Early Black saw many iterations on the way to becoming one of our first standalone shorts. It began with a run and gun shoot during the supermoon of 2011, when we were well on our way to realizing the moon as a recurrent motif in SNEAKYBOY productions. The theme on our minds throughout production was magical realism.
After incorporating some of the aforementioned moon girl footage into a promo for a student group, musician Kari Jobe saw the piece and asked us to create a short film for her arena tour that would precede her coming onstage. She specifically requested we develop it around the footage of the girl under the moon and so we recast Ann (featured) as a girl escaping the mundanity of home out into the wilderness.
The piece is an expression of estrangement, wanderlust, and exploration. We were reading a lot of Rookie mag at the time, an awesome then-fledgling publication for girls by girls and were inspired to approach the visual subject of youth and girlhood. Our singular character in Early Black ventures out in search of the idealized other that many want to believe is just over the horizon, out in nature, or somewhere away from their hometown.
That "beckoning other" is represented here as a glittering carousel. The ending imagery was shot in Denver's Lakeside, a gorgeously aging amusement park from the early 1900's as well as outside of The North Pole, an amusement park in the forested foothills of Cascade, CO which features the world's highest ferris wheel, prominently jutting up out from the surrounding evergreens.
Shout out to Youth Lagoon for letting us use his gorgeous song "Montana" and for letting us sleep on his couch that one time.