Oct 4, 2011, 10:38

This post was provided by our friends at Daddy Van Productions, a concert video production.

From working with massive bands that have attained international stardom like Maroon 5 and Disturbed, to working with classic hair metal groups on a reboot like Motley Crue and Aerosmith, Daddy Van artist Charlie Terrell has carved out a niche for his digital video and film work.

As a member of the music community, Terrell has stayed involved with artists even though his own musical ambitions have burned out. “I got to a point where I was sick of music,” Terrell said, “so I said, ‘what am I going to do with myself?’” He currently creates digital portraits and the visual accompaniment to live concerts in the Daddy Van Studios in South Austin. Though the former is still more of a hobby than a full-blown career, his ambitions transcend all forms of media.

“My video is not my true voice, it is the residue of my ambition,” Terrell stated. “But when I’m working with a client, I like the challenge of trying to please them even though it’s not necessarily my own work. That’s the real challenge.”

His creative process is contextual, always changing to meet the evolving needs of his artists and bands.

“According to the client, they’re all different,” Terrell said. “With Motley Crue, we got that gig through the lighting designer, and we got on the phone. It was me, their manager, their road manager, Tommy [Lee], Nikki [Sixx], and Mick [Mars], and we all just talked. They’d say they envision a song to be _____________, and I’d say ‘Oh, I like that’. Or I’d say ‘I see a lot of blood in this song.”

Terrell’s creative methods are always collaborative when working with Daddy Van clients , playing a balancing act between his vision and that of the artist. He often has to satisfy several aspects of the client’s visual appeal. Incorporating new and exciting imagery to accent a performance is just as important as including parts of the band’s visual history. Working with Disturbed was an interesting case.

Terrell had to contend with the band’s early career success and the various iconic figures that went along with it. Well known for their dark side, Disturbed’s official mascot, a sinister smiling hooded figure known as “The Guy” had been a part of their visual aesthetic from the start of their career.

“With our trademark art work, “The Guy”, to kind of bring those things in there was important to us because those images have become a big part of the band,” Dan Donegan, guitarist for Disturbed, said.

“Actually, when Maroon 5 approached us,” Terrell said, “I worked with Jesse their keyboard play. He’s the guy who does a lot of their writing, and their music is very layered and smart. They’d never really done video, so he wanted to pull it way back. Sometimes it was only colors or blocks of colors.”

This is quite the contrast to the elaborate and eye grabbing images that display at a Disturbed show, which show scenes from an abandoned asylum (appropriately), or a Motley Crue concert and Tommy Lee’s infamous drum roller coaster. “In that case, it’s good to be challenged that way,” Terrell said about working with Maroon 5’s minimalistic approach.

Using several digital film and video software, Terrell’s influences can manifest in several different ways. From splashes of color behind Maroon 5, the distorted and warped asylum scenes from disturbed, to the over-the-top hand that guides Tommy Lee’s drum roller coaster, his creations can be both entertaining and serious works of art.

Terrell has nothing but good things to say about his clients, as he’s always inspired by their vision. Satisfying that seems to be his highest priority.

“Everything is about matching the video to the song,” said Terrell.

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