Local Filmmaker Makes video for Death Cab for Cutie

Ross Ching, a recent SDSU grad, created a beautiful music video for Death Cab for Cutie’s: Little Bribes and it got picked up by Atlantic Records! Ching has been making beautiful films for years and he specializes in stop-motion and time lapse. He created the music video on his own and by promoting it online, he got the attention of the band! On July 1st, Atlantic Record sent out a press release announcing Ching’s video as the official music video for the Death Cab song.

I knew Ross from SDSU, so I got in touch with him to find out more about how he created and promoted this film.

(Mel) About how long did it take you to create the Death Cab music video?
I spent about 50 hours/10 days working on it.

How long ago did u create this?
I finished it around May 18th.

How did u promote this? (blog/digg/facebook/youtube)
I made some friends on Twitter that had 50,000+ followers and gave them a digg.com short url to view it.  One of them submitted it to Digg and it just exploded from there.  It got about 100,000 views in the first week.

How did u get the attention of Atlantic Records? did u reach out to them or did they contact you?
Atlantic actually emailed me.  Apparently, Nick Harmer, the bassist for DCFC saw the video first and he sent it to their management.  Then the management sent it to Atlantic.  Everyone along the chain loved it.

How has the death cab video changed your work load? have you gotten new offers since creating this video?
The Death Cab video has DRASTICALLY changed my work load.  Before this I had all the free time in the world and basically just surfing the wanted ads.  Now, Atlantic has me doing a new music video for an artist named Robert Francis, I’m doing a video for one of the biggest bands in Mexico (can’t say which one just yet), and I’m doing Collective Soul’s next music video set to begin on July 10th.  And a few other little projects in development.  So I definitely have my work cut out for me.

What advice would you give to filmmakers who are trying to promote their work?
Don’t break the bank trying to make your student film.  Whatever you do, DON’T go into debt for your short film.  Write a story that you can shoot affordably and use the internet to learn how to work around some of the obstacles.  As far as trying to promote your work on the internet, you have to create something that not many people have seen before for it to go viral.  Nobody wants to watch a “The Office” parody or some poorly produced, hand held home video with your friends as the actors.  You really have to think outside the box and think of some original ideas.  Granted that’s easier said than done, but once you have a solid idea, it makes things a lot easier to promote.  Oh, and if you’re trying to promote something on the internet, it better be less than 4 minutes.

PS.  Film Festivals a kind of a waste of time for us small filmmakers.  It’s really hard to get people to pay attention to your little short film, and unless it’s a wonderful masterpiece, the odds of making it into a big festival is like 1 in 100, or 1 in 1000.  Why not do some research and use new media tools to promote yourself as a brand virally instead?

Ching’s video also got the attention of the NY Times online and his video was featured last week under “Must See: Videos Worth Watching.” Way to go Ross! I am proud to see on of our own getting some well-deserved attention. 🙂
Check out more of Ross Ching’s amazing films on his website. OH and follow Ross Ching on twitter.


3 thoughts on “Local Filmmaker Makes video for Death Cab for Cutie

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