Behind the scenes of creating White Reapers new ‘Judy French’ music video starring Alexandra Daddario
Back in high school and college I played in bands. My friends and I would make music videos for said bands along with other random sketches. In college I studied film at Columbia College Chicago with the same friends I was making videos with in high school. We bought a Panasonic DVX100a and started making videos all the time.
Cut to 2008, I moved to Los Angeles to complete my last semester in college. I got a job at a restaurant and had a ton of internships, one which turned into a job assisting writer/producer, Nick Osborne and manager/producers, Trevor Engelson and Oly Obst. I learned the business and so much more. I owe a lot to those guys. Then I met Jon Lajoie. We fell in creative love and started making videos together. They got millions of views. Eventually I made a short film that really showcased my skills and the industry got wind of it. I got an agent, lawyer and sold a script. I finally had started making music videos and developing TV shows for real. I then did a two-year stint at Comedy Central as their in house writer and director for digital. With that gig, plus all the music videos, branded content and pilots… I put in the 10,000 hours. Eventually, I started selling TV shows.
Making Music Videos:
Each video is so unique as far as how they came about. Nekrogoblikon “NO ONE SURVIVES” was a big one for me. I teamed up with them by chance. My good friend Randy Ray told me his buddy was playing a show deep in the valley and asked if I wanted to go. I tagged along and my mind was blown. I had to create something for these guys. The video blew up, and it’s the reason why I started working with Diplo and now have a TV show with him.
Sometimes I approach the band because I am a fan or already have an idea in place…ie: White Reaper. Other times artists come to me, ie: Panic! At The Disco, and ask me to write. I listen to the song over and over and over and over until the idea comes to me. I fully immerse myself in the music. I listen to it non stop. Seriously, NON stop. Then I wait for the idea to come to me.
The New White Reaper — “Judy French” Video:
I was buried in post on my TV show and itching to do a music videos. Offers were coming my way, but nothing that I was super jazzed about. Then my editor Josh Jolcover, who I’ve known since high school, played me a song from this band he was digging. It was “Judy French” by White Reaper. Later that evening, I was having dinner with Joe Trohman of Fall Out Boy (my band in high school opened for FOB a few times. We sucked. They didn’t). He asked me if I heard about this band White Reaper. That weekend, I was on instagram and saw my buddy Sal was the band’s TM. All along, I’m becoming obsessed with White Reaper’s album and specifically “Judy French”. So I reach out to Sal, he puts me in touch with the bands manager Whitney and the rest is history.
Video Quick Facts:
Concept and writing were done by me
Filming the video took one day
Video location: I knew I wanted a clean white cyc, but also a dirty junk yard.
Getting Alexandra Daddario on Board:
I’ve been a fan of hers for years. I wrote an email to her then sent it to my agent and asked him to get it to her. He did. Alex and I met. We vibed. She’s THE best. I wanted this to be just as much her project as it was mine… and she made it hers.
What Was Different?:
Usually my music videos are short films dressed as music videos. Little narratives that hardly ever feature the band. I wanted to do a performance video but still have some sort of narrative movement.
What’s on Tap:
I co-created and directed VICELAND’s first scripted series WHAT WOULD DIPLO DO? that premieres August 3rd. We just dropped a two minute exclusive clip here:
Where You Can Find Me:
You can see all my work at brandondermer.com and follow me @brandondmob on twitter and @brandondermer on instagram. Social media is my digital business card and I’m constantly updating them with that I’ve got going on.
If you enjoyed, please recommend by clicking the heart below
In collaboration with/produced by Jeff Gorra