Music Video: Tess & The Details — <I>Canary</I>
Marc Loftus
September 11, 2023

Music Video: Tess & The Details — Canary

Tess & The Details recently released their first single and music video. Canary is off the San Francisco-based, female-fronted, punk-rock band’s debut album, “Runaway,” which will be released on November 14th via Double Helix Records. 

The music video for Canary incorporates Alfred Hitchcock’s idea of using a blonde to symbolize a tragic, evil femme fatale. In this case, Tess is not being tortured by the male protagonist, but is instead the mastermind. 

Devin Zamora of Cut and Develop served as director, cinematographer and editor on the project, and says Tess and the band had drafted a loose script idea that roughly outlines videos for the band’s “Canary” and “Runaway” tracks. Zamora says he read the outline as a Scooby Doo-style who-done-it, where each band member goes missing throughout the storyline. 

“They described wanting to have a funny, almost slap-stick feel to the video, but with high quality classic cinema shots and some serious color grading, similar to Peaky Blinders,” notes Zamora. “Once I had drafted a shot-list, one of the hardest tasks was trying to fit everything within a two-and-a-half-minute timeframe.”
Zamora found inspiration in Hitchcock's Vertigo and Psycho, as well as some of George A. Romero’s lighting and atmosphere techniques. Most of the effects were practical, involving the use of camera techniques, lighting placement, objects in the foreground and a fog machine.

“We shot the storyline of the video primarily using a Nikon Z6 with a 35mm lens, and the band performance with a Canon SL3 with a Sigma Art Series 17-50mm lens,” Zamora recalls. “There were two other retro lenses used, and one additional camera that I'd like to keep under wraps. (A) huge shout out to Jason Coleman, our main camera operator, for bringing most of these visions to life.”
When it came to editing, Zamore laid everything out according to the initial shot list and tried to line footage up with the fast-paced nature of the song, while occasionally zooming in on specific shots.

“The final edits happened with Tess helping to pick which shots to swap, cut or draw out to evoke the feeling of the song best.”

Tess & The Details is Tess Stevens  (lead vocals/ rhythm guitar), Gideon Berger (drums), Dustin Galecki (lead guitar) and Lawrence Hood (bass).