Friday, October 28, 2011

The World Premier of 'Premonition' ~ A Short Film by Shawn Michael Hutchings

A brief history on how ‘Premonition’ came to be created.  It was the fall of 96‘ and spring of 97‘ when I dropped out of college to record my second album, ‘River of Life’.  For some reason I felt an urgency to get to recording the album and I felt if I didn’t do it right then I would have never done it. 

I spent the next 8 months recording the album and final released it in the fall of 97’.  It was a labor of love and it was one of the hardest things I had ever undertaken.  During this time the technology which I used to record the disc was ADATS; which I previously had bought two Alesis ADATS.

Over the next few years, the technology had shifted to recording digitally right to your computer.  So, I jumped ship and sold my ADATS and bought the newest technology, Pro Tools and a Digi001.  I’ve spent much of the last 14 years recording to my computer.

Fast forward to September 2011 - I got the idea of taking all my old ADAT Masters of the ‘River of Life‘ album and transferring them to my computer.  So, I hopped on Craigslist and found someone selling two Alesis ADATS for pretty cheap.  I picked them up and began transferring all the songs to Logic Pro.

In the process of the transfer, I came across this recording that has become the soundtrack for the film.  The first time I heard the track after 14 years, the odd thing was I barely remember recording it.  The only thing I can recall is recording the piano part late one night after the piano tuner came to tune it.  As for all the other parts...I can’t recall ever recording any of it. 

When I listened to the song after 14 years I was struck at how together it sounded.  How the two guitar lines seem to play counter point to each other.  Again, I never remember writing any of it.  As I sat listening to this haunting tune that I vaguely remember writing, it brought tears to my eyes.  For some reason the song instantly reminded me of how I felt inside the day and days after the loss of my brother Eric; it sounded like I was mourning a deep loss.

Now in August, Russ Mehle (My friend and cohort who has played drums on my last three albums) and I had started working together again recording drums for some new songs I had in the works.  As I listened to this mysterious tune I thought, ‘This would be a great drum song for Russ to improvise over.’

We started talking about the song and he was ecstatic at the idea of recording drums for it.  Then we thought about shooting a music video as well.  After another week of contemplation, I realized that no one would want to watch a 9 minute video of just someone playing drums.

So, Russ and I talked and with Halloween right around the corner, we thought about shooting a Halloween video.  The next week I thought more about it and realized that this 9 minute music video should have a story of some sort to go with it.  Now, I just couldn’t shake how much this 9 minute epic kept making me think about my brother Eric.  So, I decided to describe in film how I felt inside during these past four years since his death.  I came up with this concept for what is now, ‘Premonition’.

The day before Russ and I were to record the drum part, I went out to our local Goodwill store and bought a bunch of black fabric.  I decorated the drum room in all black.  I bought a couple of black lights, black trash bags, and a slew of candles and dressed up the drums and room to look a Goth-like.  The Jolly Roger flag was the finishing touch. 

The day of the recording we went out the our local Halloween City store and bought a white phantom costume that Russ would wear.  And the rest they say is history...  Before I knew it I had shot the first footage for the film, and realized I was in way to deep to back out.  Thus, ‘Premonition’ was born.

I will not go into the details of what everything means...that is for you the viewers to decided.  I know what is means to me...but what it’ll mean to you, if anything, is entirely up to you.  I just want to say, ‘Thank you’ for watching and listening.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we all had making it.

I just want to extend a special, ‘THANK YOU’ to Russ Mehle, Rich Chiuppi, Tim Newby, and my lovely wife, Michelle.  Thank you guys for coming with me on this crazy journey of the making of this very personal film.  All your hard work, talents, and sacrifices have made this vision possible...YOU GUYS ROCK!!! 

All my best,
Shawn Michael Hutchings