Driven to spread entertainment, humour and creative thinking in this new era of social distancing, commercial director Clay Weiner co-conceived, co-wrote, produced, casted and directed, 'Virus to Hell', a video parody evoking Metallica’s famed “Enter Sandman” with lyrics changed to reflect the new normal.
Witnessing the way that the 2020 pandemic hit New York, creative director Ben Ashfield called Weiner about making something meaningful for the United Nations call for Covid-19 creative, and offered the concept of a band named 'Pandemic' to deliver educational messages. Ashfield reached out to the real 'Pandemic', a heavy metal band out of Poland, giving Weiner and San Francisco-based creative director Jon Wolanske enough ammunition to write the lyrics. Weiner said: “My first casting call was to Tony Cavalero of HBO’s Righteous Gemstones, who also played Ozzy Osbourne in Netflix’s 'The Dirt'. I barely got the idea out of my mouth before he said, 'F*** yes.'”
The four cast members recorded their performances at Weiner’s direction by submitting iPhone footage self-captured and lit on tripod, or by a person they were quarantined with. While not able to fly to Poland, Pandemic themselves even made killer cameos throughout. All of the selected shots were remotely edited and reviewed via Zoom and FaceTime sessions with LA-based editor Andrew Ratzloff from The Den Editorial, with music by Beacon Street Studios and vocalist Jeremy Balliger.
“There are typically so many layers and people involved in bringing a traditional commercial or music video project to life. It was excellent to see what each person involved in making this brought to the table as a creative collaborator when given more agency, little-to-no prep time.” said Weiner. “The goal with this video was to educate people but still bring a little levity into what’s become a pretty bleak media stream…and as unconventional as the process was, it was pretty great to direct from home in my sweatpants.”