Hip-Hop Artists Enlist Fellow Canadian For New 'Breath' Single
Friday, January 17, 2003

Todd McFarlane recently completed his directoral work on the new music video Breath from Canadian hip-hop artists Swollen Members. The track also features singer Nelly Furtado and is from the group's newest recording, Monsters in the Closet.

Breath debuted on Canada's MuchMusic network on Tuesday, Jan. 14 and is on the highest rotation. A live audience at the premiere gave the video a universal thumbs-up. It was also screened and put into rotation on MTV Canada.

McFarlane shot the mini-movie-style video in a single day, on location in Vancouver - the same location used to film the TV show Dark Angel. The video is a project of Todd McFarlane Entertainment, directed by McFarlane and produced by TME President Terry Fitzgerald.

As stated, Breath was shot in McFarlane's now-signature mini-movie style featuring the Swollen Members and Furtado acting out a twisted and dark search-and-rescue-type scenario.

Working with Todd was a dream for the band members, who initially thought they didn't have the budget or fame to get him. The band's label, Nettwerk, initially contacted Todd about the potential of working together on action figures. That idea morphed into the music video. For his part, Todd was excited to work with the band, despite the relatively small budget.

The team worked with what was at hand to create a memorable and stylistic video without spending the equivalent of a Third World country's annual operating budget.

"Some of the big videos, when they spend a lot of money, you can have someone honking at every move, making sure you're spending it right," Todd said. "If you don't have much time or money, everybody's expectations are a little bit lower and they just go, 'Do whatever you want.'"

Swollen Members are genuine stars, particularly in Canada, where they've won several awards and are a mainstay on the charts. Monsters in the Closet is the band's third full-length and has sold platinum at this point.

This is McFarlane's third music video, the first two being the Grammy-winning Korn Freak on a Leash piece and the second, the Grammy-nominated Pearl Jam Do the Evolution video.

No firm dates are set for a U.S. release of the video, but expect big news from Swollen Members and a U.S.-based record label in the coming months.