Visual storyteller specializing in music and dance media. Based in Seattle, serving the world.
- “Classic” by Pacific Ballroom Dance
- “NPR” by Can’t Stop Won’t Stop – Puppet Rap!
- “Grief” – A Dance Short Film
- “Run Away” – A Dance Short Film
- TV ads for Liberty Coin & Currency
- Republic Services Roosevelt: Generating Power from Refuse
- Blackmagic 4K tests: battery life, data and record time
- Timelapse for Buzzfeed
- Roxanne – Tango Short Film
- “Sharper Tool; Bigger Weapon” – The RA Scion redux
- Three web Spots for Familyshare.com
- Garrett Gibbons Demo Reel 2013
- Ayron Jones & The Way – Feedin’ From the Devil’s Hands
- You don’t know what the word “Storyboard” means, do you?
- Dance choreography films for Katie Baillie
Category Archives: Music Videos
As part of the not-for-profit Dance Short Films project, I recently spent two hours with the Youth Premier team at Pacific Ballroom Dance and we filmed one of their formation routines that was originally set for stage. These kids are a blast to work with, as are their talented directors, John & Lara Graham (also choreographers of this piece).
Stylistically, I originally wanted to shoot and present the whole thing in one take, so we filmed it four times as one-take clips. They were fun to watch, and really showed off the excellence and consistency of the dancers, but I also felt that the energy level was higher when I cut between locations, and that it felt like a more presentable product with a few cuts in the middle. You can watch one of the single-take versions here:
Anyone who is familiar with my dance work will notice that this was filmed in a very different style, compared to the more story-based films I generally direct. With this piece, I wanted to highlight the formations, rather than close-ups of individual dancers. It was a stylistic choice, partially to respond to a current trend of showing a lot of close-ups of dancers but not showing the movement of the whole body. When 16 dancers are involved, the group formation movements are also as important as the movement of any individual dancer, and the formations become a dancing body in and of itself. I didn’t want to hide the movement of the body of dancers as a collective whole, so I felt that a simple, more pure presentation of the art of formation dance was the direction I wanted to take for this piece.
This was shot in raw (CinemaDNG) on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, which was mounted on a DJI Ronin-M 3-axis brushless gimbal stabilizer. I monitored the picture using a SmallHD SDI AC-7 display, and we played music back using a DJTech 50 portable PA speaker that I’ve been using for music videos for the last few years.
I processed the color in DaVinci Resolve 12 and edited in Adobe Premiere. I chose not to use any digital stabilization of the picture, just because I liked the relatively raw feel of the long continuous takes.
If you ever have an opportunity to make a rap video starring custom puppets, I hope you take that opportunity.
When Can’t Stop Won’t Stop released their LP “Wildebeest” in 2013, I pinged the group about doing a music video for a song on the album. They were 100% interested, and the plan was to film something when I was next in Los Angeles. Over the next two years it felt that my work in L.A. either didn’t line up with times when they were in town or I didn’t have time to tag on an extra project while down in California.
Eventually a window aligned when the group was sort of available at the same time that I was sort of available, but during that week, none of the vocalists would be in the same city – they were scattered all over the USA. My first though: make an animated music video! My second thought: use puppets! The band was down with the idea, so I began putting out feelers for excellent puppeteers.
My brother Morgan helped me find Randall McNair of Widgets, Inc., who is basically a reincarnation of Jim Henson. He and his wife Lucy proved to be amazing people to work with. They brought a lot of creative juice to the mix and were total professionals in every way. They have a fair amount of film experience, as well as tons of live theater experience, and they were patient with the rest of us while we worked through the learning curve of filming puppets in action.
Shooting the “NPR” video today and tomorrow with the homie @garrettgibbons – Is my nose really that green tho?! A photo posted by CANT STOP WONT STOP (@cswsmusic) on
We began filming in Utah, near where Randall and Lucy live (they had just come back from a few weeks working on a show in Alaska). Filming was relatively straightforward once I started figuring out how to film a puppet in action. The train footage was hilarious to film because people kept walking through the aisle, and they had to step over Randy and Lucy, who were laying in the aisle with their arms raised between the seats to operate the puppets. One security guard just casually stepped over them without batting an eyelid. I guess they see far weirder things on those trains.
We filmed the first verse in front of David Eff’s pink truck that sells frozen bananas, and put out a call to fans to invite them to come and dance it up. Here’s a behind-the-scenes video clip of Randy and Lucy in action, obviously rapping along with nearly every word from the song:
Another boring day at the office. @cswsmusic @davideff #film #smallhd #provo #musicvideo #puppet #hiphop #sesamestreet @widgetsinc A video posted by Garrett Gibbons (@garrettgibbons) on
My favorite setup was the recording studio (June Audio Recording Studios in Provo, Utah), which was a shot I had previsualized early in the creative process, and was thrilled to see the footage turn out almost exactly as I had originally envisioned. Normally, during the development process things change and evolve, and the process is a journey that leads somewhere I hadn’t initially planned. When this happens, though, and the strong initial vision is brought to fruition without mitigation, it feels great.
#Repost @cswsmusic with @repostapp. ・・・ Gee, it feels surreal. Handheld Hawkins bedeviling the mic. #overgram #notsorry @smallhd #juneaudio A photo posted by Garrett Gibbons (@garrettgibbons) on
The Mercedes SLK 500 was a blast to work with, as well. David Eff found this car and its owner at a local car show a few weeks before production began. He wasn’t entirely sure what he was committing to, but there’s something special about being able to turn to an elderly gentleman and say, “Sir, can we have this puppet drive your car?”
Never fear! Our puppet rap video has a Benz and gold chains. A photo posted by Garrett Gibbons (@garrettgibbons) on
We filmed the green screen footage in a park, using one pink bike that I bought from a thrift store for $5 the morning we filmed it. I wanted to harness the cheesy chroma key composite feel of early-90s Sesame Street, and I feel like it turned out just right.
All in all, this project was a blast to work on. Can’t Stop Won’t Stop have a huge amount of energy; I hope to be able to work with them and the McNairs in the future! Enjoy the video!
“Run Away” is a short film based around the dance known as Rumba, performed in the International Latin Ballroom style. It is part of my not-for-profit Dance Short Films project.
The creation of this short film began when I heard “Don’t,” a beautiful and haunting piece of music by Camila Recchio. I immediately asked her for permission to use it for a dance piece, then began talking to dancers. Natalya and Umario ended up finding inspiration in the song, and after I gave them a few general story beats and concepts and images that I wanted to include, they choreographed the movement and developed the story between the characters.
“Run Away” has many themes, which may mean different things to different people at different times. To me right now, it’s about the death of a relationship. It shows the tragedy of a once-thriving friendship that is now dead at the core. In many ways, this short film deals with similar themes and visual motifs as my short film “Time Withers” (2011) (choreographed by Elisha Thompson), but while that film ends on a hopeful and inspiring note, this one is deeply tragic.
- Directed, Filmed & Edited by Garrett Wesley Gibbons
- Performance & Choreography by Natalya Zrazhevskaya & Umario Diallo
- Music: “Don’t” by Camila Recchio (Produced by EOM & Andrew Savoie). Used by permission, All rights reserved
- Production Assistants: Daniel Suchman & Race Newkirk
- Filmed on location at Blakely Harbor on Bainbridge Island, Washington
I filmed this entirely in 4K on the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K (some shots in ProRes 422 and others in CinemaDNG raw for a little more dynamic range), using an assortment of Canon EF L-series lenses. The camera was often mounted on either a Kessler Crane KC-8 or a JAG35 shoulder rig. The SmallHD AC-7 SDI monitor was invaluable on this shoot, since its color rendition and brightness outdoors is far superior to the built-in display of the Blackmagic Production Camera.
Camera setup from yesterday’s @danceshortfilms shoot: Blackmagic 4K, SmallHD AC-7 monitor, Kessler Crane, Switronix V-mount battery pack. A photo posted by Garrett Gibbons (@garrettgibbons) on
The editing workflow involved first using Resolve to create 1080p proxy files (with a basic Rec 709 lut applied), which I used for editing. Once the edit was locked I exported a shot list that was used to conform the edit to the source media in Resolve, where I finished the coloring process and exported in 4K. The fade-in effects and a few final visual effects were then added in After Effects (the transitions were created using the Video Copilot plugin called Twitch), including a bit of extra sepia processing on the “happy past” clips (because I wasn’t entirely happy with the look I created for it in Resolve). The closing titles were also created in After Effects.
I recently had the pleasure of filming this short dance film with Natasha and Umario for DanceShortFilms.com. We filmed in one of the oldest buildings in Seattle, located in Belltown.
Just for fun, I made a reverse version. It was fascinating for me to watch so I uploaded it as well!
It’s been a while since I’ve updated my demo reel. Maybe I was just waiting for the right musical inspiration? This one is long – just over four minutes – but I also made a 90-second sizzle reel for those with less interest or shorter attention spans. Thanks for watching! It’s been an amazing last few years.
Here’s the full-length version, set to “On Saturnalia Eve” by RA Scion (feat. Blake Lewis):
Also, the 90-second version, set to “Woodwalker” by RA Scion (feat. Mark Shirtz):
Here’s the latest music video I’ve directed, “Feedin’ From the Devil’s Hands” by Ayron Jones and The Way. This group was awesome to work with, and I’m also especially grateful for the other Seattle-based musicians and performers (including Sir Mix-a-Lot, Grynch, Davin Stedman from Staxx Brothers and Kitty Kitty Bang Bang) for being involved.
I highly recommend checking out some of their other work, including this bluesy jam, “Baptized in Muddy Waters,” produced by the excellent Session Seven Media in Seattle. Ayron Jones & the Way will be playing at Bumbershoot 2013, and their full-length album will be released this Fall.
I’ve updated my demo reel! It has a bunch of projects I’ve done since my last reel (plus a few old clips that never made it into any previous reel). Enjoy it and let me know what you think!
Ryan Abeo, AKA RA Scion (of Common Market), and his wife Mariangela are two of my favorite people to work with. My first real music video was for “Soothsayer,” part of RA Scion’s Victor Shade project. I’m still not sure how or why they trusted me to make that video since I was new to the Seattle hip-hop scene. It’s still one of my favorite projects, mostly because of the people I was able to work with, and it was a pleasure to get together again and make something totally different.
“Soothsayer” was very cinematic at times, very theatrical at others, very dramatic, very austere, and filled with insanely specific symbolism. “Guttersnipe Bridge” lies somewhere on the opposite side of that spectrum: it’s stripped-down, candid, friendly, and simple. We see Ryan driving his car through traffic in Seattle, picking up his daughter from ballet practice, and heading to a show at The Crocodile. (Madison gave us a few great casual and beautiful dance moments, fulfilling my secret goal to work dancing into every music video I possibly can.)
In an age of rap videos filled with strippers and cocaine, we really wanted to make something honest, with integrity about the life that the artist leads. I hope you enjoy it!
My latest music video involves swing dancing, Chinese lions, and a dance battle. I present: “Chinatown Strut” by Good Co, a new Electro Swing act coming out of Seattle, WA.