Houston Filmmakers Aiding Rolling Stone Cover Hopeful

Last year, Rocks Off was wowed by the talents of Charles Goubeaud of Metal Hands Media in his work for the music video for The Ride Home's "Girls." The video was an incredible piece of work, and featured scenes in the Kirby House of Pies for those of you who like a little local flavor with your genius.

Now Goubeaud is setting his sights higher, as high as the cover of Rolling Stone.

Goubeaud has been tapped to produce a music video for Skyler Stonestreet, who is one of 16 finalists in the magazine's Summer Cover competition. Should the indie-rock starlet manage to win the contest, she will be featured on an August cover, and become the first unsigned artist to appear on the front of the magazine.

Stonestreet, based in Los Angeles, is up against two Austin bands with Houston roots: Indie guitar-shredders Ume and Magnolia-raised folk-rock duo The Jamestown Revival.

As the YouTube generation continues to put the fate of artists in their own hands instead of record companies', Stonestreet's ascension to the exclusive "cover club" of could be seen as a big step forward for the modern, independent music industry.

To complement her work, Goubeaud and director Tyler M. Reid will be producing a music video for Stonestreet's song "Holy Rollin'" in Savannah, Ga., at the end of the month. We got a chance to sit down with Goubeaud and Reid to talk about what we can expect for the video.

Rocks Off: How did you get involved with Skyler Stonestreet?

Charles Goubeaud: Tyler and I work together a lot and knew that we wanted to concentrate on music videos. We researched, cold-called, and compiled a list of around 200 musicians and labels to send our information out to.

There was actually a lot of Texas-based musicians we were looking at, and we're really excited to have all the replies we received. We fell in love with Skyler's work and were pretty excited to hear she was interested in working with us. We spent a month or so working on a concept with her, and the next thing we know she's in Rolling Stone and Jimmy Fallon is shouting her name.

RO: What are you planning to do for the video?

Tyler Reid: Artistically, I wanted to really tell a story with the music video, but it still be very bubbly and entertaining. It's like a theme-park ride, they really get you moving, really get you excited, but they usually have a story in it too. Skyler's music has this great allure, and I wanted to really pull that out in the music video. Using vibrant colors and great sources of light will really draw in the viewers.

CG: Distribution-wise, this video is a package that will represent all the filmmakers, visual effect artists, art directors, and mixed media artists involved with the project. We are helping Skyler Stonestreet launch her career by combining the skills of highly dedicated visual artists.

RO: Are you planning on continuing music videos as a career?

CG: Well you know the work of most filmmakers usually never gets seen, especially us independent filmmakers. We put an immense amount of time and money into our vision, and in the end we give birth to this awkward baby that we are trying to expose to the world.

Metaphorically, there's not a large market for awkward babies. Although, for commercials and music videos, you have your market and audience built right in. We all love Spike Jonze, yes, but he wouldn't be known to us if it wasn't for his hard work towards music videos.

Look at the directors today that are filling our movie theaters with content; Gondry, Jonze, Kosinski, and Marc Webb all made their name through music videos and commercial work. Now with social networking and online media, you're vision has somewhere to travel.

RO: How important do you think it is for unsigned musicians to make videos, and what's your advice to them?

CG: For any artist, you need a body of work. You need content with your name on it, because nowadays "content" and "product" are essentially the same. In the past, the market was "MTV or Bust," but sadly we don't have media outlets like MTV anymore. Sorry guys.

The way the culture works has changed; "Lady GaGa broke a million views today". It's all about views and footwork; how many eyes are pointed at your content? If you don't have a body of work, what do you have? What are you? Viral media controls the market.

Watch Spike Jonze's "Praise You" for Fatboy Slim. Is this not a viral video? Fatboy and Jonze exploded together. When talented filmmakers and musicians join forces, that's what happens.

Goubeaud hopes to use notoriety from the project to enable him to produce more music videos for bands in his hometown. Interested artists should contact him at charlestaylorgoubeaud at gmail dot com.

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner