music video

Aunt Jenny's Party

AUNT JENNYS PARTY IS GONNA SUCK ASS, AUNT JENNYS PARTY IS GONNA SUCK ASS.  People were chanting it in the bathroom and at the lobby during intermission.  We’d just left the first act of Improv Asylum’s “Some Buddies in Here” show, which ended on a rap- Aunt Jenny’s Party and it was already stuck in everyone’s heads.

It was the funniest sketch I’d seen at IA and half way through the first time hearing it I thought- this has to be a music video.  The unfortunate thing about most improv show content is that it dies once the run of show ends, or even that night if it’s an improv segment.  Aunt Jenny’s Party had to go on!

Luckily, the Co-creator, John MacGregor was my improv teacher at the time.  A few months later I met with John and his partner, Alex Kagy and we talked about how to make AJP’s music video a reality.

They recorded the track with IA’s music director Steve Sarro and we were off and running.  We set up the shoot in 3 days, which worked out in chronological order- getting ready, the drive to the party and then the party itself.

We filmed the getting ready scenes at a friends apartment in the North End.  The intro of the song is stings over a voice mail, so we used the letterbox with flat color and slow panning shots to add a cinematic flair.

The commute shoot day came together very last minute as we were struggling to find a location that had a keypad, gate guard booth and gate all in 1 place.  We were going to fake it but then White Cliffs Country Club cake to the rescue.  I had filmed a wedding at White Cliffs and remembered there being a gate with a keypad, so I reached out to them as a shot in the dark and morning of they gave us the go!  It really couldn’t have worked out better and was literally what was in our heads for the scene.

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We filmed the “getting the ice” piece at the Sunoco by Fenway Park, as it’s named in the song.  The 50 min drive to White Cliffs gave us plenty of time to film the driving scenes and also made us feel like we were really driving all the way to Aunt Jenny’s.

This part of the shoot really came together thanks to Billy Cox who stole the show as the gate guard.  John and Alex spoke with Billy while we were still at the Sunoco and got the final go from him.  We picked him up at his place in Dorchester on the way down.  He was fully committed to the role- even shaving his beard down to just a mustache in the White Cliffs parking lot.  

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Aside from Billy, the Co-MVP of the day was his sandwich.  Our PA, Rocky Brown was on baby powder duty, making that sandwich look as old and dusty as possible.

The shoot went flawless, we got everything we needed and more.  Billy had so many good outtakes in the sketch portion that we decided to save it for the end credits.

The third shoot day was the actual party.  We rented an AirBnB in Southie.  I looked for the smallest AirBnBs I could find and found the perfect Aunt Jenny’s Condo.  It had a comically small love seat, had only 2 chairs, no TV and was super small.  All exactly how the song states.

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The rest of the IA crew came up huge for the party.  Filling out the cast of characters were Kelly Dooley as Aunt Jenny, as she played in the show, Joey Lopez as Cousin Steve and the rest of the crew of the main stage along with some other members of the family as the party goers.

The party shoot was long, but we got through each scene one by one and got everything to wrap.  My favorite scenes were when they party got “crazy”- we shot in 120 FPS for some super slime dramatic shots of Aunt Jenny and her crew getting crazy.

We finished up the edit shortly after and here it is.  

I honestly have a good time working on every project we do at path8, but this one takes the cake for obvious reasons.  It was such a blast collaborating with 2 great comedians and all of the extras we worked with.  Start to finish we had fun in every part of the project, and everything went super smoothly.  Most fun of all was being part of bringing something from a hilarious song on stage, to an idea, to a reality.

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