Friends and enemies, music videos are an enduring passion of ours, both filming them ourselves and reporting on the best that we come across year after year. We think the medium has only become better and better with technology being made easier and cheaper for the average independent artist to master as well as the range that YouTube gives for that work to spread globally.
Now, videos can be expensive, epic affairs such as the Cradle of Filth's "Lilith Immaculate," or they can be cheap and easy shoots like the 71s "Get Up and Dance." We judge the final product not on its flashiness, but on its originality and how well it fits the song. Still, we'll admit that the slicker works get more attention, and therefore understand the need to try and raise money for equipment, props, etc.
We encourage you not to follow the path set out by Stanton LaVey, grandson of the founder of the Church of Satan Anton LaVey, who was himself a pretty awesome musician. Stanton's plan is to hold his Facebook hostage for donations.
The goal is for him to release a short film-style music video called "KILL ME" in April of 2012. To drum up financial support he sent the following message out to his Facebook friends. Click the link for the full text, but here are some unedited highlights courtesy of FeastOfHateAndFear.com:
In my effort to establish a core group of true supporters, rather than fair weather fans, I am sending this private message to each of my facebook friends and also to every friend request I receive from now on before clicking accept. This will let you know in the future that while on my facebook you are in the company of other generous supporters in my efforts to raise money for future film productions.
I am currently in preproduction on my first music video and need money for prop rentals, set materials, location expenses and a variety of other aspects of this first film production.
IF YOU DO NOT MAKE A DONATION YOU WILL BE DELETED!
That's right. I get the feeling that there are too many cyber loiterers on my virtual property and have recently made all of my photos private and only viewable to my friends. Same thing for my profile, it is now set to private. There is no set time for how long I will wait for your donation. Average time alloted to receive your pledge before being deleted is between 3 days and one week.
Donors do receive something for their cash. If you donated the minimum of $9.99 you get to stay on his Facebook friends list, and get access to his friend-exclusive photos. Donors at the $250 range and up will receive a plethora of signed photos of LaVey, a mention in the special thanks section of the video, and a wallet sized white on black photo print of the original Church of Satan membership card, hand drawn by my Anton LaVey in 1966 and made out to the donor by Stanton. Photos for sell are available for viewing at his Etsy account.
By contrast, you can get a signed photo of Lon Chaney for less than half of that.
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We tried to reach Stanton vial email and Facebook to ask him a little bit about his music video project, and to see if he'd had any success with this tactic. At first he demanded our credentials, which we were happy to provide seeing as we're quite proud of turning in 'round 800 articles over the three years we've been contributing to the Houston Press. He informed us that he would "check us out," and then get back to us as he had to be in court.
We were later blocked from all further communication via Facebook.
Look, there is nothing wrong with asking people to chip in for an artist. We donated to Shellee Coley's next album because we know for a fact it's going to be one of the best discs of 2012 and we have no problem paying up front. However, telling people that they aren't even allowed to view your social media unless they are willing to pay for the privilege seems, we don't know, like kind of a dick move. Especially when you can make an amazing music video for almost nothing with some imagination and a few talented friends. Add in the fact that when a journalist asks you about your project, you not only don't want to talk about it, but actively bar him from your Facebook and the whole thing seems a little shady.
We'll be keeping an eye out in April to see if we are wrong, though. Always willing to learn, us.