BEHN FANNIN: Director Spotlight “Your Music Today”
Director’s Spotlight : Behn Fannin
Behn Fannin isn’t your average dude. He seems to have his hand in every type of visual stimulation I can think of. When he’s not making music videos for the likes of Tera Melos or Panic! at the Disco, he’s actively participating in an on-going comedy group; and then I’m guessing after a couple of shot-gunned Redbulls, he sits down and works on his feature films. Basically, the guy is an absolute animal. We somehow managed to catch up with him and tried to pick his fast-paced brain.
YMT: Yo Behn! You’ve been in the video game for quite some time now, how did you first get involved with directing videos? And where do you find your inspiration?
BEHN: My dad, Rick Fannin, is a musician, so while I was interested in film making, music has always been a big part of my life. I noticed early on that the things I was interested in filming and the way I cut them had very strong ties to the feel and rhythms of music. When I moved to LA I made a few short films, but I wanted to reach a broader audience, so I started reaching out to record labels offering to make them music videos for free. They saw, from my short films, that I could pull stuff off with no budget, and took me up on it. That’s how my Melvins video came to be – I flipped when Ipecac Records sent me that track! After that I was picked up by Refused TV as a director, and since then I’ve done a lot of vids with the Sargent House record label. This is lucky for me because the label’s mastermind, Cathy Pellow, has assembled a roster of truly great bands.
Whether or not I’m competition with the other directors who make them, modern music videos are very inspiring to me, because due to ever decreasing budgets and fewer “suits” guarding the gates, bands and directors are having to use much more ingenuity and creativity to make music vids, which allows for bolder choices and forces the idea back into the core of the project, instead of relying on a big budget. But, I find inspiration in lots of other places too; paintings, science, photography, films, technology, Taco Bell, my neighbor’s garbage, etc…
YMT: I live for Taco Bell…… What was that candy/pill type thing in the video for Tera Melos? What was the idea behind that?
BEHN: We had originally intended to only use the meats in the “Frozen Zoo” vid, but I felt like we needed something else to break up that imagery. Mainly, I just really liked the idea of mixing meat and candy, because they don’t belong together. One is biological and bleak, while the other is man-made and colorful, but at the same time, I feel like both share the attribute of being something you dont need to eat, but you do anyway to fill an indulgence – and a lot of that candy got indulged-on after wards by many different friends and visitors. It’s like my video was inside them, turned into poop, and is now out there somewhere being refined back into drinking water full of Tera Melos molecules.
Check out the awesome video for Tera Melos’ “Frozen Zoo” here
YMT: Music videos aren’t the only videos you’re involved with, what are your favorite projects to work on these days?
BEHN: I have a blast being involved with the comedy group Rigor Tortoise. We have made over 50 short films together – you can see some here:RTcomedy.com. We currently make one or two shorts a month, so it’s a great way for me to experiment with lots of different styles and ideas and have a lot of laughs in the process.
YMT: What’s next for you? Any Projects in the works right now?
BEHN: I’m currently working on getting a feature film off the ground, while at the same time gearing up to do a sci-fi-based short film, and looking at doing some web-series material, as well as planning on vacuuming my apartment. Three out of four ain’t bad.
YMT: Awesome! Thanks Behn!
Check out all of Behn’s work at his site here