In March I flew to Los Angeles with my friend and collaborator Bronwyn Ford to film a new music video for my band TOPS. We stayed at the house in Glendale where we shot the video. I lived there with TOPS for all of 2016, while we recorded our new record Sugar at the Gate. This time around I slept in the garage because it was a full house, and I enjoyed smelling the blooming jasmine every night. We’d been planning the video for about two weeks. Once we got to LA, we spent three very busy days buying party supplies, renting equipment, shopping for clothes (most of which we would later return), picking up film, and coordinating with the celebrity impersonators we cast using the website GigSalad. Once we had my friend Bobby’s red convertible, 80 balloons, and a helium tank, we were ready to go.
The day started with Bronwyn and Riley arranging food for the party. Meanwhile, I went with the crew and Anotonio or “Tony”—who impersonated Michael Jackson and Prince—to the nearby Forest Lawn Memorial cemetery in Glendale. We took the convertible and the TOPS van. Once we got to the top of the hill at the cemetery we rigged the back doors of the van so that they would stay proped open while we drove, and strapped Tommy (our DP) to the back row of seats with the camera. Tony and I got in the van and we drove through the cemetery until we were kicked out by a security guard. I felt like a stunt driver! It was really something.
When we got back to the house a bunch of our friends had shown up as well as Holly Beavons and Bethany Owens, the other impersonators. We drank beer out of champagne glasses and filmed the rest of the video at the house all afternoon. Kristy Benjamin came by and shot these photos. It was a truly special day, which wouldn’t have been possible without many friends coming together. – Jane