Music

Unscored break down their epic video for ‘Cowboy’

Unscored has burst onto the scene with two fresh singles and an incredible video for Cowboy. Read on as the band breaks down this visual masterpiece.

Aside from making some of the most compelling grunge going around today, the guys from Unscored have a finely honed eye for compelling aesthetics. In fact, the band’s video for debut single Cowboy was written, directed, and produced by lead vocalist Harry Lane and bassist Carter Smith, with assistance from their friends.

Here, the band breaks down its favourite moments from this disturbing, yet thoroughly entertaining visual feast.

Unscored

Ladies in Red

The Ladies in Red

The inclusion of the ‘Ladies in Red’ really helped form a framework for the whole clip. They were a very late addition in pre-production, but their importance grew for us while we were shooting. Emma Colley, the dancer in the centre, ended up popping up in different scenes by chance and ended up becoming what feels like an integral character and motivator in the Cowboy’s journey.

We had big dreams of an intricately choreographed dance for this section, but couldn’t find the time to schedule a session with everyone, so Harry (candidate for worst dancer) stepped up to the plate and choreographed what we see in the video in approximately 20 minutes. It’s not too flashy and it feels like a nice, warm welcome to the video.

The Cowboy Rides

We love the depth of this sequence, how the objects in the background appear in the frame. We decided on long takes for the song’s first half to match the tone of the slow and steady nature of the track itself, then contrasted with the chaos that is to come in the song.

Kyle Leitermann really sells the character in this scene, as he mouths the self-destructive lyrics of the song with such smugness. This character really takes pride in his own obliteration, just to spite the world.

The Great Escape

Unscored, Cowboy

This is just a beautiful shot, to be honest — so very Australian with its mix of dry nature and heritage brickwork. The way the sun hits those trees is very tasty too. This was a fun shot to put together as we began to lose the light, so Harry wound up stitching two shots together in the edit so that the tops of the trees were still lit with the sun.

The Cowboy’s Brain

Unscored, Cowboy

We believe this sequence is the key symbolic idea of the second half of the story. He literally tears his own brain apart, opening the floodgates for the madness to come. It’s a hard shift from the tranquillity of the first half.

Harry learned how to make silicone prosthetics for this sequence. It was filled with tinned spaghetti and black food dye. Five brains were made and torn apart that day, meaning the whole set smelt like tinned spaghetti. We put Kyle through a lot that day.

The Strange Man Leaks

Unscored, Cowboy

We embraced a few nonsense ideas because things that are harder to understand are usually more terrifying. So this scene was born from the intention of just making something weird.

We love what our one-man cinematographer and camera crew Conor Jamieson did with the lighting for this shot. It looks really nice for something so gross. Our drummer Isaac volunteered for this terrible role, he had to hold a mouthful of cold black beans in his mouth and spit it out through the eye hole. There was a steep learning curve to discovering the optimal technique for bean spitting.

The Black Ooze

Unscored, Cowboy

Another quick shoutout to Kyle, our fantastic and very tolerant main performer. This was the first thing we made him film and he took it totally in stride like a true pro. Cheers, Kyle!

The Giant Woman

Unscored, Cowboy

While we indulged in a few unexplainable ideas. We aimed to sprinkle in some scenes that felt like they had real emotional resonance for this character, so that this nightmare trip wasn’t all just crazy, trippy nonsense.

We wanted to see what scares this character deeply — and the giant woman on the bed, with the heart monitor and goodbye card — could be a very distant traumatic memory this character experienced as a child revealing itself to him once again.

The Ladies in Red Take Their Bow

Unscored, Cowboy

By the end, the cowboy sits slumped over in front of a couch, unclear if he has actually died or not, but successful in his mission to self-implode. However, we didn’t want to give this kind of person too much credit at all. It felt more fitting that the ladies take centre stage, claiming ownership of what we’ve just seen and proudly taking a bow.

Check out the video for Cowboy below: