Gritty and mysterious – behind Good Day RVA’s new Navi music video

by | Mar 26, 2015

Good Day RVA continues to grow as they capture the energy of local Richmond bands in their music videos.

Good Day RVA continues to grow as they capture the energy of local Richmond bands in their music videos. Their latest work is with Richmond’s alt-darlings, Navi.

“We try to ride a line between a simple music video narrative and the live performance”, said Chris Damon, co-founder of Good Day RVA (GDRVA). “We curate the stage to the band.”

Embodying the indie do-it-yourself method, Good Day has produced several music videos of live performances weaved with B-roll shots minted on classic Super 8 film.

Co-founder Evan Hoffman said he took a class on Super 8 film at Studio 23 just as they were shooting their first video at Hollywood Cemetery. They all fell in love with this aesthetic.

“It offered us a chance to show B-roll,” Hoffman said. “We immediately considered filming 8mm as a means to tell a separate narrative, to expose the place that we were filming. We wanted to preserve that old character of film.”

Damon said they try to keep to a loose “formula” for each of their videos.

“We considered every approach early on in order to form a style,” Damon said. “From the font and motions of the title card to the Super 8 placement , to meshing of the bands to their locations… We’ve built on this since, but we wanted to offer something unique that would jump right out of the gate.”

For their newest video, GDRVA filmed Navi at the old Flood Zone/Have a Nice Day Café building, which they say will probably be the last musical performance to be held at that site. They filmed three takes of the band playing two of their songs all the way through.

“It was really gritty and mysterious in there,” said Tommy Terrell, who has been with Good Day since filming White Laces back in June of 2013.

Each of their live videos also includes some sort of visual motif. With Navi’s, it’s glass. They used dirty mirrors, broken CDs, and disco balls, all of which were found objects from the scene.

Navi’s shoot was long awaited, as the videographers had wanted to film them since the first time they saw the band perform. Good Day said the band’s high energy on set was distracting for all ten of their cameras – in a good way. “Afterwards, a few of us claimed to be so into their performance and the environment that we would get distracted from what we were shooting at times.”

They don’t like to wait to start editing either, which usually starts the same night of every performance. “We’re high off the shoot,” Damon said, “so it’s typical to dump everything into the computer immediately and huddle around it like a campfire.”

Even as they gain more experience, GDRVA said most shoots are a lot of “controlling the chaos”. While they usually have some sort of game plan, a lot is spontaneous and they collaborate with the band to generate more ideas.

“Once everybody’s on the same page, it’s cool,” Damon said. “Sometimes we have a very limited amount of time to film, so very little energy can be wasted. We try to roll off of each other.”

Good Day RVA began late in the summer of 2012 with Hoffman, Damon, and co-founders Matt Cowan and Will Weaver. They hired sound engineers for their first video, knowing how important having professional audio would be.

“Well-engineered audio was just as important to us as filming the live performance well, perhaps even more important”, Damon said. “We didn’t have the knowledge or the equipment necessary to capture high-quality sound, so a friend of mine put me in contact with Jesse Clark and Glen Piegari. When Evan, Matt, and I showed up to the first video location, Jesse and Glen were already there setting up a giant mobile rig of audio gear. They were very professional, more than we could’ve wished for.” Clark has since worked on the first five live videos, collaborating with Piegari on two.

The collective has recently come under the non-profit umbrella of Enrichmond, a foundation serving Richmond’s people, parks, and public spaces. However, funding is still their biggest issue in developing further. They deal with high costs in their business, especially since there are fewer and fewer places in the country that can both process and transfer color negative film. “If we had the correct funding, I feel like we could set up performances once a month,” Hoffman said. “There are so many bands that want to work with us, and we want to work with so many bands. The talent pool here is insane.”

Good Day will be releasing their Indiegogo campaign in April, with which they hope to raise these funds necessary to meet specific and necessary goals. One of these goals includes hosting their second music festival at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery on Saturday, May 9th.

The 14-band lineup and details will be released soon.

“I love working in film because it is a collaborative process,” Damon said, who stressed that their current lack of funding never made them think twice about continuing the process of supporting the city’s music scene. “Everyone in Good Day brings so much wonderful energy, everyone offers a different perspective, everyone offers something new to the table,” Damon said. “The end results have been pretty wonderful.”

The new video for Navi is set to release later this week – RVAMag will premiere the bad boy when it goes live.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

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