Beatroute Magazine - Almost Human

CALGARY – “I wanted the whole video to be very robotic. The only human element to it would be them.”So begins director and producer Doug Cook, the filmmaker behind the “Almost Human” video. The popular music video director has thus far completed videos for Kobra and the Lotus, Laura Hickli, Mortillery, Chuck Schuldiner’s post-Death band Control Denied, Exit Strategy, ATOMIS and more.

After an acquaintance suggested the STORYHIVE project, himself and guitarist/programmer Sacha Laskow of Every Hour Kills banded together to apply. The incentive was a $10,000 grant given to 20 finalists, as decided by the voting public. Now that the 20 videos are complete and available for viewing on the STORYHIVE website, the public must vote once more to give two finalists an additional $30,000 grant for another music video and documentary. Among the finalists are Alberta acts like Calgary indie folksters The Ashley Hundred, Edmonton thrash metallers Striker and Calgary-based hip-hop duo Dragon Fli Empire.

“I wanted to do a performance video because I think, a lot of people give it a bad wrap, but Every Hour Kills is so energetic and they have a lot of expression in each of them when they are playing, so I wanted to try it,” says Cook, who came to the BeatRoute office to chat alongside Laskow about the project.

“After talking to Sacha [Laskow] and the band about what it meant, I visualized them being in a small environment where they were being controlled. So I wanted them in this small, futuristic environment. They are in this room, being watched and monitored by these robots, these surveillance cameras slash robots. As you saw on the screen, each screen has a sort of character to it…. The whole idea was that they’re somewhat unable to leave that space,” he finishes.

As for the lyrical focus, each song is unique. The focus of “Almost Human” is broad, yet strongly fits with the visual aesthetic of the cold video, which was captured via motorized camera heads to achieve the robotic surveillance camera movements. Indeed, Cook was outside the set directing the action on a monitor, controlling the camera-heads via remote control.