Filmmaker Bruce LeGrow has worked with Hard Charger to produce the band’s last few videos. But on their latest collaboration, Thrown Out To The Dogs, he and the band really took things up a notch.
The latest video from Fredericton crust punks Hard Charger is easily their most ambitious yet. Take a junkyard full of derelict automobiles, a crew of loot-hungry heathens and a mysterious briefcase and throw in a passionate filmmaker, a killer soundtrack and a retired tour van and you’ve got the makings of a post apocalyptic epic.
“Having a disposable van was a real asset. It was destined to be the focus of any video we were going to make,” said filmmaker Bruce LeGrow. “When you know you want to destroy a van, it’s not a stretch to make the setting post apocalyptic – something you could see in Mad Max or Death Race 2000. I have wanted to make a short film in that setting for a while, and a Hard Charger video where we had a derelict van to eliminate was a step in that direction. It fit in with the band’s imagery, and I knew with the right wardrobe, location, and props we could pull it off.”
When it comes to film, LeGrow works primarily in sound design. He has worked with many of the region’s top filmmakers and projects including Raynemaker Productions’, hometown epic, The Capital Project.
As a filmmaker, Bruce has been involved in just about every major role in the film creation process, and has done a number of music video projects for a handful of bands including SpineSplitter and previous shoots with Hard Charger.
When it comes to music, LeGrow likes it heavy. That’s one reason why this pairing with Hard Charger is a match made in…hell.
“Most of the production work I do is in the sound department, but when I get the chance to produce and direct, I always see it as a fun challenge,” he said. “For this shoot, I went into it with a complete shot list, but was very open to improvisation and letting the actors just go for it – while dressed in armour, brandishing weapons, attacking a van, and battling to the death! The creativity everybody brought to the shoot was amazing. I’m glad how everyone got to leave a distinct mark on the final product.”
Thrown Out To The Dogs is the latest single to surface from Hard Charger’s new album, Vol. 4 – Take The Guff and Suffer. For the video, LeGrow chose to shoot the band in a junkyard. It’s the perfect setting for the storyline he dreamed up that plays out through the song’s two minute duration.
The band’s old touring van takes centre stage as a group of thugs, armed to the teeth, battle each other (and the van) in an attempt to take possession of a mysterious briefcase marked with the band’s iconic logo.
For this shoot, LeGrow and his crew went all out. Gas is huffed and windows are smashed. There is even a guitar solo on top of a wrecked Jeep, beautifully shot from a circling drone.
“This video had a rock solid cast and crew that mostly worked as one big group, but there were a couple of sequences that we tackled with a skeleton crew,” said LeGrow. “Most notably the intro shot of the dog, which was way more difficult to capture than I had anticipated, and the drone shots of the guitar solo on the roof of a car. I split off with my trusted camera team of Chris Giles and Michel Guitard to get those shots. Chris and Michel are both drone pilots, but most of their drone shots didn’t make the cut because their ground-level footage worked so well. These two donned their hard hats, and delivered a heroic effort to capture the action. I’m still blown away with what they got!”
LeGrow credits the weather, the band and the entire crew for helping to deliver a beautiful end result. Even the owner of the junkyard got involved.
“I loved this entire shoot! It happened over a beautiful fall weekend in early October,” said LeGrow. “I still can’t believe we didn’t get rained out. A stand out moment was when Brian from Capital City Auto Parts climbed into his Case Wheel Loader and masterfully tore apart the van. It was a spectacle to behold! I have to acknowledge that in the beginning I really thought I could get a bunch of people to beat up the van, and really wreck it with bats and sledge hammers. This proved to be completely unrealistic – the van was a tank! In the end it took Brian’s machine to properly smash the van and peel it open like a blooming flower.”