SHEDDING A LIGHT ON JAROD EVANS
BY JOE WHITE III
I’m standing on the middle school auditorium stage at Heritage Hall as cameras and lights adjust for a 7 a.m. music video shoot for Graham Colton’s latest song, "Good For Each Other." Videographer and producer, Jarod Evans is yanking me by my collar (with much vigor, might I add) to show Ben King, the guitarist of Oklahoma band, Broncho, how to properly disable me for a fight scene.
Name dropping much? Guilty. But that's the point. If you have listened to a memorable Oklahoma record in the past ten years, Jarod has probably had his hands on it. He’s toured the world as a musician and recorded artists such as Broncho, The Flaming Lips, and Sufjan Stevens, just to name a few. And as if that’s not enough to stack a resume, Evans has co-owned and operated Blackwatch Studios since 2004, and produced Blackwatch Fowler Christmas compilation 10 years running. By night, he's almost as likely to be spotted on a roof in an oversized vintage jersey tee as he is to be found engineering.
Lately, Jarod has taken to the lens. He has a love affair with good themes. He is equal parts hilarious, patient, and serious about his art--a quite perfect combination for one in a creative industry. Here, we chat with Jarod about the music video/cinema world, where he gets his creative kicks, and what it's like to live in the future.
"I think it’s important to always have an aspect that you’re obsessed with in a project... there has to be a spark that you’re chasing."
People have called you the “Bengal of the Boards” and a “tyrant of the tuba.” As far as your audio prowess is concerned, why video? Why now?
I always made movies as a kid growing up in Tuttle, Oklahoma. Lots of goofy stuff with me and my brother (fart videos, bike tricks, ventriloquy, etc). I never really thought, ‘I’m going to be a filmmaker one day,’ but I always felt very satisfied when I was daydreaming or shooting little projects. I’ve always felt like at the core of me is a finite amount of creative energy. I know that I must exert that energy to feel satisfied and balanced. Music was my exclusive outlet for quite some time, but as it turns out, I think I crave diversity with age.
What works for you when you’re working on a video concept? What gets Jarod Evans’ juices going?
When I first started making music videos, I loved the fact that I didn’t know “the right way” to do anything. It was fun to be impulsive and rely strictly on intuition. Somewhere along the way, I made a conscious decision to implement a new technique in each video that I would take on. A few examples: incorporate green screen keying, compose a stop motion sequence, incorporate tracking shots with a dolly, write a comedy concept, etc.
I think it’s important to always have an aspect that you’re obsessed with in a project. You also have to be careful that the obsession doesn’t raise blinders to other areas that need attention. But nonetheless, there has to be a spark that you’re chasing. At the moment, I’m obsessed with lighting.
You’ve been doing some fantastic work lately on music videos with a multitude of artists. Who have you been working with?
Last week was particularly crazy with six shoots in seven days. The content included:
-A cult recruitment video
-A steamy encounter in the woods
-A sloppy cocktail tutorial
-The world’s first bubble concert
-A “Rocky” style training montage
-Paper Mache wolf masks
Do you have any pet projects or ventures we should watch out for in 2021?
As previously mentioned, I’m currently obsessed with lights! I’m currently in production on music videos for Spaceface, The Technicolors, and The Nghiems. One of my goals for 2021 is to step outside of the music video genre and make a short film.
Where do you accredit your style sense to?
If I had to cite one specific source, I’d probably say I get my style sense from the movie, The Goonies. It’s kind of like when old guys become obsessed with model trains-- they just want something that makes them feel like a kid again. I’m generally just looking for things that were popular back when I still rode in the back seat.
If you could share something with an up-and-coming band, what would it be?
Some bands are looking for a career while others just wanna have a good time. Establish where your group collectively fits on that spectrum. If you’re the latter, then just hang out and have fun! If you’re really trying to make a go of it, I’ll toss to one of my favorite quotes from ye old Calvin Coolidge…
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.The slogan 'Press on!' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
Jarod Evans is a creative man on a mission. He maintains a potent combination of musicality and comedy that's begging for the next project. With plans of jumping into shooting short films and beyond, we can’t wait to see what he has up his sleeve next.
Keep up with Jarod's creative projects on Instagram @oddsevans.