Tales From The Tour: Neck Deep

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, April 14th, 2016 at 12:08 PM
Tales From The Tour: Neck Deep by Kimberly Firestine

The first time I saw the band Neck Deep was at The Waiting Room in Buffalo in 2014. I can remember rushing out of work and throwing on a sweatshirt, meeting my friends Jen, Kayla and Mikala in the parking lot and taking off for the drive so that we could get a good spot for the show. We all got spots right against the stage and ended up making a cameo in their web series Neck Deep TV. The next time I saw them was at Vans Warped Tour later that summer where I was able to see Neck Deep in Darien Center, Scranton and Jones Beach.

Last summer, Neck Deep made a post on their social media that they were looking for extras for a music video. The video was being filmed before the start of the Vans Warped Tour in Allentown, a short drive from where I live. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it down, but I submitted a photo and my information anyway. A few days later, I got an email back with the location and time slot that I was to be filming during and took off work to be there.

With a backpack of spare clothes and some food, I drove to Allentown early in the morning to make it to my 1:00 p.m. call time. The video shoot took place in a very rural area of Allentown, complete with Pocahontas-remnant corn fields and a man-made pond where a party scene would later be filmed.

We were driven from the meeting place—a field with an old barn—to a neighborhood at the end of the road. As soon as we stepped on set, the group I was placed with was told that we had to chase a truck which the band would be traveling on. We waited roughly 20 minutes before we saw a truck with a skate ramp on its flatbed, with Neck Deep set up playing on the ramp. After a quick run through, we spent an hour running after the truck, waiting for the truck to circle back and then chasing the truck over and over again. The last few times, some of the kids with skateboards got to hop on and try to skate on the ramp while it was moving. Luckily, it was nice enough outside that little bit of cardio didn’t feel like a chore.

After the truck chasing scene, we were driven back to the field where we filmed the next scenes. We started from the bottom of the road, ran down the dirt path and turned down a mowed-out pathway headed towards the pond. Walk back, run and repeat for at least a half hour.

Following that, we took a lunch break and waited for more directions. Our next scene was the party by the pond—the type of thing you’d see in a typical summer movie aimed at teenagers who don’t know what college parties actually look like. Waiting to film this scene felt like forever. We ended up having a thirty person rock, paper, scissors tournament to pass the time. When the director came to get us, we walked over to the pond and were assigned different roles. There were a bunch of weird parts like “kids peeing in the woods” and “girls tp-ing the trees” and “rope swingers”—fun things for everyone to do. I was one of the “kids standing by the pond having a good time.” It’s pretty self-explanatory.

As we were shooting this scene, it looked like it was going to start raining. I didn’t expect it to turn into hurricane central, but it started to downpour as soon as we started walking back to our cars for a break. Everything was soaking wet by the time I got back, including my phone. I tried to dry it off before it got damaged, but it was already too late and my phone was ruined. I sat in my car waiting for the rain to subside for two hours, then we all went back to the pond to film the performance scene.

The flatbed that once held the skate ramp was transformed into a stage for Neck Deep to perform on. I got lucky enough to be front and center. With kids on top of the ramp next to me doing keg stands, kids being crowdsurfed over me on a mattress and kids stagediving on top of me, I knew it was going to be hard to not get kicked in the face, but I didn’t want to lose my spot so I dealt with it.

We filmed crowd scenes—complete with silly string, fireworks, toilet paper throwing and crowdsurfers—for a good 20 minutes before the director came down in between the girl to my left and me. He brought in a camera and told us to guard it so it didn’t fall or get pushed over, and I distinctly remember hearing “don’t move or the shot is ruined.” The camera was used to film a shot panning up from the bottom of the flatbed to singer Ben Barlow during a slower part of the song.

The final scene was supposed to be of us torching the skate ramp. The problem was, it was soaking wet from the rain, so it wouldn’t catch fire. No matter how much gasoline was poured onto it, it just wouldn’t ignite. Instead, they used shots of our failed attempts in the video. It was 2:00 a.m. before filming was over. When all was said and done, we said our goodbyes, took photos with the band and headed home.

If you ever have the chance to be in a music video—whether it’s a fun video like this one or otherwise—I highly recommend it. While it was an exhausting day overall, it was the most fun experience I’ve ever had.

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