Almost everything I have to say about the great new Modest Mouse video "Dashboard" can be found in my VFXworld.com story Dashboard: Charting the High Seas With Motion Theory and Modest Mouse. Video co-director Mathew Cullen of Motion Theory, however, shared so many great stories that they couldn't all fit in my pseudo-journalistic effort. So, three tidbits for your enjoyment: 1) The inspiration for the video; 2) Modest Mouse singer Isaac Brock getting creative with the charades; and 3) Johnny Marr learns a new instrument.
Mathew Cullen of Motion Theory, co-director: "We loosely based the video on the Sargasso Sea, which is a part of the Atlantic Ocean near the Bermuda Triangle. There's no wind there. And there's a ton of seaweed — for some reason it just gathers in this place. So, boats would get stuck there. When you think of the ship graveyards with boats stuck in seaweed and all the fog? That comes from the legend of The Sargasso. Ships would come in, the wind would stop and sailors would starve to death.
Isaac did a great job. He's not an actor, but he really embraced being a fisherman… A lot of his charades had the names of famous bands. That one [where he holds the radio in front of his head] was Radiohead. Sugarcubes. Fishbone. I forget what the mop shot was, but he came up with a famous band for every single charade we had him do.
Our production designer Teri Whittaker built this guitar turntable for Johnny Marr to play. At first he didn't quite know to play it, so we asked if he wanted to use this other guitar we had and he said, 'No no, I'm gonna learn how to play this one.' He came back and said, 'I got a couple moves for this thing. Let's do it'."