As the Current’s review of this week’s CD of the Week suggests, Kathleen Edwards has a lot of ties to the Minnesota music scene. Not only does her just-released album, Voyageur, feature contributions from drummer Brian Moen of Peter Wolf Crier and Eau Claire musicians like Phil Cook (Megafaun), Sean Carey (Bon Iver), and Edwards’ co-producer and beau Justin Vernon, but Edwards also worked closely with Minneapolis-based filmmaker Dan Huiting to create a tour diary-style music video for her first single, “Change the Sheets.”
Dan Huiting is a familiar name for anyone paying attention to music videography in Minnesota; he started out producing MPLS.TV’s successful “City of Music” series (which recently got picked up for national distribution by Pitchfork), and has since gone on to work closely with Bon Iver, creating the video for “Calgary” as well as a series of more interpretive videos that accompany each track on Bon Iver, Bon Iver, and is working on a forthcoming documentary about the band.
With the new Kathleen Edwards album out today, we thought it’d be a good time to find out how Huiting got the gig creating her “Change the Sheets” video, how his time working with Bon Iver has affected his career, and what’s on the horizon for the busy breakout filmmaker.
Local Current: How did you meet Kathleen and get involved with the video project?
Dan Huiting: The video project was born backstage in Richmond, Virginia at a Bon Iver show. I was on tour with them, filming for an upcoming doc. Kathleen was there and mentioned she needed some video work, and would I want to go on tour with her as well? I said hell yeah!
What concepts did she have in mind for the video, and what ideas did you bring to the table?
She wanted a tour montage, and gave me this video as a reference:
My goal was to make a video that had that energy, but also upped the photography a bit, so I brought along some motorized time lapse equipment (and with the help of local photog Erik Hess) made some really cool stuff to mix in with the tour footage.
Where were the time-lapse portions filmed? I recognized at least one glimpse of Minneapolis highway.
I filmed about 70 percent of the time lapse portions on the road. Erik filmed the rest with me in Wisconsin. We shot a bunch of stuff near Eau Claire. The constellation time lapses were filmed in the front yard of April Base. And yes, the two freeway night time lapses were filmed in Minneapolis.
Do you feel like working with Bon Iver has opened a lot of doors for you?
Working with Bon Iver has opened a lot of doors professionally. I met a lot of great people on the road as a result of touring with those guys. For example, the whole Pitchfork “City of Music” series was born out of a meeting I had backstage at Jimmy Fallon with Ryan Schreiber, while I was there with Bon Iver.
What are some of the coolest things you’ve worked on in the past few months, and what’s coming down the pike that we can look forward to?
One of the cooler things I’ve done lately was strapping a bunch of cameras to an airplane for the upcoming City of Music with Andrew Bird. The footage is so cool! We had already shot the performance with him and I was looking for some supplementary footage. I kept listening to the song and imagining flying over the countryside. So I put a thing on Facebook saying “Anybody got a plane??” and some dude in Wisconsin got back to me. Pretty cool how the internet works! Excited to cut this one together.
We’ve got an episode coming out with P.O.S. for Pitchfork that I’m very excited about. Also, we’re shooting Other Lives in February for City of Music. I got some videos coming out for Trampled by Turtles that are pretty cool and I’ll be doing a bunch of work in Mexico this year for different festivals down there. Fun stuff!