Human Resources – “Expectations” (Video)

Human Resources have just released the music video for “Expectations”, the first track off their 2018 album, Champagne. The video was created by HR’s very own keyboard warrior, Paul Chelmis, and was two years in the making from the idea’s conception. It comes in advance of the band’s long overdue headlining performance at The Royal American on Friday, March 20th. It’s also the first of several new releases to come from Human Resources in 2020.

“The Expectations music video is a sketch of the modern-day ambivert… romance and social life driven by technology and anxiety,” Paul explains. “As millennials we’ve all been beckoned by the stay-in monster, where dating, entertainment, and sex are still at our fingertips. Our new high tech world is incredible, but now more than ever it’s easy to lose inspiration and slip into a pattern, and it can feel like we’re literally watching our life burn in front of us.”

This idea is crafted into a subtle story that invites you to pay attention to every single detail. In the video, the camera is set behind a couch in a living room set that was built from scratch in a field, and actually burned to the ground during filming. Every time the viewpoint moves forward through the TV screen, time also moves forward. Each new frame gives clues to the current state of life for the characters, which grows steadily more troubled as the story progresses.

Paul is no stranger to creatively involved content, but with “Expectations” he really went for it.

“It was an ambitious idea for a number of reasons,” Paul says. “For one, I wanted to pack every corner of the frame with narrative. The goal was to make something that, even though it never leaves the same shot, you can watch again and say something like, oh shit, I never noticed the books changing. So I spent a very long time daydreaming and storyboarding before ever starting to shoot.”

During this daydreaming and storyboarding process, Paul started to get a grasp on the true scope of the idea. He knew that he wanted to construct a set from scratch, and he knew the fire had to be real. Next came finding a location to film, a time during which the backyard at Extra Chill HQ was considered, and the couch in the video was even moved into our shed for preparations.

Common sense quickly caught on, though, and Paul’s construction and safety consultant, Coleman Sawyer (of Rare Creatures) pointed out that it was a stupid idea to burn an entire living room setup, including a couch and a TV, in the middle of suburban West Ashley.

After some careful thought and a few phone calls, the location decided upon was the secluded Awendaw Green property, thanks to help from Clay and Eddie White. They hauled everything out to Awendaw, Coleman coordinated building the set, and they picked a good night to get everybody out there for filming, including actors Aaron Reece and Sally Gray, along with a crew of extras and extra hands.

According to Coleman, there was a whole lot of gasoline used that night, and his role during the filming process was mainly to make sure the fire was kept under control. “I feel like no one there had ever played with fire as a kid, and they just let it all out,” Coleman says.

Watch the music video for “Expectations” by Human Resources below.

For more from Paul Chelmis, check out Brave Baby’s “Soothsayer” music video, SUSTO’s “Waves” video, and even the poster for Extra Chill Fest 2019. Follow him on Instagram @paulwhoislost.

Follow @extrachill on Instagram!

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