“Mary on a Wave” video

January 18, 2017


I’m excited to be able to share it with you now a new video I directed for the Okkervil River song “Mary on a Wave” (and to announce a limited-run tour I’ll be doing with Okkervil in the first time as an acoustic trio – dates for that here).

I worked on the video on and off throughout 2016, with my DP and partner Johnny North. We shot the first part at the Crystal Snifter -my studio space in Brooklyn – enclosing the band in green screens and shooting on my high school’s old VHS camera, which a teacher friend gave to me when I went to visit a few years back.

The second section of the video was shot shortly before the Okkervil River U.S. tour for Away. Johnny and I went -with Johnny’s son Angus who stars in the video – to an old abandoned farm colony in Staten Island. The colony had been started in the late 1800s, had eventually turned into a farming community for the poor, and was finally abandoned in the mid-1970s.

Johnny and I shot the third sequence with the actress Simone Leanora, during a stolen moment in a midtown hotel, shortly before the new year, 2017.

Unlike with my video for “Okkervil River R.I.P,” this video was done on a shoestring, with just a two-man crew most of the time. Johnny edited and did the effects. My dear friend Nancy Heyl (who also worked on my film Down Down the Deep River, which I hope you’ll get a chance to take a look at later this year) did the costumes.

2016 was an odd year. For me, personally, it was restorative. I put out my favorite Okkervil River record and went all over the world touring it – I haven’t had that much fun since 2003. At the same time, the world around me felt like it was going insane. I’m looking forward to this year, to coming out and seeing you all live, to doing more work that I hope is meaningful, and to fighting against the forces of entropy and destruction that seem to be on the ascendance in our world.

(and if you haven’t seen it yet, here is the video for “Okkervil River, R.I.P.” I also directed:)




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2 Responses to ““Mary on a Wave” video”

  1. Simon Simonson

    Nice work, Will. I have a father whose health is tanking… the last 4 months. Been slaughtering this record especially Comes Indiana Through The Smoke. I am in the damn hospital room.. It’s like the ‘end of something’.

  2. Will Sheff

    Very sorry to hear it, Simon. Sending you strength and well wishes and glad the music can be helpful in some small way.

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