Music Video: Survival Guide - <I>Blood Perfume</I>
Marc Loftus
July 13, 2023

Music Video: Survival Guide - Blood Perfume

In October, Emily "Agent M" Whitehurst will release her fourth full-length album, titled “Deathdreams.” The former Tsunami Bomb vocalist’s latest project comes under the banner of Survival Guide and debuted on July 13th with the music video and single for Blood Perfume.

Blood Perfume takes the form of a short horror film, with nods to the cult feature The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In it, M stars as a deranged serial killer, who outsmarts her victims and then disposes of their bodies, burying them in a shallow grave, burning them in an incinerator, or completely butchering them with an assortment of meat cleavers. 

The lyrics warn the victim that they won’t able to “say no to the brightest teeth in the room.” And ultimately, it’s their blood that will make its way into the killer’s signature scent.

"A lot of the feel/tempo/vibe of the music video comes from that opening beat and especially with the three bells that lay on top of it,” explains director Bryan Heiden. “Once I heard the lyrics, I knew it had to be very dark, and I also knew that we wanted our protagonist to be a ‘bad guy.’ My producer (Michael Kohn) and I wrote a couple of different treatments without asking Emily what the lyrics meant. We were actually a little bit off, but luckily she really liked one of them.”

Heiden says he immediately had a location in mind — Buckeye, AZ — a setting that a friend had offered him for shoots.

“[It’s] really scary at night, with a lot of rusted metal on the property,” he notes. “It just looks like people have been hacked up there at some point!”

Danny Gurrola shot the video using a Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema 6K camera. For the narrative parts of the video, the team used a Rokinon 14mm lens, while the performance parts were shot with a Sigma 24-70mm Art. Gurrola also handled the edit, cutting the video in Adobe Premiere Pro.

“We had a really cool shot from the bottom of an old garage oil changing pit, where I wanted to shoot through some fire,” Heiden recalls. “We looked at several ways to do it, but ended up not feeling comfortable with the amount of old oil and dead grass we were set up in, so we used a fire effect on a couple of Amaran 60xs (lights) and a fog machine for our practical footage. Then, in Adobe After Effects, Darren Ito added a couple layers of fire, as well as some heat waves that ended up really selling the effect.”

Heiden says he is very happy with the final video. 

“I think Emily and her record company were great to work with. You’ll always end up with a better product when everyone involved is very passionate about what they are doing.”