“Giving In” is a song that has, rather simply, just been around me as long as I can remember.
It isn’t a song that is particularly well known, and Robert Gillies, the musician and singer who recorded it some five years ago for his album Astonaut, isn’t particularly famous. But every time I find myself driving alone to or from home, or in a time of distress, Gillies’ lonely guitar pops into my head to give a little voice to my melancholy and gives me a bit of breathing room. It was the first song that popped into my head when asked to make a music video – along with the structure.
It is also only 1:59 seconds long, so it was also nice from a production standpoint.
The structure of the video – a person’s “Goodbye List” as they pack to head back to college – came from the lyrics almost sounding like a wake to me. Being forced to go away from something you love, and wondering if you ever should’ve chosen to leave. They were emotions I felt the first time I left for college, and a few times later. “Crawling neath the rubble, till your hands are burning red” gave me the idea of shooting at various places in my hometown I used to haunt with my friends in high school – I like the idea of the rubble being memory. The ending gives me a sense of acceptance with your new fate, so I chose to end it on the happy note of the pan up the castle and me smirking – “Head home” symbolizing coming to terms with your new life. Giving in, if you will.
Only aspect of production that was difficult was that I did it all myself – no tripod, no extra help. The original plan involved getting help from friends also coming back that weekend – and then none of them could. So I drove around town and improvised a multiple location shoot over the course of one day – around 12 total hours of production in my hometown, on the road, and here in Charleston.