View Full Version : Rex B. Hamilton reports on the Midnight Syndicate music video shoot

Rex B. Hamilton
03-18-2010, 07:59 PM
Rex B. Hamilton reports on the Midnight Syndicate music video shoot

March 18, 2010

Greetings, Fellow Haunters:

It was my pleasure to be a part of the Midnight Syndicate music video shoot on Saturday, March 6 and Sunday, March 7. After 13 years of making spooky music and a total of 11 CDs in their catalog, Midnight Syndicate has at last put visuals to their strange and alluring compositions.

The music video is set to a tune called “Dark Legacy.” It is the 17th cut from the CD entitled “The Dead Matter: Cemetery Gates.” (UPC: 18122-02442) The music video was directed by David Henson Greathouse, a long-time Cleveland haunted actor and so much more.

The finished video will have its world premiere at the TransWorld convention on Thursday, March 25 at the “The Dubliner Opening Night Celebration” from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. The Dubliner is an Irish pub about two blocks west of the convention center on Washington Avenue. Walking distance. According to TransWorld’s Web site the party is free, however you must present your convention badge for admission.


Gavin Goszka and Ed Douglas, the members of the band, have enjoyed a strong and loyal Cleveland following made up of haunted attraction performers, musicians from popular local bands, management types from local radio stations, the artistic community at large and assorted weirdos. In years past, Ed and Gavin have reached out to us several times to bring their CD release parties to life. Working with them has always been a distinct pleasure because of their professionalism and enthusiasm.

In August, 2007 Midnight Syndicate invited many of us to be zombie extras in their horror film “The Dead Matter.” The movie had its theatrical release last October 3 and will be out on DVD this July. Ed and Gavin were kind enough to re-invite all us movie extras to zomb in front of the cameras once again for the music video.


The shoot took place in the historic Phantasy Theater here in Lakewood, Ohio. (The Phantasy has extra significance for us because two Midnight Syndicate CD release parties were staged there.) Precinct 13 Entertainment of Mansfield, Ohio, the production company behind “The Dead Matter,” constructed the abstract set pieces: the pipe organ that Gavin plays and Ed’s electric piano.

We shot the B-roll footage on Saturday, beginning at about 4 PM. First it was Gavin’s turn, in a small room with plain concrete walls and ceiling. The staff from Screamline Studios (Jason Blaszczak, Steve Martini, Shaun Moffet and Nate “Dawg” LeRoy), with talented help from Precinct 13 spent about three hours turning that space into a lovely movie set. With the assistance of Beki Ingram, Mackenzie Martin and others, we shot Gavin playing the electric piano for an hour or so.

Then the production crew went into speed mode for two hours, dolling up an even smaller concrete-walled room for Ed Douglas’ intimate shots of typing the script, shooting and editing “The Dead Matter.” Veteran haunted actress Beth Biasella joined Ed on some of the shots taken in that cramped space. Inside a 10' x 12' oh-so-plain room were Ed and Beth as performers, Greathouse shooting the hi-def shoulder-mounted camera and super 8mm film camera, Beki Ingram manipulating the “china ball” soft light, Steve Martini running the fog effects, me taking as many production stills as I could, scenery and props. All of us had worked together before on other Midnight Syndicate projects. From time to time we bumped into one another and, more than once, got in each other’s way. But since we are all friends, we quietly chuckled and moved on.

The big-time crowd scenes were shot on Sunday afternoon and evening. Altogether there were probably about 80 to 90 people at the Sunday shoot. Something around 50 performers were in attendance, made up by 7 make-up artists and assisted by a crew of approximately 15 production people. The rest of the attendees were family members and friends watching the proceedings at the rear of the Phantasy’s auditorium.

Two high-def cameras were used - a Steadicam® rig run by Frank Purtiman of Precinct 13 and Dave Greathouse’s shoulder-mounted number. Besides shooting from a standing position, Greathouse was sometimes rolled around the scenes in a wheelchair or slowly carted across the dance floor on a wheeled gaffer’s scaffolding. In some of the more intimate scenes, he used a jib to imitate the motions of a crane shot. When I spoke to Greathouse earlier this week, he was completely immersed in editing the video. He told me that he has 6-1/2 hours of footage. How he will chop all this down to fit a song that runs for a little over 3-1/2 minutes has to be a real brain twister.

One nice touch about the shoot was that Ed and Gavin allowed parents who were playing zombies to bring their teenage sons and daughters with them. We only had a handful of high-school boils and ghouls at the shoot, but those up-and-comers did a good job.


I took some nice photographs that weekend and I’ve uploaded a few dozen them to my Facebook page. For those who will attend the premiere in person, I’ll bring along some new ones that you can gaze at as your sip your favorite beverage at The Dubliner.

Thanks, Ed. Thanks, Gavin. I’ll have a porter.

Very truly yours,

Rex B. Hamilton

13939 Clifton Boulevard
Lakewood, Ohio 44107-1462

Evil is Good!

03-18-2010, 08:23 PM
Your photos look amazing (as always Rex)! It was such a pleasure to get to be a zombie for the shoot and I can't wait to see the finished results.

03-19-2010, 01:34 AM
It was great fun working with so many great and talented people on this shoot. Was a pleasure to be a part of it. You got some really great shots as always Rex!

Mike "Pogo" Hach