Nashville’s Mary Moore is bursting with angst on her latest music video for her single “Moonstone”. The video treatment takes us on a magical journey, witnessing an alien crashing down to earth as it explores the human life experience. Moore’s commanding vocals conveys her steady anger as the video clip reaches a shocking climax. The song/video is the perfect antidote to the uneasiness of the world in which fantasy has gone out the window.
We had the incredible opportunity to catch up with Moore to speak on the brilliant concept of music video, her hobbies during quarantine and what awaits her in 2021.
Preplanned schedules for Indie artists like Moore have been thrown off the loop with the cancellation of touring. She describes her disappointment of not being on the road and connecting with fans, “I would say quarantine has not been that bad! The biggest negative was I had a ton of touring planned for this year, but all of that got canceled which was pretty sad. When you’re independent you put so much work into booking so it was pretty disappointing to watch 6 months of work go away. I miss being on the stage and the road, connecting to people.” While touring is off the table, Moore has found unexpected benefits to quarantine including having time to teach herself to edit music. “There have been a ton of positives! I still have my full time day job which I am so thankful for, and I don’t have the hour long commute each day because I am working from home! I have gotten really into exercise and cooking over quarantine. I have been baking bread, lifting weights, walking 10k steps each day, and learning new recipes. I also decided to buy Final Cut Pro and learn how to start editing which has been really fun and helpful!”
As cold realization hit that quarantine was going to be extended, Moore began planning to release music she pushed back when quarantine had just begun. “I actually was going to wait until the pandemic was over to release new music, but then I started realizing that this wasn’t a 6 month long thing, and we were probably not going to be able to tour until fall 2021. I just knew I needed to work on getting more out into the world, and keep on keeping on. It definitely has been a little strange releasing when I can’t go on the road and promote the songs, but I think it’s important to keep growing my catalog. Every release I learn more and grow more!”
The filming for “Moonstone” is a wild adventure involving body paint at a abandoned barn in Nashville. Moore recalls the extensive body makeup process and the filming of two music videos back to back: “The filming experience was pretty crazy!! To keep the rental equipment cost low, we filmed the music video for “Moonstone” and my other single “Cold Hands” in the same weekend. We got done filming “Cold Hands” around 11pm on Friday, and then after an insomnia filled night, I got up at 5am so I could pack my car before the body paint process. Carrie Esser, an INCREDIBLE make-up artist, came over around 5:30am and we began the fully body paint process which took about 5 and half hours.”
One of the challenges of shooting the music video was the hot weather, “We then drove an hour-ish outside of Nashville to the shooting location, an abandoned barn in the forest, and began shooting. It was also July, so it was a pretty hot day and the shoot was all outdoors – we were all just pounding water and anytime we weren’t shooting I just kept a little hand held fan on the body paint to keep the paint from sweating off too much.” The filming ended after midnight and Moore recalls how long it took to wash off the body paint when she arrived home. “We filmed til around midnight and then packed/cleaned up the site and headed home. I then stayed up until 4am scrubbing blue paint off my body in my shower before I passed out.”
The cinematography greatly captures the story enfolding between the human and the alien. Moore was enamored with the work of her video director and director of photography filmed; “The whole experience was so cool! It was really crazy to watch the sets come to life and watch the crew make things happen. It was cool to see one tiny twist of the camera or a light would make the video look so beautiful. Jimmy Naples was the director and Diego Cacho was the Director of Photography, and together they just captured gorgeous, cinematic shot after shot. Anytime we watched play back I would just get giddy.”
The out of this world concept began with a coffee meeting between Moore and her music video director Jimmy Naples. As Moore began sharing her ideas, she came up with the alien concept she deemed impossible due the music video budget. “Jimmy Naples, the AMAZING director, and I grabbed an introductory coffee just to talk ideas and logistics. I wanted to keep cost as low as possible, and so I was telling Jimmy my ideas and told him that originally I had this entire alien concept for the video, but didn’t think it would be possible because it would probably be too expensive. I thought an alien vibe would fit really well since “Moonstone” has a spacey feel to it with 80’s pop tricks and moon/space lyrics.” As fate would have it, Naples had a written video treatment from some time ago, “Jimmy got excited because he had wanted to do an entire alien video a few months back, and had written a treatment and everything for the idea.” Both of them began exploring the possibility of bring their ideas to life into the music video, “We both got super excited, and we talked about how we could keep cost as low as possible and still shoot an incredible alien themed video.”
Moore fondly recalls the incredible empowering feeling of sporting all the wardrobe from the video shoot: “I loved wearing and filming in the disco ball bodysuit. I actually hand sewed all of the individual mirror pieces on to the body suit (which took weeks and lots of stabbing myself) and the outfit was a true labor of love. I felt pretty badass in the shoes and suit, and “Moonstone” is an angry song, so it felt right to lean into the passion and angst to sing through it.”
In the music video, there is a great chemistry between Moore as the alien and her human costar. Sharing their mutual first time acting experience on video made filming delightful, Moore had nothing but good things to share about their time shooting together. “I also really loved filming the scenes with Drew – who played the “love interest”. He is a nugget of a human, and he made filming SOOOO fun. We both had also never really acted so it was fun to figure it out together. Drew was also such a little star and we were all like “Oh my god, Drew – you need to do this for a living”. We just had a ton of fun on set, and he made acting really easy!!”
We asked Moore what she thinks her video character, the alien would think about earth if it crashed down to earth in the midst of a global pandemic, “Oh man haha – I think the Alien would maybe think humans are all very anti-social creatures since we are trying to stay away from each other. Maybe the Alien would also feel a little more adventurous because there are less people out so she could explore a little bit more than a fully opened world.”
As Moore gears up for the latter part of the year, plans are already being formed for next year. Moore promises more music, concert and tiktoks, “I think next year, I am going to start working towards an album or EP. I have a loose concept, and I have an idea of a soundscape that I want to work towards. I am just slowly gathering up the ideas for it. But I also want to spend more time growing my youtube and tiktok presence! I really want to start putting more of my original songs into the world, even if at a demo level!”
Watch “Moonstone” music video below:
Photo Credit: Diego Cacho