An imagination captured by the glitz and camp of late 70’s variety show offerings (think Cher) and then consumed by rock and roll, poetry and electronic music, Jane Jensen’s mind and music tend to wander in many directions but her love for industrial music is the thread that weaves it all together.
She just released two new singles, “Changeling” and “Revolution Maker,” with her album Changeling. In tandem, she also released the music video for “Changeling.” The song is about inner transformation and rebirth with an industrial alt rock backdrop. Visually speaking, the video has a 90’s style and visualizes change with glitching.
We spoke to Jane Jensen about the “Changeling” video in this edition of Video Voyager:
Tell us the story of this song, why did you choose to visualize this song specifically in this way?
The narrative for the song “Changeling” is simple. It focuses on a personal journey that leads to transformation. It’s reflective of past trauma and future possibilities. It’s about transmuting pain into power and figuring out what lessons need to be learned to move on and effect needed change in life. I wrote and worked on this song a lot during the pandemic – lots of time to be reflective.
What was the inspiration behind this video?
The video has a deep seated 90’s vibe and it began as a complete coincidence. I partnered with video director Sean Sweetman and we rented a photo studio for a couple hours to shoot some cool visuals. Initially, we planned to feature a lot of martial arts but we had some glitches on shoot day and weren’t able to get those shots. The studio had a wall of televisions which immediately indicated the 90’s aesthetic and direction for the rest of the shoot and aftereffects. Although Sean did mention early on that he wanted neon crosses like Baz Lehrman’s Romeo and Juliet, which is a 90’s film, so I guess we were steeped in 90’s nostalgia from the start. Also, the chair as a major focal feature is reminiscent of my video from the 90s More Than I Can and my favorite detail is the ms dos font that runs throughout the video. When Craig Kafton and I were working on my first album Comic Book Whore he used a Compaq computer for programming and sequencing. That green flashing font was at the core of every track on that album.
What was the process of making this video?
Sean and I had a pre-production phone meeting. We decided to shoot me with my guitar and a mic stand, rather than the whole band. Sean wanted to incorporate his newly acquired neon lights as neon crosses, and he had lots of photographic ideas that he wanted to capture with that kind of lighting. I like to preplan everything, and Sean is very comfortable just showing up and shooting whatever is available. We did both. There is also planning that goes into clothing, hair and make-up. I discovered Ukrainian brand MDNT:45 and was happy to show my support by wearing some of their clothing in the video. The hair and make-up were very subtle by Alexandra Bayless, and we had one mind-blowing dancer Jahlani Luv. She was really wonderful, and we wished we had more time to shoot her.
After the shoot was complete, Sean started the editing process and presented a rough-cut followed by a few more finessed cuts until we got the one we both were happy with. Then I took the final cut to add some additional 90’s effects and the ms-dos font that is featured throughout the video. The best advice I can give to an artist who is producing their own music video would be not to do it under a strict time constraint. That kind of pressure can lead you to cut corners or not get a visual you are totally satisfied with, because you feel the pressure to stay with the timeline and keep moving forward, even if you are not happy – SO, give yourself plenty of time! And just as important, be satisfied with the quality of the visual. If you don’t love it, you won’t want to share it and if you are an indie artist, you are calling the shots so keep working on it until you love it – even if you have to push back release dates.