Greg Johnson “Save Yourself”

2003-greg-johnson-save-yourselfSo, here’s a simple concept – Greg Johnson goes for a wander at Piha, while the girl of his dreams lounges about the house. Well, let’s just hope he doesn’t go tracking sand in the house when he comes home.

“I’ve been exploring your mind,” sings Greg. “I found giant rivers, mountain ranges never climbed.” This is accompanied by Greg walking alongside a piddly little beachside creek. But hey, if the giant rivers are imaginary, the ones in his actual environment don’t need to be Amazonian.

Greg’s beach scenes are shot in sepiatone, with a sense of it being deliberately scratchy old film. But back in the house, things are a little brighter.

The footage of the lady in the house is shot like a nostaglic, dreamy Instagram-style filter. She sits around, smiling at the camera. Sometimes she’s rolling around in bed, other times she’s curled up in a corner. Do we assume this is home video shot by the song’s narrator? Or has a rogue hipster film-maker snuck in while Greg is out?

There is a third party to this saga: the guitarist. Sometimes when Greg’s out walking, we also see a guitarist. Most of the time he’s up in the dunes, like a wandering minstrel who’s just happened to enter Greg’s world.

By the end of the video, there’s a lot of split screen, showing Greg, the girl and the guitarist. But the best thing about the video is that it ends with one of those amazing west coast sunsets, with the wet black sand reflecting the golden light. No wonder Greg went for a walk.

Best bit: the person who does a cartwheel on the beach. Yay!

Director: James Holt
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… in the ring.

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