Who's Gonna Have My Head?

The official "Who's Gonna Have My Head?" video from Steven Conklin's "Who's Gonna Have My Head?" single.

Both the music and video for "Who's Gonna Have My Head?" are heavily inspired by one of Steven's favorite video games, Assassins Creed. Steven explains: “The title came from when I was playing the first level and a NPC shouted out “I'll have your head!” and I blurted out “who's gonna have my head?!”. I made a mental note of that and kept playing, all the while the main “verse” line kept building up and repeating over and over in my head. Once I had that main line down the rest of the song fell into place. The entire track was recorded in about three days.” Once the tracks was complete Steven really wanted a video to go along with it. His concept was simple: pay tribute to the game while making a low budget video. Sounds easy enough. It was. Sort of. Originally he had a grand vision for the intro to the song - grand as in 20 minutes long! The director quickly talked him out of that which led to the release of two versions. The first release was the four minute Concept Version, which is the above video, and later, an edited “just-the-song” version. The only difference between the two videos is the “just-the-song” version doesn't contain the two minutes of concept footage in the beginning. Otherwise they are both the same.

As production for the video began one problem presented itself: props and attire. Given the small amount of funds available purchasing ready made items was out of the question. That led Steven to make his own costume along with the entire set. Steven responds: “The table and trunk were made from some old pallets that were lying around. Those were the easiest. The hourglass took about a week because it was rather difficult to track down the sand. The actual construction was quick: turn four spindles on the lathe and glue together two pieces of plastic.” Which leads us to the costume; “the costume took me over a month to bang out. I had no idea at all how to sew, much less how to use a sewing machine. A lot of YouTube and a lot of do-overs and the costume was done. Not 100 percent spot on perfect, but close enough that the viewer would get it.”

All the animation and virtual world bits were built in Blender from Steven's original sketches. While it was possible to make very realistic renders from the models, the decision was made to keep things fuzzy. “The point was to have the current time characters vision clear and the other characters in various parts of time fuzzy.” “That led to two separate and distinct visual worlds – which again that concept was right in line with the game.” “The ending was the most fun as it leaves open what happened to him? Did he detonate? Is he stuck in a time loop? What?”

For the two minutes of concept footage all the sound effects and instruments were created by Steven using Sonar. “Because of the amount of time it took to make the costume, there wasn't much time to work on a proper score for the intro footage. So I quickly recorded various nature sounds (dogs, crickets, wind etc.) and put those in Sonar. All the string and synth patches were either Dimension or Rapture. Once everything was ready it was just a matter of playing to what was on screen. Not a proper score, but it was quite effective.”

Easter Egg alert: the skull prop is the same one that appears on the album cover for "Not What I'm Known For". It also appears briefly in the "Anyone Out There" video.

Track: Who's Gonna Have My Head?
Album: Who's Gonna Have My Head? - single
Video Run Time (Concept Version): 4:34
Single Run Time (Video Version 1): 2:53
Producer: Steven Conklin
Video Director: OceanicToast
Keys/Modes: E Minor, E Lydian
Copyright2013 By Steven Conklin (BMI)