Rising Montreal band Half Moon Run just released their latest music video for Consider Yourself as a short film taking place in Tulum, Mexico, titled ‘Te Consideras’. The short stars lead singer Devon Portielje who plays a crazy man who invents Body Jazz and his quick rise to success turns into a nightmare.

We had a quick chat with the director of the short/video Kaveh Nabatian who told us about his fun journey through this film.

We love to see videos in short film formats, what made you and Half Moon Run go in this direction for Consider Yourself?

Kaveh: I have a background in fiction film as well as music, so I’m always interested in giving music videos narrative elements. The whole conceit of a music video is so strange: artists lip-synching songs in cars or forests or clubs to sell records…. I think that it’s worth having fun with the whole thing and blurring lines when possible. In this particular case, the band knew that I was interested in a fiction approach and so they came to me with a story idea that was already pretty complete.

Where did the idea of the Body Jazz come from?

Kaveh: You’d have to ask Devon (the singer and star of the video). So many popular health and lifestyle movements actually come from nice ideas and then get blown out of proportion and marketed to death. For example, the way yoga has been exploited in the West I find a little bit revolting, even though it comes from a beautiful place. When you walk around what used to be old-school ethnic neighbourhoods in NYC, and the bodegas are being turned into yoga studios for white hipsters, and then you find out that Bikram is being accused of rape by all of these different women, and then you go to a yoga class where kale-smoothie drinkers in their 100$ leggings chant “namaste” together without having any idea what they’re talking about, you realize that something went terribly wrong along the way.

What I love about the idea of “Body Jazz” is that it’s not a particularly good or original idea, but it’s exactly the kind of thing that North Americans are starving for, and it’s easy to imagine something so silly, but with such a charismatic leader, becoming a huge success.

Where was the video shot and why did you opt away from shooting in Montreal?

Kaveh: I hate shooting in Montreal in the winter! Not only because it’s unpleasant and cold, but also because it’s really hard not to make a video that looks like a million other winter videos, especially on the low budget we had. I feel like you really have to work hard to coax the Montreal winter to give you dynamic images that don’t feel clichéd. I’ve lived in Mexico and Iove it very much, and I knew that the kinds of visuals and people we would meet in Mexico would naturally give this story something unique and a little surreal. The video was mostly shot in Tulum, and a few images were shot in Chicago.

Musicians are creative people, how much did the band like to get involved in a video project like this?

Kaveh: More than any other band I’ve ever worked with, they wanted to be involved as much as possible. Devon is actually a fantastic actor and went deep to get into the part and develop his character. He usually nailed something compelling on the first take. And Conner is interested in making films himself, so he was throwing tons of great ideas into the pot and had lots of input into how the story was told.

The video contains heavy drug scenes and some nudity, how did you get away with this?

Kaveh: Haha! The band really didn’t want to lose that stuff, and neither did I. They have a very persuasive manager who forced the issue with the right people and made some magic happen.

It’s a story about a guy who gets too famous too fast and loses it. Of course he’s going to get into sex and drugs. It would be odd not to show it.

And on another level, I think it’s important to show real things in cinema and on TV that our puritanical culture has taught us are taboo. I mean, it’s obvious, but to me it’s absolutely insane that it’s more okay to see someone get murdered on TV than to show two people making love (in the nude). I know a lot more people who have sex while naked than murder each other. So why the shame around portraying the human body?

Shooting with a rock band always leaves a fun story to tell, anything you can share with us?

Kaveh: Hmmmm. There are a lot. Especially because we were in Mexico. Might not be the most fun story, but definitely the strangest moment: When we were shooting the death scene at the Red Cross, someone suddenly came into the room we were using and took out a rolling metal table that we had put the heart monitor on. While Devon was pretending to have a heart attack from the cocaine and exercise bike (which is already kind of an intense thing to do), a patient started screaming in the next room as he was getting getting some kind of surgery — I guess without anesthetic. Just as it was starting to get really tense, someone came back in with the table, all smiley, and left it next to where we were shooting. Except now it had a bloody scalpel sitting on it. Needless to say, some people were pretty freaked out.

Be sure to check out more of Kaveh’s work and listen to Half Moon Run on iTunes or Spotify.