Brighton native Eric Epstein has been nominated for a 2012 Grammy award for his video for the song “Yes I Know” by the indie musician Memory Tapes.
The video debuted in June and has been featured in video festivals around the world.
Last year, Brighton filmmaker Eric Epstein worked up the courage to directly contact indie musician Dayve Hawk, a highly acclaimed artist that he had long admired.
“I was looking for a good way to attempt something more serious. It was just a contact email that I found on his website. I told him I was a fan, and an experienced animator,” said Epstein.
The message went out, and it soon paid off.
The two began talking back and forth, exchanging ideas, when they eventually settled on working together for a video of Hawk’s song, “Yes I know.”
“I got the song late January, and I had ideas right away,” said Epstein. “He seemed to sort of trust my sensibilities enough that it wasn’t too closely managed after that.”
hen came the work—an intensive three month shooting period in Brooklyn that would produce a music video that is now being recognized across the world.
Not only was Epstein nominated for a 2012 Grammy award, but he also won the Best Indie/Rock Video in the budget category at the 2011 United Kingdom Music Video of the Year Awards and was the runner-up for Best Video at the Bornshorts Festival in Denmark.
The film begins with several still shots of old photographs. Visually, Epstein said his goal was to capture the emotional intensity of the song, while creating a sense of nostalgia.
“I used photographs that I had found at a Goodwill in California a few years ago. They’re black and white vacation photos from the 1940s. It added a sense of emotion,” said Epstein. “The lyrics describe isolation and longing, but there’s a sense of beauty in it. I wanted to be true to those types of feelings.”
Epstein found out about the Grammy nomination while out at a bar one evening.
“Someone I know sent me a text message about it,” he remembers. “It was strange. First I tried to look it up and confirm it on the internet. It’s something that’s hard to make sense of suddenly. It was pretty unreal.”
Epstein wil be making his way to the awards ceremony on Feb. 12 in Los Angeles. In his category are filmmakers who have produced video for Adele (Rolling in the Deep), Ok Go (All is not Lost), Radiohead (Lotus Flower), Skrillex (First Of The Year (Equinox)), and Weird Al Yankovic (Perform This Way).
For now, Epstein says he’ll continue to do freelance work. He aspires to hopefully someday transition from music videos to directing film.
“Music video itself is hard to make a living at,” he said. “Right now my goal is to make a few more music videos and see what i’m good at and move on from there. I suppose my eventual goal is to direct movies.