Houston Music

Rashomon Promises To Be A Different Take On Music Videos

With Rashomon, Houston's Dinolion changes the rules of video production once again.
With Rashomon, Houston's Dinolion changes the rules of video production once again. Photo by Dinolion

For most of our lives, Houston has always had artists pushing the boundaries of what you think something should look like. In music, there have always been performers here who take what you know about music and make it altogether something different from what's happening around the rest of the country.

The same could be said about production company Dinolion. Aside from the fact that the company co-created the immersive musical experience "Red House" earlier this year with Black Kite, or that they've done video work for a slew of musicians, their latest project "Rashomon" promises to be something different than what you might be used to. Below, we delve into the project itself, while attempting to explain what those who attend the January screening of the project are in for.

A little backstory on who Dinolion is should be appropriate. The production company has many moving parts, but is primarily made up of three performing artists, Jeromy Barber, James Templeton, and Traci Lavois Thiebaud.  The three, with Barber as an improv performer and half of the music duo The Mustn'ts, Templeton as music producer LIMB, and Thiebaud as published author, poet, and performer on their own have accomplished so much. Recently they used Houston's Guilla and Miears in a commercial for Singapore Air, and it alone is pretty amazing. Like "Red House," this project hopes to use an unorthodox solution, to the practical challenges of creating a high end product on a small scale budget.

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Black Kite brings her dark electronica on as part of the Rashomon project.
Photo by Dinolion
As per Dinolion, the Rashomon Effect describes a phenomenon in which a single event is given contradictory interpretations from the various individuals involved. With this project, Dinolion will invoke this device from Akira Kurosawa's 1951 Japanese film Rashomon, in this new multi-band music video narrative. The project features 14 local bands and musicians, presenting the story of a single night in an abandoned, half-constructed house, through each character's conflicting lens.

According to Barber, the project came about as a desire to work with multiple artists while staying within a particular budget. "Traci, James, and I are all performing artists who love music and support local music whenever we can. We found ourselves constantly turning down local band videos due to budget limitations. Typically when we work on a music video, we spend the entire amount on the video's production budget. With this project we consolidate some of the production and casting, allowing us to tell some unusual stories within the same universe. We were excited that bands took us up on the opportunity, and to have a little budget to spend on the project," explains Barber.

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The eclectic sounds of Merel & Tony should add to the narrative that Rashomon brings.
Photo by Dinolion
The musicians involved in the project are Miears, Guilla, Black Kite, The Mustn'ts, Two Star Symphony, Merel & Tony, Whit, LIMB, Danna, Pitter Patter, Traci Lavois Thiebaud, King Finn, Football, etc., and The Wheel Workers. Alongside the actors, the project will give "local musicians a high-end music video, with as little cost as possible, while also creating a larger scale music project that we hope will challenge the way musicians and creatives collaborate and express themselves through their mediums," adds Templeton.

The local screening will bring the artists and production team together in order to cross promote the project itself. With 50 percent of the profits from the screening getting distributed back to the artists, Dinolion offers up a completely different take on video and event production.

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Houston's Guilla will add his signature style to the project as well.
Photo by Dinolion
The team at Dinolion plans on submitting the project in its entirety to film and music festivals. You can catch "Rashomon" in person, when the collaborative production screens the 14 separate videos presented together as one piece on Saturday, January 6. The world premiere screening will take place at Beta Theater. The all ages showing has doors at 7:30 p.m.; tickets $10.
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David Garrick is a former contributor to the Houston Press. His articles focus primarily on Houston music and Houston music events.