Domino had it the hardest. He had to keep faking boxing match after boxing match. Domino went through several opponents before finally reaching the one who would finally knock him out. During the knock out, the actor had to keep putting fake blood into his mouth and spitting it out as soon as his face hit the canvas. The first couple of tries did not come out as the director wanted so they cleaned the canvas and filled his mouth with fake blood once more. After the last knock out, we filmed several cut sequences like the one in the very beginning of the video where Domino is in the middle of the ring with his robe on. As soon as the director yelled, "CUT," we all cheered! We did it. We were in a music video!
We wrapped the shoot around 7:45AM. Everyone was exhausted, sleepy, hungry, and sweaty. We spent the whole night cheering our lungs out on cue. The director thanked everyone for coming out and said we did really good as a group. He complimented us and said we showed a lot of enthusiasm despite how long we stood there. Of course we showed enthusiasm! We're Coheed fans! All we know is enthusiasm for our favorite band! When I walked outside, the sun was just above the local buildings. The morning air was misty and felt fresh against my face. I got into my car and made my way home. On the way home I realized something VERY IMPORTANT. I realized we did not listen to the song! hahaha We cheered on cue but never got to hear the actual song we were making the video for! It was no big deal, because I knew whatever the song sounded like, it was going to be incredible.
With that, I leave you guys with the video we did. Check out 3:10 in the bottom left hand corner as Domino is about to fight and 4:12 as he's hugging his brother. Those are the clearest shots of moi.
Thank you guys again for taking time out of your busy schedules to read my blog. For all the latest news, music, and merchandise, check out:
Also, check out their double album, The Afterman: Ascension and Descencion! Legendary music and incredible story telling. Thank you guys again!
One among the fence.