Give Me Liberty

Honeysmack

Give Me Liberty (music video) 4'33" stereo © 2002

Background

Give Me Liberty is a music-video for the single release from the album Rock by Honeysmack.

Credits

Crew

Script & direction - Philip Brophy
Cinematography - Michael Williams
Camera Assistant - Gary Scott
Grips - Daryl Stokes, Leon Bronson & Paul Rumble
Production assistants - Phip Murray & Simon Maidment
Cast - David Haberfeld, Chris Cox, Tyler Greer, Sophie Poole, Sammy Schzetchamn, Sonya Bortoletti, Tony Mantz, Matt McLean & Moi Rogers
Costumes - Sophie Poole
Make-Up - René
Editing - Cassandra Tytler
Location sound recording - Jennifer Sochackyj
Location manager - Rob Fischicaro

Overview

Original script

1. Intro [no music] A well-toned body builder sits on a plush couch, intently reading the latest IKEA catalogue. He bears a heavy solarium tan and wears nothing but a pair of skimpy neon yellow bikini togs. The lounge room is immaculate, glitzy, classy. This is the kind of house that everyone – yes, everyone - would love to have as their dream home. An elderly woman enters carrying a tray with a cup of tea. The body builder ignores her. She approaches her son – Dave – sitting at a lavish Lowry home organ console. Dave is trying to play a melody, but doing so very poorly. He suddenly breaks down in tears.
Dave - I can’t do. I just can’t do it.
Dave’s mother places the tray on top of the organ and rubs his back.
Mrs. Honeysmack - Don’t give up son. You can do it. Hold onto your dream and never let go.
Dave looks up at his mother – who is a stout, mid-50’s man dressed in women’s clothes. She wears no make-up and has a dark 5 0’Clock shadow.
Dave - Really, mum?
Mrs. Honeysmack - You have a responsibility to make music for the people.
Dave - But who are these people, mum? Where are they? How do I find them?
Mrs. Honeysmack moves very close to Dave, ready to impart her great wisdom.
Mrs. Honeysmack - Son, they’re everywhere.

2. Break beat with voice sample 9" - Dave leaves his house – a gorgeous Georgian-style Mansion, the envy of everyone else in the Patterson Lakes housing estate - and gets into his gleaming, white Monaro.

3. Freaky breakbeat 3" - Dave starts the car.

4. Devo sample A: stomp / guitar 6" - Dave passes an array of houses – all of them so beautiful that only a cruel cynic would not be moved to tears by the warmth they exude for these lucky happy home-owners. Dave is searching for his people – the people for whom he makes his beautiful music.

5. Devo sample A: stomp / guitar / breakbeat / kick 10“ - Dave cruises by a house and slows down. Standing in front of it is an anorexic woman in her 40s. She wears stretch acid jeans and a red boob tube top, emblazoned with the word"HEAD”. She has a very high razor cut parted in the middle, like an elongated David Cassidy. Ratty strands come down to her shoulders. She stares impassively at Dave as she tugs at her boob tube. Dave passes on.

6. Devo sample A: stomp / guitar / breakbeat / kick / scratching 4 / 4" + End scratch 2" - In front of another house stands an equally strange figure: a large, stocky Italian guy in his 30s. His has a patchy Nowak and looks like a retarded Mr.T fan. He wears tight stubbies which clutch his large thighs, and a tight yellow T-shirt. A swag of fake gold jewelry hangs around his neck. His T-shirt says"WOG”.

7. Devo sample B: guitar single note build & snare rush 10" - This time Dave stops his Monaro and closely observes a young guy with grey sweaty skin. He has a No.1 cut with the odd scab, scrappy Adidas dacks and long tracks up both arms. His raggedy T-shirt says"LIFE”. They stare at each other. The druggie sweats more as Dave focuses his stare. The guy’s eyes start rolling back in his head. Dave is psychically controlling the druggie’s being.

8. Devo sample C: Latino party break with scratching & voice sample 10" - Suddenly the druggie breaks out into frenetic, spastic dancing. Like, this guy’s really erupting. Dave smiles. He looks around at other houses in the court: they remain calm and undisturbed.

9. Devo sample C: Latino party break with scratching & voice sample 10" - Dave drives around, seeing more ‘interesting’ people. An incredibly tall ebony woman with a humongous afro, hugely pregnant, wearing a mini skirt and top. On the top is the word:"DANCE”.

10. Devo sample D: collapse 1 with building bass 12" + Devo sample D: symphonic overture with synths 12" - Back home, Dave is hard at work composing. He sweats as he performs flourishes on the home organ. He is ecstatic, transcendent. Mrs. Honeysmack approaches and places another cup of tea on top of the organ. The tanned and toned bodybuilder in his bikini bottoms continues reading the IKEA catalogue. Devo sample D: symphonic overture with synths & metal guitar solo 6" - Dave works on uninterrupted. His pupils dilate: we witness strange circular activity deep in the recess of his retina …

11. Vocoder cut-in 6" - Inside Dave’s head, we experience the wondrous vision which is guiding his immaculate artistry. Wires stream forth from a small bank of 101s, 303s, 808s and 909s. Their LEDs flash on and off.

12. Vocoder / techno beat / scratching 6 / 6" - The wires all lead to the head of a cat whose brain is exposed. The cat’s head – still living - sticks out of a box. It writhes, possessed with the ability to sing:
Cat - Freedom of choice. Freedom of choice. Freedom of choice

13. Cut away [no music] - Mrs. Honeysmack smiles proudly at her son.

14. Devo sample C: Latino party break with scratching & voice sample 12" - Dave drives around, seeing more ‘interesting’ people: a teenage girl covered in freckles, wearing goggles, holding an air rifle on her hip, with tight jeans and cut-off T-shirt, emblazoned with the word:"LEISURE”.

15. Devo sample C: Latino party break with scratching & voice sample 12" - Dave then sees an old man holding a golf club, dressed in loud golf pants, and a silk shirt opened over a singlet. It says:"PUSSY”.

16. Devo sample D: collapse 2 with building bass & synths 6" - More beautiful houses. Dave keeps cruising in his beautiful white Monaro

17-18. Devo sample D: symphonic overture with synths 3" - Dave observes ‘his’ people, high on his music – we get a recap of all 6 people.

23. Crazy breakbeat overdrive with angelic chords & scratch 12" + End scratch solo 2" - Dave drives up to a court and looks out from his Monaro, a huge smile of satisfaction spreads across his face: he watches 200 techno raver kids going mad, dancing in a frenzy in the middle of the court at high noon. He points his finger at them mimicking a hand gun and cocks it at the crowd: zap – they vaporize. Dave grins.

24. Cut away [no music] - Dave suddenly stops playing the organ at looks up at his mum, quizzically.
Dave - Mum, why are you a man?
Mrs. Honeysmack moves close to Dave. She looks straight into the camera, ominously, carefully.
Mrs. Honeysmack - That, my son, is another story.

25. Devo sample C: Latino party break with scratching & voice sample 18" - Dave continues cruising in his Monaro. He passes the 6 freaks again. (3" each) This time they wave at him. He smiles at them in turn.

26. Devo sample C: Latino party break with scratching & voice sample 8" - Camera rises up to give an overview of the housing estate as Dave drives away.

Technical

The Give Me Liberty music-video was shot on 16mm film in the brand new Beacon Vista estate in Port Melbourne in January 2002. At the time, this was among the first new millennium hi-design housing estates. Its numbing aesthetic of faux colonial boxes crossed with CAD-drawn Bauhaus streamlining would go on to be a standard for pre-fab upwardly mobile housing estates for the next decade and more. Its alienating precision and suffocating cosmetic appeal was perfect for telling a tale about the wonder that is normal people. Honeysmack's track samples Devo's song "Freedom Of Choice" extensively. The music-video pays homage to Devo's pro-Vegas para-nuclear hyper-capitalist concept of devolution. (The shot of the young girl holding a rifle was excised for broadcast on some TV stations.)

Walk On Acid

Honeysmack

Walk On Acid (music video) 3'04" stereo © 1999

Background

Walk On Acid is a music-video for the single release from the album Flick Bubble by Honeysmack. The concept was to look at hyper-sexist para-porno advertising, and dumbly copy it without any regard to the supposedly subtle codes which allows advertising to stay on the smarmy side of tasteful.

Credits

Crew

Script & direction - Philip Brophy
Cinematography - Cassandra Tytler
Cast - Barbarella
Costumes - Sophie Poole
Editing - Cassandra Tytler

Overview

Taking product placement to ridiculous heights, the music-video for Walk On Acid ensures that 2/3 of the video is advertising for Coca Cola Bottlers. The remaining 1/3 is a dancing girl. She is listless and bored; wears tacky coloured wigs (preferred by secretaries for hens' nights); sports bras but no panties (the bras still bearing their price tag from Target); and flashes a beautifully manicured vagina. Like a bar dancer dreaming of being somewhere else, she could care less about anything she's doing.

Technical

The Walk On Acid music-video was shot on H-8, using available light from the vending machines and a single fluorescent tube on the ground. There are only 3 fixed-tripod camera set-ups, applied to the 3 costume changes for the dancer. The shoot took place in front of the vending machines late at night in a university cafeteria foyer. It took about an hour to film the complete clip.

Walk On Acid was aired extensively on what was then the first cable competitor to MTV in Australia - Channel V. This network tended to specialize in the more raunchy semi-porno bling music-videos of the late 90s. They played the Walk On Acid music video in high rotation. Other 'alternative' music video shows like Rage (ABC) and Alchemy (SBS) refused to the air the clip. (Alchemy even went as far as making their own crappy indie traffic-at-night-sped up abomination.) Soon enough, Honeysmack received a cease-and-desist order from lawyers representing Coca Cola Bottlers and demanded all copies of the video to be destroyed. The irony of such a large corporation accusing Honeysmack of tasteless promotion was not lost on David Haberfeld and director Philip Brophy. A press-release was sent to the media - not one organ of which commented on Coca Cola Bottlers using their power to ban the clip. Accordingly, Philip drafted a ludicrously sycophantic apology letter to the advertising industry for the press-release:

From the 'apology' press release


Due to the unsavoury depiction of a semi-naked young girl dancing non-stop in between two giant dispensing machines - MARS bars and refreshing COKE - we have been advised by lawyers representing these fine companies to destroy all copies of the video by FRIDAY JUNE 18th midday.

Smelly Records wishes to clarify that there was no intention to suggest that either MARS bars or refreshing COKE endorse what can be construed as lewd and lascivious actions on the part of the semi-naked young girl dancing between the machines. We understand that even though the young girl's shaved vagina is clearly visible for much of the clip, we at Smelly Records had hoped that the video clip would be received as a joyful celebration of the high quality advertising promoted so successfully by large food and drink companies.

The artist Honeysmack (David Haberfeld) and the video clip director Philip Brophy will hastily develop another video clip using more savoury, pleasing and inoffensive imagery. If you have any suggestions as to what should ideally be included in the new video clip, please let us know. We realize we have much to learn about how to communicate our ideas in the politically-correct climate which both the advertising industry and large corporations have worked so hard to foster.