Dean Chandler “It’s Not Too Late”

2003-dean-chandler-its-not-too-lateSo, the video starts and there’s Dean Chandler performing the song with his band, set up in a television studio with a cheerful orange background. And then I noticed that Dean and the guys in his band all had the same neatly trimmed beards, the kind that look obsessively overgroomed compared to the wild bushy beards of the ’10s. And then I realised – Dean’s band is Dean. Yes, he’s been cloned.

Of course, it’s all done with digital effects, and it would explain why the band are so spread out – there needs to be room to always get a clean border when splicing together the different parts of the shot.

It seems inspired by the Outkast’s epic and wonderful video for “Hey Ya”, where a band of Andre 3000s entertained a hall of screaming fangirls.

The fake “Hey Ya” band all feel like individual characters, not just Andre in eight different shirts. But “It’s Not Too Late” has the strange effect of a band that doesn’t really interact with each other. After seeing Shihad’s loved-up live performance of “Home Again”, the band of Dean clones look like they all hate each other and are on the verge of breaking up. Dean Chandler is a nice enough singer and songwriter, but he doesn’t have much on-screen charisma. Multiply that by four and it’s still not a lot.

The digital splicing is done really well. There’s just one bit right at the end where the drummer’s head suddenly disappears (don’t worry, boys and girls, it comes back). But a digital trick isn’t enough to make a compelling music video. I just wish there was more to it than “hey, a band of Deans!”.

Best bit: drummer Dean, who is probably the one who gets the girls.

Director: Tim Groenendaal
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision


Dean Chandler “Waiting”

2001-dean-chandler-waitingAfter a previous attempt at the world of music with the duo Before Friday, Dean Chandler went solo and reached 42 in the charts with debut single “Waiting”. He has a light voice, like Robbie Williams on his more playful tracks.

The video was shot in Dean’s hometown of Wellington and we him Dean sitting at a bar. He’s sitting with a beer (label turned away from camera) and has something in front of him that might be a notebook, a fancy cocktail menu or maybe even the lyrics to the song.

Dean spends most of the video sitting at the bar, alone, earnestly singing to the camera. But this is cut with scenes of him walking the rainy city streets, being all moody. There’s no excuse for it, really. In reality, he can take advantage of Wellington’s excellent public transport system and catch a bus to somewhere warm and dry.

He’s shown walking outside the Wakefield Hotel in Maginnity Street. A friend once told me this is the only street in Wellington that doesn’t feel like “Wellington”. You can’t see the hills or the sea from there, and that’s probably why it’s a popular location for film shoots. Most of the other outdoor shots are like this – locations that look cool and urban and aren’t iconic Wellington scenes.

So basically Dean waits at this bar and sings “I’m sick of waiting”. And the “you” of the song never shows up so he leaves, and from there he wanders around in the rain.

It’s a nice, inoffensive song, but the video drags it down and makes it more of a bummer than it needs to be. Like, dude, go and buy that other girl in a bar a drink and stop being such a miserable c-word.

Best bit: the Elvis sneer, a little moment of freedom.

Director: Tim Groenendaal
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… the ice king cometh.