Nine Inch Nails Shoot Video In Guadalajara, Mexico
Techno-rock band's leader, Trent Reznor,
fronts more than 200 extras in clip for
new song 'We're in This Together.'
Senior Writer Gil Kaufman reports :
Nine Inch Nails leader Trent Reznor shot a dark video for
the new song "We're in This Together" in Guadalajara,
Mexico, last week.
The clip, filmed by director Mark Pellington, featured more
than 200 local extras dressed in black and marching down
a street with Reznor, according to a source on the set. The
source also described a scene in which a group of burn
victims and blind men from a local hospital were carted
around in a wagon.
Pellington an award-winning video director (Pearl Jam's
"Jeremy") whose second feature film, "Arlington Road,"
was recently released said he had good reason to return
to the small screen for the project. "I missed the creative
freedom, and I had a chance to work with Trent Reznor,"
Pellington said Friday (Aug. 13).
The four-day, closed-set shoot that
began Aug. 5 involved 250 men between
the ages of 20 and 30, all of whom were
dressed in black shirts, pants and
shoes. Filming often exceeded 12 hours
a day, with the extras taking home $50
a day, according to Guadalajara
journalist Francisco Gonzalez, who
covered the shoot for Guadalajara's
Although the shoot is expected to
produce the first video from NIN's
long-awaited new album, The Fragile,
band spokesperson Susan Swan would
not confirm that the video was shot.
Swan also would not say whether "We're
in This Together" was the first official
single from The Fragile, which is slated
for a late September or early October
"I think [the video] was to portray some sort of nightmare
Reznor was having," Gonzalez said. "We were told he was
supposed to be fighting with his own interior demons, that it
was a story about him and his self-conscious."
Gonzalez said he was told that the extras dressed in black
were meant to portray the singer's loneliness, as well as
his anger and fury.
In one scene, shot on the first day, Gonzalez said the men
were filmed walking down a ramp near the intersection of
Independencia and Hidalgo avenues in Guadalajara. They
were led by Reznor, who was lip-synching to a tape of his
aggressive composition. A scene in which Reznor and the
horde were walking without singing was also shot, as well
as one with Reznor on a balcony, lip-synching to the track
as if serenading someone, Gonzalez said.
"One of the curious things was that 95 percent of the
people [on the set] didn't know who Reznor was," Gonzalez
said. "They were only curious about the shoot, and not who
the artist was."
The shroud of secrecy around the shoot is in keeping with
the teasing nature of the four-years-in-the-making follow-up
to Reznor's most-recent NIN studio album, 1994's The
Downward Spiral. A three-song single from NIN that was
released last month had a little bit of everything fans have
come to expect from the tortured industrial studio hound:
wounded vocals; ambient washes of bleak keyboard notes;
walls of distorted guitars; pounding drums; and biting,
"The Day the World Went Away" (RealAudio excerpt),
one of the tracks on the single, opens with the ominous
moan of keyboards quickly overcome by a slowly
strummed phalanx of guitars. Reznor's nearly whispered
voice breaks through, exactly one-and-a-half minutes in,
with the lyrics "I'd listen to the words he'd say/ In his voice I
heard decay/ The plastic face forced to portray/ The insides
left cold and gray."
The cynical, edgy "Starfuckers, Inc." (RealAudio excerpt)
is a propulsive track featuring a robotic-sounding Reznor
sneering lyrics over a skittering electronic beat. It has the
familiar, explosive techno-rock sound of such early NIN
songs as "Head Like a Hole" and 1997's "Perfect Drug."
Both songs are expected to be on the two-CD-length The
Another location for the Mexican video shoot was the
market of Mexaclatzingo — an area that Gonzalez said
was, until then, used mainly for anthropological videos and
documentaries about Guadalajara. On the second day of
the production, Reznor was shot without the extras, in a
building on La Calsada Del Independencia Avenue, 20
minutes outside of Guadalajara, Gonzalez said.
In keeping with the images of decay in such NIN videos as
"Closer," a number of techniques were used to film images
of degradation, Gonzalez reported.
"On the first day, we were taken to a set with a wagon on
it, and they filmed a scene there with different people with
burns and blind people," Gonzalez said. "They used a
technique of photography where they put light on them that
created grotesque effects."
Gonzalez said he was told the burn victims and blind
extras were from a local hospital for burn victims. "It was
disgusting to some of the people in the crew," Gonzalez
Portions of the video also were shot in a train station on the
second day, but filming was sporadic Aug. 7 due to a rain
storm that lasted 18 hours, according to Gonzalez.
The climax scene for the clip was shot on the last day. The
250 extras were filmed running from the top of a bridge
down a street to a segment of music that Gonzalez said
was very aggressive and reminiscent of previous hits such
as "Down in It."
Nothing Records, Reznor's label, cracked down on
webmasters last month when MP3 copies of "Starfuckers,
Inc." and "The Day the World Went Away" began appearing
on websites three days after the songs debuted on radio.
On July 16, more than a dozen NIN-related websites
received cease-and-desist letters ordering that all
unauthorized NIN songs be pulled.
<< Previous Page
is provided courtesy Keith Duemling and Tracy Thompson from the collection previously
located at SUS.