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Music video helmers The Daniels — aka Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — recently teamed up with Adult Swim’s NTSF:SD:SUV:: for a humorous promo starring the cast of the comedy series.
The clip features series creator Paul Scheer along with fellow castmembers Rebecca Romijn, June Diane Raphael (Scheer’s wife), Kate Mulgrew, Martin Starr and Brandon Johnson involved in a shootout during which they attempt to explain the show’s title, an acronym for National Terrorism Strike Force: San Diego: Sport Utility Vehicle.
The Daniels told The Hollywood Reporter that they have been fans of the show, which parodies cop procedurals, and other Adult Swim programming for some time. They were introduced to Scheer through a mutual friend at about the time he and his team were looking to create some promos for the show’s second season.
“We were asked to pitch our ideas, and we came up with the idea of shooting a whole bunch of guns, and they thought that was cool,” Scheinert said. “They were using real guns, so each castmember had to go through training and wear earplugs. It was a lot more work on the actors than we had any right to demand of them, and they did a great job.”
For his part, Scheer said he was familiar with the directing duo, whose work includes helming videos for The Shins (“Simple Song”) and Foster the People (“Don’t Stop”). He let them have complete creative control over the promo.
“I said, ‘I’ll do whatever you guys want to do,'” Scheer told THR. “I didn’t want to muck up their idea. They are clearly capable of doing something pretty impressive, and I was really excited about [the concept]. I never got to shoot a musket before, so I was already happy at that point.”
The video, which features the 16 Bit remix of Noisia’s song “Machine Gun,” was shot in half a day at The Escarpment Studios in Huntington Park, Calif., just south of Los Angeles. Because the inside of the facility looks like a warehouse, no production design was needed. The Daniels set out to incorporate their background in music videos into the “ridiculously stylized” clip, Scheinert said.
“It took us a little while to come up with a happy medium between a promo and a music video-style clip, but in the end, that’s our selling point, ” Kwan added. “[The gun concept] was the most hyperbolic thing we could go with.”
While there were no major mishaps, Scheer said that the looks of “fear and shock” on his face while shooting the guns — actual weapons with blanks instead of bullets — were authentic. Because the video was shot on a minimal budget, there wasn’t much opportunity for rehearsal.
“Ninety percent of the shots you see on my face are the first time I’m firing the guns,” he said. “Sometimes you see our faces in fear and shock because you never know what’s going to come out of those handguns and revolvers.”
He also said there was a safety expert on-set to make sure nothing went awry, though the expert inadvertently ended up scaring the cast a little.
“The warnings you get are insane — ‘OK, here is a scenario that could happen: You could shoot and kill four people and go to court and serve two years,'” Scheer said. “It’s like getting scared out of your mind, and then someone saying, ‘OK have a good time.'”
He added that although they were firing away in the studios for half a day and several castmembers were walking around in an alley firing the guns, the police never showed up.
“We could have been having a giant mafia kill session in there, and no one would have minded,” he quipped.
NTSF:SD:SUV:: airs at 12:15 a.m. Fridays.
UPDATED: The video has been removed due to an agreed-upon six-week usage limit. Click here for more videos related to the show.
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