Bryn Marina: Blooming Toys

Children’s Toys Expand Hypnotically Underwater to Sound of Ceres’s Latest Track

During a road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway, Los Angeles-based filmmaker David Harris, found himself listening to Candy Claws (Sound of Ceres’s former band) every night and instantly became a fan.

‘Something about the mystery of their music, the sleep deprivation and the natural beauty of California turned that album into a weird see-yourself-from-outside-of-yourself experience for me’, David told us.

David’s collaboration with the band through the Bryn Marina video started as a simple email from a fan. ‘Fortunately Karen and Ryan (Sound of Ceres, ed.) were kind enough to hear me out’. The three artists collaborated on the project with a workshop-like approach.

The video was shot in David’s garage, where he created a universe in which underwater proto-organisms slowly morph, taking on their own lives. As the song starts with: I saw a new star, slowly turn / Was the only one universe, David in these feelings of new love.

We wanted to find out more about the creative process behind Bryn Marina.

The Plus: Stylistically, how does this video compare with your personal projects?
David Harris:
I would actually classify the Bryn Marina video as a personal project. Most things I work on are pretty collaborative; it’s usually my style mixed with someone else’s. I think there’s a common thread in making things that are both visually appealing while also feeling kind of strange, and maybe a little creepy or sinister. But stylistically, this particular project is definitely “my thing”.

TP: What were the creative and technical steps involved in creating an underwater time-lapse?
This video was shot on a MagicLantern-hacked cheap Canon DSLR with a 1970’s Nikon macro lens, which I’ve had since I was a kid. It was lit with the kind of lightbox you’d use for tracing drawings. I say I shot it in my “garage”, it’s really more of a storage shed, but I decided to embrace the low-fi nature of this setup. I’d set up a small fish tank out there and take a guess as to which toys would blow up first – which is now maybe my most esoteric useless skill.

TP: Were there any particular challenges to overcome?
The biggest challenge was keeping at it when I felt like I was just a weirdo doing something in my garage, or when I got a string of boring shots. Once I made the mistake telling a friend, “I’m working on a kind of cool thing in my garage” and their eyes just glazed over. But as far as filmmaking challenges go, this was no Herzog movie.


TP: What are you working on next?
I’m always writing and looking for new collaborators. Currently, I’m about to go into production on another music video in the vein of the Bryn Marina video, using macro and objects, but now incorporating performance.