CASPER, Wyo. — Anyone strolling the late-night streets when “Pleasure People” were shooting scenes for a gritty music video in downtown Casper may have found themselves confused.
A poster created by artist Zachary Pullen featured in the “Miss Midnight” video hung in front of the Rialto Movie Palace and looked so much like a poster for a real feature film that some people tried to check when this strange movie would be showing.
The answer: online, whenever someone’s hungry for a bit of locally created rock and artistic madness. (The video is also available at the bottom of this article).
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The song for the “Miss Midnight” video comes from Pleasure People’s Extend Play, which they call “Volume 1: Pleasure Seekers.”
“A few years ago, I began working on some new songs, challenging myself to write different music than I had been playing in another band (Brother Wind),” Pleasure People vocalist Nick Cantine says. “At the time, and for the next couple of years, I felt that the new songs would be built into a solo project as the songs were very minimal with only one guitar part and vocals.”
“But, I have a hard time leaving things in a ‘minimal stage.'”
In 2018, Cantine kept tweaking the songs, adding keyboard and sythesizers, extra guitars, bass, strings, drums and other percussion.
“At the beginning of 2019, I reached out to my friend, Charles Benson, to congratulate him on his film ‘Along the Bed’s Edge Sitting’ which he wrote, directed and had recently released on Amazon. He was living in L.A. at the time and I was in Denver.”
Cantine told Benson about the music he had been working on and sent him mixes to listen to.
Benson’s feedback on the music led Cantine to see that the songs had even greater potential. Cantine asked Benson to get involved in the project.
“We had what some would call a long distance creative relationship, working on mix adjustment and more production work,” Cantine says. “Back in May, Charlie was living the van life on his move back to Wyoming, making stops along the way to see friends, family and to play a few solo gigs.”
“Once Charlie was living back in Casper, I made a few trips from Denver so that we could track his guitar parts on the songs and to plan for the EP release.”
Cantine says that spending the additional time working on the music was well worth it to him.
“I am grateful to have learned the art of patience with these songs,” he says. “90% of the project was produced ‘in the box.’ It was mostly a guerrilla recording type of production. We recorded all of the music in my 600 square foot apartment and Charlie’s childhood bedroom.”
They did end up recording some elements at a professional studio in Denver and other people contributed to the project.
- Nikki Giron (Denver): featured on several tracks singing and playing saxophone
- Erick Parks and Chris Campbell (Brother Wind): helped with some of the early music production on “Miss Midnight”
- Zachary Pullen (Casper): painted album art
- Brad Smalling (Evergroove Studio in Evergreen, CO): mastering on the EP
- Jamie Hillyer (Module Overload Recording Studio in Aurora, CO): recorded vocals, saxophone and some percussive elements
That’s just for the album side of the project. A number of other artists contributed to the “Miss Midnight” music video.
“Mark Ball did all of the stop motion work,” Cantine says. “My fiancé, Kelsey, introduced me to Mark four years ago I think [at a] Halloween triple feature at the America Theater.”
“All three of us have a common interest in horror movies. Mark creates horror art by using action figures, building cool sets for them and then photographing them.”
Ball’s artist name is “Fancy Mark” and he refers to some of his work as “Fancy Horror Art.”
“This year, he also made a 30 second short film with stop-motion and his work was shown on the big screen at Fantastic Fest, a film festival in Austin,” Cantine adds. “I think it was October of 2018 that I called Mark and asked him to help with the Miss Midnight music video.”
“He was excited about the idea and got to work right away. I ordered a custom action figure with my face on it somewhere online. We also ordered a bunch of old WWE women wrestely action figures off EBay.”
Cantine says it took Ball six months to complete four minutes of stop-motion video.
“It is an insane amount of work that he put into it,” Cantine adds. “Without Mark, this video would not have happened at all.”
Adam Amick helped create the live action aspects of the music video.
“Adam and I were really close friends back in high school,” Cantine says. “Adam has always been really talented in the professional photography and video work and now has his own company called ‘Checked in Media.’“
“We met at Metro Coffee Company in March and started putting both of our ideas into motion. Later that evening, we began the shoot at David Street Station, moving out way down Second Street to the Rialto.”
Cantine says the whole shoot lasted from about 7 pm until 4 am.
“It was really fun to have access to the Rialto,” he adds. “A big thanks to Ben Smith and the rest of the WyoMovies team.”
“The icing on the cake for this shoot…having my grandfather, Dan Cantine, star in the video as the manager at the theater. Grandpa Dan has always been a huge influence in my music and has supported me the entire way.”
Art 321 let Pleasure People borrow mannequins for a later shoot involving Benson which Cantine says helped “keep the content creepy.”
Once all the shooting was finished, Amick led the editing process with Cantine and Benson also lending a hand.
“I think that the final product and it’s success are the result of four different people, creative styles and personalities collaborating in unison,” Cantine says.
Once everything was finished, Pleasure People held a special party to play the music and show the music video.
“The video takes place in a movie theater, so we decided that the video and songs needed to be experienced on the big screen as well,” Cantine says.
Cantine and Benson decked out the interior of Adbay with some of those same creepy mannequins from the music video, and invited people to come listen to the music and enjoy the video.
About 100 people were able to catch the music at that release party, according to Cantine.
For anyone who wasn’t able to make that party, the music and video are available for free online.
More could be coming, eventually.
“We don’t want to rush, or push any of our creative ideas into the dirt, but we are now in the middle stages of our next release and some more music videos to go along,” Cantine says. “Pleasure People has more to come for sure.”
Here is the “Miss Midnight” video: