Mina Fedora’s Nightwatch (2012) – By Cary Conley

I was first introduced to Mina Fedora’s music late last fall when I reviewed a fantastic short film titled Elysian (view Elysian at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd0gNfmwD3E), which Ms. Fedora scored. While I found Elysian to be visually stunning, I also singled out Fedora’s score as absolutely enchanting and one of the reasons the film is so powerful. Now Fedora is releasing her new music video, Nightwatch, created by the same team who brought us Elysian.

Apparently, Fedora is quite the horror fan, and the video is designed as a direct homage to classic horror films we all know and love. Remember Psycho? Affected by Halloween? How about the recent spate of Japanese horror? Are you a fan of The Sixth Sense? It’s all here, plus plenty of other references, but I only identified the obvious ones; I don’t want to spoil the fun.

Lewis Chaney and Neil Kellen, of Keychain-Productions, produced and directed this fun music video in tandem, so it comes as no surprise that the video is visually strong. The duo use some terrific camera angles to craft a unique and unsettling slice of cinema. Many of the shots are off-kilter to lend a sense of imbalance to the proceedings while others are shot from above, giving the four-minute video an otherworldly feel, as if something is looking down from above. Other camera angles make use of physical objects, for instance, a shot filmed through a stairway railing or the disconcerting use of mirrors. There are also many subtle visual effects that act almost subliminally. When Chaney sent me the link to the video, he suggested I watch it multiple times for just this reason, and he was right. Aside from Fedora’s wonderful voice, which is reason alone to view the video multiple times, there are also several fun visuals that may not be noticed the first time around. The overall effect creates a sense of anxiety in the viewer as the eye catches things that aren’t quite right but the brain isn’t able to sort it all out the first time. It’s fun to watch several times to spot all the different homages and subtle effects sprinkled throughout the video.

Nightwatch is shot in an older house that is filled with four-poster beds, several chandeliers, hardwood floors, and a staircase straight out of Psycho, which evokes an eerie, gothic atmosphere. The house seems to be isolated which makes it a perfect setting for this video. With swinging chandeliers, ghostly hand prints on glass, and other spooky shots, one may wonder whether the story contained in the video is actually about a stalker or perhaps a haunted house story. I have my own explanation, but each viewer should make up his or her own mind.

If you’ve never heard Mina Fedora’s music, it is lovely. Both rhythmic and haunting, Nightwatch is a terrific song even without the strong visuals of the video as support. Nightwatch is available for viewing at http://www.keychain-productions.com/portfolio/mina-fedoras-nightwatch. For more information about Fedora’s music, please check her out at either Facebook or MySpace. And for more information on the filmmakers, you can visit http://www.keychain-productions.com. I encourage you to check Nightwatch out. You won’t be disappointed.