30 Seconds to Mars is no stranger to Epic (yes, that’s a capital “e”) music videos. The band has already made ground-breaking videos in China and the Arctic, and while “Kings and Queens,” their latest effort, was filmed in Los Angeles (with some scenes literally shot in frontman Jared Leto’s back yard), the video is no less grand in scope.
Leto is passionate when talking about the video (no surprise there, considering he not only wrote the song but also directed the clip). “That shot was one of the earliest shots I storyboarded,” he said, referring to an immaculately framed silhouette shot of dozens of bikers moving in slow motion, backed by a sunset. And while he admits that a lot of the shots were painstakingly set-up and difficult to get, a few of the iconic moments from the video were achieved through happy accidents. “We were supposed to shoot downtown, but shot the other way instead because the smog was so bad,” he said of one sequence. So you can thank the notorious Los Angeles air pollution for those shimmering silhouette shots of the band.
Fun fact: “Kings and Queens” is filled with allusions to other art forms. Some of the bikers are dressed as the Baseball Furies gang from the cult movie “The Warriors,” and at one point a frame of the video meticulously recreates underground artist Banksy’s “Flower Chucker” graffiti. Leto even directed the video under the alias “Bartholomew Cubbins,” a recurring character in the Dr. Seuss universe.
The video is split between two parts: 30STM performing on a cliff edge in Griffith Park, overlooking Los Angeles, and a gang of cyclists riding through an abandoned city. Leto couldn’t speak highly enough about how great the bike-riding extras were during production of the video. After pointing out a few of the particularly committed members of the cast, Jared related that he “really couldn’t get enough of them.
That was my favorite part about editing, was trying to get these individuals in there.” “Kings and Queens” is an impressive video feat, and there was so much to say from this edition of “Frame By Frame” that we had to break it into two parts. Enjoy the first part below, and stay tuned for the second part.
Courtesy of 30 Seconds To Mars official site.