Summary: Now that you have the music, you need the ideal video to promote it, right? AKA How the original Uno video was recorded.
Disclaimer: I do not own Muse, and 98% of the things written here come from theories, not reality
Author’s note: For the stellarclouds Challenge #17: Dreams. I took a weird approach of "dream", but since the challenge inspired me to write this, it fits. It was May when I finished writing it, even if I'm posting it a little late. I hope you like it!:)
This was a good idea, or so they had thought at the beginning. Following the steps of the typical rock band, after the songs are released, they need videos, and Muse was definitely ready for that. However, when they knew what they were supposed to do, it wasn’t so great anymore.
“We are going to walk?” Matt asked confusedly. “No, I don’t get it, what… what does it have to do with the song?”
“No, no!” the director replied to him. “Actually, I was thinking you would stand still and sing. Dominic and Chris can walk and do other things, too! We’ll add some footage of you three performing the song. Trust me; it’ll be a great hit.”
To this day, Dom regrets not saying something against the idea. Instead, all he let out was, “I don’t mind.” Considering their sound check had been pretty good, he felt positive about things.
Chris’ answer was similar and Matt reluctantly agreed. They had decided to take the next step and they wouldn’t back out.
They didn’t have a decent budget. Actually, they didn’t have a budget at all. Dom would have liked to wait a little bit longer, until they were more known, but what was life without taking some risks?
Dom didn’t know why he still expected some decency of their venue: a house, maybe a small studio, but…
“We’re filming here?” Dom blurted out when they stopped in the middle of a busy street. Their director was carrying his camera and a heavy-looking box.
“Yes!” he replied, slightly out of breath. “Perfect place, don’t you think?” he raised voice to be heard over the noise of people passing by. People were walking all around them, some even daring to pass between them, blocking their sight for moments.
The director lowered the box onto the floor, making the people walk around it, annoyance clear on their faces. “Here,” he pointed down. “Come on, Matt, hop on!”
Matt’s eyes widened, looking around with a flush on his face. “On that? How are you going to record? There are people everywhere!”
“Exactly! They will be the background!” the director grinned. “Standing up there you will be visible, so don’t worry about that part.”
Dom stared as Matt paled but quickly squared his shoulders and stood on the box. How Matt managed to not look ridiculous or embarrassed, he would never know.
“Now,” he announced, “this is what we are going to do.” He pointed far away at a distance. “I’m going to film from there. We’ll start with you, Matt.” At this, Matt looked at him. “Take this,” he said, handing him a playing device with a pair of small earphones. “I have your song here, you can listen to it as you sing. Or you can just pretend, if you want. We’ll add the track over the video anyway.”
“Wait! Do I look at the camera or…?” Matt asked.
“Yes, exactly that!” he replied. “Sing at the camera and… act natural!” he flailed his hands, almost smacking some people in the face.
Chris and he were quickly ushered away from Matt to clear the scene, and the director walked off with his camera to who knows where. They stood awkwardly for a few minutes, the people passing by staring at Matt; fortunately, after a while, Matt stopped being a novelty and was promptly ignored again.
Suddenly, Dom found their director at a distance, giving them a thumbs up. The three of them frowned, not understanding the director’s instructions from so far away, but Matt apparently got the gist of it.
He quickly put on his earphones and awkwardly started mouthing the words. Dom couldn’t blame him for not singing. It was strange enough being standing there, still receiving stares from time to time. Singing or even saying lyrics about “being number one” would’ve made everything all the more awkward.
After looking at Matt for the first minute or so, he had to turn around and look elsewhere, trying to hide his cringe as to not discourage Matt. Chris soon did the same. He was lost in his thoughts, dreading his turn to be filmed, when someone pushed his shoulders. He quickly turned around, ready for a confrontation.
“Hey! Watch where you’re walking!” he yelled before he realized he was speaking to Matt. “Oh, it’s you.”
“Arse,” Matt rolled his eyes, punching Dom’s arm lightly. “I’m done,” he announced to them.
Dom shrugged. “So?”
Matt smirked. “It’s your turn.”
Dom couldn’t help but let out a groan. “Do I have to?” he whined. “Is it too late to say I don’t want to appear?”
Chris and Matt laughed.
Sadly, Dom had to admit, standing still in the middle of a crowd – without the box, mind you – and staring into a distant camera was more awkward than Matt’s part had seemed to be. He didn’t know what kind of expression he had to show, and their director was too far to actually ask him, so he settled for what he supposed was his neutral face, and hoped it was enough. Apparently it was, because the director kept recording.
Sadly, he had to start over when he noticed someone in the crowd making the most confused face he’d ever seen and snorted out a laugh before he could stop himself.
After a couple of minutes the director raised his hands, clapping a bit and then signaling Dom to tell Chris to stand on the other side of the bridge. To be fair, Chris was way surer about what he was doing. But then, Chris was the quietest out of the three of them, and standing still wasn’t something that made him fidget as Dom or Matt did. He was done really quickly, and soon enough their director returned to them.
“Brilliant!” he exclaimed. “Now, Chris, Dom, I want you two on either side of Matt. As he sings the song, I want you to walk around in circles.”
Dom let out a surprised laugh. “Are you serious? To literally walk around in circles?” he asked, already knowing the surprise. Their director wasn’t exactly subtle with his requests.
“Yes!” the director confirmed. “I will let you know if we need to repeat that. But if we don’t, we’ll move to the next part. I’ll record each of you doing the walk.”
Dom nodded. It didn’t seem too complicated.
“So, we record that and we’re done?” Matt asked to confirm.
Dom laughed. Of course not. “What do we have to do next?” he asked, smirking.
“Well, that would be all for Matt, but…” Dom’s smirk disappeared and one appeared on Matt’s face. “I need you to trust me on this, Chris, Dom,” he paused for a second. “I would like it if you could pretend to fall,” he said quickly, raising his hands. “Just one time! Stand up and…” he showed one of his hands, showing exactly how he wanted them to fall.
Matt started laughing. “Sorry. Your faces!” he wheezed out as an explanation, not sounding sorry at all.
Dom rolled his eyes and turned to the director. “And we have to smack our faces on the floor?” he jokingly asked, fearing for a moment that their creative director would make them end hurt somehow.
The director laughed. “Not at all,” he replied. “Just put out your hands to stop the impact as late as you can,” he explained. “If the shoot doesn’t come out as I expect, we’ll work with what we have already, this is just an extra, all right?”
Dom heard Matt snicker, so he squared his shoulders and smiled. “Sounds good to me! Let’s do it.”
Surprisingly enough, after the first few minutes of walking around, Dom stopped thinking it was weird. This was for their video, and he had decided that everything they did would be worth it. He walked in circles like his life depended on it. Small, even circles whereas Chris’ version of walking around was wider and less controlled.
Their walking was so good that they only had to record everything once. After that was done, Matt stepped out of the way to let Dom and Chris keep walking. When it was time for them to fall, Dom felt a little nervous. Even if the worst that could happen was to scrap his hands (or his face), falling in public was still embarrassing, and he couldn’t fight against his instinct of blushing as he prepared to do it.
Come on, Dom, you can do it.
Clearly his thoughts were delusional. Dom sighed and as soon as the director gave him the go ahead, he leaned forwards and felt the vertigo as he started falling. He knew the action lasted only seconds, but he felt those seconds longer, waiting until the very last moment to move his hands and stop the impact.
His hands ended up scrapped, and some people passing by giggled at him, but Dom felt proud of having finished his part on the video. Chris quickly made his fall – and really, how did he make everything look so easy? – and the shooting was declared officially done.
Matt, Chris and Dom felt confident that their video would be great.
The video was certainly… something.
Dom had to admit, the editing was pretty good, and his fall had been used, but…
“I think it’s good,” he said out loud to his bandmates, trying to sound confident.
Matt snorted. “It’s rubbish,” he stated. “You don’t have to lie to us, Dom.”
Dom laughed. “Well… it is rubbish, but it’s our video! People will watch it anyway,” he reasoned.
“Dom’s right,” Chris said, shrugging. “Some people like weird stuff. It doesn’t matter if it’s rubbish or actually good. Now it’s out there.”
“I know that,” Matt sighed, moving his hands in the air. “I just… thought it would be something… more, you know? Maybe I was expecting this amazing and original idea to go with the song,” he joked.
Dom, who was sitting next to Matt, wrapped an arm around his shoulders, smiling to cheer him up. “For now, we have original for sure, and who knows? When we go big, or even when we have another chance, Uno will have the video it deserves, how about that?”
Matt snorted. “You’re too cheesy, Dom. But yes, you’re right.”
And when time passed, and they released their second version, as soon as Dom saw the smile on Matt’s face while watching it, Dom knew he had been right.