“More and more music videos qualify as ‘short films,’ worthy of screening at the big worldwide film festivals,” says singer-songwriter Scott West, whose video for his song “Keep It Clean” was one of only ten music shorts (among thousands submitted) to screen at last month’s London Independent Film Festival. Also selected for a July screening at the New York International Film Festival in NYC, the video was directed by 17-year-old Phillip Stucker.
“Phillip’s mother noticed his love of art and drawing,” says West, “and saved up the money for a computer he could use to do his own animation. He made a homemade video to the Shiny Toy Guns song ‘Don’t Cry Out,’ and it blew up on YouTube, with over 300,000 views. I was amazed when I first saw it, especially when I found out how young he was.”
However, the DIY video wasn’t authorized by the band or their management at Universal Music Group. “They made him take it down, even though he was using this video to raise money for his mother’s cancer treatments.… I ended up asking him to do my ‘Keep It Clean’ video.” To their eventual credit, Universal decided to adopt the STG clip as “official,” reposting it on YouTube and racking up an additional 150,000 views.
West, who studied audio engineering at Mesa Community College, has lived in San Diego for around three years, performing regularly with his own Scott West Band as well as with Happy Ron Hill, Tara Nichol, and others. “I’m living near I-5, between La Jolla and P.B., which is handy access for getting around town several nights a week to gigs. I probably play out 15 or 20 times a month.… I just did the 2010 roots festival, and I’ll be at this year’s Adams Avenue Festival.”
A new album by the Scott West Band, Austin (featuring guest drummer Mick Fleetwood), will drop in June. The band appears May 23 at the Greek Palace on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard.