Neon Trees' 'Sleeping With a Friend' Music Video by Surround
Island Def Jam approached directors Brian and Brad Palmer of Surround to create the music video for "Sleeping With a Friend," the first single off multi-platinum band Neon Trees' forthcoming album, "Pop Psychology."
"Keeping in mind the high expectations and the references we discussed at the beginning of the project, Brad and I presented a flexible treatment that spoke creatively to frontman Tyler Glenn," Brian explained. "We usually have every detail worked out on the front end, but for this, it was okay for us to not know everything from the outset and that allowed us the opportunities to take creative risks." Brad noted: "We were able to a step back and think, 'What's missing from this shot or sequence? What can we add?' We did that through every step of the process, so our direction wasn't so paint-by-numbers." Brian added, "There's something comfortable about embracing the unknown when you know everyone on board has the same goal ... it leads to moments of discovery that otherwise aren't possible."
Surround shot for three days and post-production happened over several weeks at its full-service studio in Brooklyn. "This project embodies the choreography of a spectrum of methods – there's stop-motion animation, hand-drawn illustrations, 3D and CGI, 2D animations, and life-size character design," Brad said. Brian remarked that it was challenging to composite the range of techniques into the live-action scenes already rich from set design and wardrobe, "but this is our way of working and we really enjoyed evolving further."
"Music videos aren't made like this anymore," Brad continued. "It's refreshing to have this Neon Trees piece out there, carrying the viewer into a such a visceral world." For Brian, seeing the band use elements from the video for album artwork and during performances makes the project more than just a music video: "It's become a keystone piece of Neon Trees' identity, which is crucial leading up to the launch of a new record."