music video treatment by Ben Kadie
The year is 1998. Mica and Matt arrive at Mica's wealthy aunt's stuffy cabin. They're house-sitting for the weekend.
The cabin is full of passive-aggressive sticky notes laying out the script rules of their visit: "don't sit on the ottoman," "toilet seat down please" etc.
In a brief montage, we see Mica and Matt living out a day in the cabin, modeling a parody of perfect Americana. They eat a formal TV dinner, sun-tan outside on the porch, play mini golf indoors, and sing on a Karaoke machine. They are increasingly frustrated and bored.
Styling here is a fun take on '90s prep look. Think Heathers or Clueless
Later that night...
Mica and Matt notice a flickering glow coming from the door to the attic. Inside, they discover a strange floppy disk.
As the chorus hits, they put the floppy disk into the PC downstairs and a fantastical RPG game boots up.
The game scans the pair with a laser grid and automatically generates digital Avatars of Matt and Mica.
Here we have an opportunity for fun with a character customization screen. Mica and Matt design their ideal versions of themselves, trying out a few silly options first. The Avatars they settle on are colorful and expressive, in contrast to their straight-laced real-life selves.
We enter the world of the game, a 2D side-scrolling adventure game in a sinister fantasy world. The graphics would be modeled after the original Mortal Kombat. We lean into the dated look of these graphics, which we'll create with a combination of 2D and 3D animation and footage of Mica and Matt on greenscreen.
See VFX / graphics test below
In the game, Mica and Matt battle a HYDRA and lose. Creepily, when their characters are harmed in the game the duo feel pain in real life too. They should be more worried, but they shrug it off.
Mica uses her hacking skills to bypass the Hydra level, generating a keytar which Matt's avatar uses as a musical weapon to beat the Hydra.
Here we lean way into the over the top hacking tropes of the 90s, including a shot where we travel through the wires of the computer.
As Mica hacks the game, the graphics become glitchy and trippy.
In a performance setup, we see Mica singing a duet with her in-game Avatar. They interact with each-other through the screen.
Everything's fine, until...
that night, when Mica and Matt have stepped away from the game. The Hydra slithers OUT OF THE SCREEN and begins wrecking havoc around the house.
The Hydra is a semi-translucent glowing pixelated menace, chasing Matt and Mica around the house. They try to fight it off with household objects but their efforts are useless.
See reference below for glitchy semi-translucent projector lighting.
Just when the Hydra is about to devour them, their game Avatars (now also out in the real world) slice off its heads and save the day.
In the final scene of the video, Mica and Matt stand face to face with their Avatars, their idealized versions of themselves.
Matt and his Avatar circle around each-other cautiously. Mica extends a hand and her avatar meets it with hers.
Finally, Mica and her Avatar step together so that they overlap, unifying into one being. Matt and his Avatar do the same. It's a quiet sincere moment that visually captures the idea of self-acceptance.
As the song ends, Matt and Mica are sucked into the computer screen, to live inside the game.
Overall, we aim to make a video that speaks to the theme of yearning for and imagining a new identity. I'm drawing from lyrics in the song "talking bout the future like we're done", "tell me what you want at 31," etc. For most of the video, Mica and Matt create alternate identities in the world of the game, living through them vicariously. At the end of the video we finally see their imagined identities and their real identities unified.
The video will be stylish, campy, and fun, but underneath that we'll communicate a genuine feeling about this theme.