You may not have realized this, but Yankton was represented at the 2014 Grammys.
I have to admit, I didn’t even learn of Mike Merkwan’s involvement with the “Best Music Video”-nominated “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities until the week following the music industry’s biggest celebration.
When I reached Mike and asked him about his work as editor on the video, he was very gracious about answering questions.
The story ran in today’s Press & Dakotan:
Yankton native Mike Merkwan knows how to jam — whether it’s with the bass guitar or in the editing room.
However, it’s his work in the latter area that recently was recognized with a Grammy nomination for “Best Music Video.”
Now living in Los Angeles, the 31-year-old was the editor for the music video “Safe and Sound” by the indie pop duo Capital Cities.
“As the editor, it is my job to take a concept from the director and create a story through video,” he told the Press & Dakotan via email. “There is clearly much more to it, but to be quite simple, that is what I do 90 percent of the time. I work in a dark room with a director and about three to five clients creating the story. The editor is the secret creative collaborator — the guy behind the curtain.
“I guess the reason I enjoy editing so much is quite simple: I’ve always loved music, and editing is all about rhythm. I play bass, so the creative process is very similar. Finding the chord structure for the chorus is like finding the perfect clip order and pacing for the action sequence.”
The “Safe and Sound” video was directed by Grady Hall and features Sebu Simonian and Ryan Merchant of Capital Cities dancing through various eras at the Los Angeles Theatre. It seamlessly mixes dance footage shot at the theatre with archival footage of dancers.
“Safe and Sound” won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Visual Effects in 2013. However, it lost out on a 2014 Grammy to the David Fincher-directed “Suit & Tie” video for Justin Timberlake.
Read the rest of the story here.
So let’s get to the important part. You want to see the video.
Here it is:
A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the video is also available:
You can see more of Mike’s work at his website found here.
I was excited to see that Mike had worked with Capital Cities, because I’ve been listening to them for the last year.
My favorite song is called “Farrah Fawcett Hair.” It’s good sh** — as the song will make clear.
Make sure to watch Capital Cities’ entertaining live take on the song: