“Vermilion Eyes” Official Music Video

A year after the release of our last video “Allston“, Chachi proudly presents our fourth, “Vermilion Eyes”. This time, director/cinematographer George Aravanis shot with 16mm film rather than digital video.

It was a risky (and expensive) decision. He had never used old-fashioned motion picture film before, and Randy had warned him against it based on previous nerve-damaging experiences. Fortunately, George had a fetish to feed, and rented himself an Arriflex SR3.

Arriflex SR3

He took a crash course on loading and operating the 15-pound mechanical monster. He taught himself how to measure photons with a handheld incident meter by studying the owner’s manual. George was as ready as could be. But just in case he wasn’t, and the footage came back from the lab complete duckshit, he shot every scene twice: once on film, then once on video for safety.

Will Bilton in Super 16mm!

The result was PERFECT¹. Not simply because the picture was exposed correctly and in focus,  but it suited the aesthetic of the piece in a way that digital video could not. The song itself is a mild homage to George Harrison’s Eastern-influenced songs of the 60’s (“Within You Without You“, “The Inner Light“, “Love You To“) and the band members are decidedly dressed as grass-smokin’ flower children of the same era. Shooting in 16mm film served to complete the retro look and sound of the final product.

Still, video has its place in “Vermilion Eyes” when it comes to special effects shots. The fire that radiates from the ancient sentry fountain is digitally rendered, as one might expect. Also, the two actresses who played the goddess in the sky were shot with a video camera and digitally combined into one character.

The band thanks Tara Grant and Theresa Moless for their performance as the sky goddess. Last but not least, our thanks goes to Michael Glass for filling in at the last minute as the bass player. He literally saved the day.



  1. Well not exactly. The telecine George got back from Fotokem suffered from “extreme jitter”; the picture bounced up and down every few seconds. We blame the camera for that, and it was easily fixed using Final Cut Pro‘s image stabilization filter.

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