Niceland [Iceland - October/November 2012] / by a zugunruhe

This video covers the trip Rachel and I took to Iceland for Airwaves 2012. We stayed in Reykjavik for the most part and took brief excursions along the coast to the south.

The Trip

When I asked Rachel what she wanted to do in Iceland, she told me she wanted to see the ponies. 

The thing about Icelandic horses is that they are carefully bred. In 982, Althing (the original parliment) passed a motion that all importations of horses to the country be stopped. This began over one thousand years of controlled breeding. The unique climate and terrain of Iceland, combined with this order, helped shape this breed of horse into a very durable, strong breed. There exists multiple organizations that track and catalog the lineage of these horses. Though once exported, they can never return to Iceland.

Our first experience came as we rounded a corner on a stretch of highway and were abruptly confronted with the asses of a few dozen horses. They were all running on the highway, being herded by an F-150, and all-around looking majestic as fuck. I slowed the car down to just above their speed and we drove along side them for half a mile or so. It was magical.

One of the first nights of the festival, I ran into Bjork at a hip-hop showcase. Later that night while walking back to my hotel, I saw the northern lights for the first time. These green waves of Aurora Borealis were slowly moving and waving through the sky like clouds, faintly visible through the city lights of Reykjavik. I had never seen anything like it and was blown away that I was actually experiencing this event. I started yelling and whooping like an idiot while running and jumping down the street. If anyone was around me, they probably thought I was drunk, mumbled something about tourists to themselves, and kept moving. I ran back to the hotel room, losing articles of clothing along the way, and woke up Rachel. We spent to next hour or so driving around outside of the city, searching for more lights.

I forever associate the northern lights with Bjork now.


0:30 - The fist bump intro


1:20 - Horses running along the road



2:07 - The slow pan of Jökulsárlón



The Video

The intro sequence was inspired by an eight hour layover in Logan Airport. After laying out a quick sketch of all positions according to the beat, we spent a few minutes shooting and got the shots fairly easily. It was actually unfortunate that it didn't kill more time. I'm happy how the "mindlessly looking at a cell phone and spinning out into a different place" worked out.

For this song, I wanted to use the more tame verses to concentrate on slower shots of the country and faster concert scenes in the more hyped up choruses. Since Airwaves is very SXSW-esque, I wanted to get a lot of shots in the smaller clubs that the showcases were being held. The first chorus's right pan ended up complimenting the next chorus's left pan and the slow pans of the beautiful landscapes added a nice change of pace to the video. I feel that it helped accentuate what I was attempting communicate. That Iceland is beautiful and Airwaves is a ton of fun.

The Music