Music Video: Terror Universal — <I>Through the Mirrors</I>
Issue: March 1, 2018

Music Video: Terror Universal — Through the Mirrors

The masked heavy metal group Terror Universal recently debuted their new music video Through the Mirrors on the horror Website Dread Central ( The project was directed, shot and edited by Wacy Jahn, who also serves as the band’s vocalist, Plague. Jahn previously directed their Dig You A Hole video, and is currently working on the upcoming Spines video.
As both vocalist and director, Jahn had the freedom to visually express his interpretation of what the song means. In this case, Through the Mirrors represents the inner self that tortures the outer self. The track is off the band’s “Make Them Bleed” release and its music video was shot in just two days at a rehearsal space in Dallas, where much of the band is based.

Jahn says the band’s access to the space was limited, so extensive scripting and preproduction helped them make the best use of their time. The video was shot by Jahn using a combination of his Canon 5D Mark III and Panasonic GH4 cameras.

“We had a script that we followed on note cards, and spent a little time building the set,” he recalls. “It’s amazing what casting light can do. You can turn a space into a completely different area by just moving the lights to the left or right a few feet.”

The video cuts between a young man, who is fighting his own inner demons, and the band performing in their decaying masks. Much of the video was shot hand-held, with Jahn introducing intentional camera shake to underscore the stress the subject is feeling and the heaviness of the track. For shots where smooth camera moves were called for, Jahn employed DJI’s Ronin-M hand-held gimbal. And for the band’s performance shots, where Jahn appears on on-screen and couldn’t operate the camera, he simply set up a tripod.

After the shoot concluded, Jahn spent approximately one week editing the music video using his Macs and a combination of Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve. He also used After Effects for some of the stylized motion.

“I do my best to capture everything in-camera,” he states. “I love practical [effects]. That’s how all of my heroes did it back in the day, so I try to do it as much as possible.”

The video was delivered in 1080 HD for its online debut. After the initial release on Dread Central, it was also posted to the band’s Website and YouTube, as well as to the site of their label, Minus Head Records.

“Technology is definitely the friend of a filmmaker,” says Jahn, looking back at how he was able to produce and post the project on such a short timeframe and with a limited budget. “[Gear has become] more accessible without having to break your wallet.”