The video opens up with a POV shot from a ship careening through space at a million miles an hour (I clocked it) before making impact somewhere in the American south around the Texas/Oklahoma border. The pilot sits up in a dilapidated crash site and removes his helmet, peering around at the location.
This rundown spot symbolizes the small, rural towns of the southern United States, overrun with poverty and ruin. Our "UFO" pilot can be seen wearing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt, since this sensible way of thinking can easily feel alien in the overwhelmingly Conservative cells of the country.
The narrative elements are sprinkled throughout a mostly Performance driven Music Video, but several symbolic gestures are taken in the small details. A cosmonaut dog floating around in the background, dogs don't belong in space, just like how I don't belong in Missouri. Meterorites and debris from the ship can be seen from three different points of view falling to Earth, this can be interpreted as opposing speech raining down on a progressive thinker in a backwards society. It's also important to note that the falling debris seen three times is stylized once like a cartoon, once with a more CG look in color, and once it looks realistic; since some of the language of backwards thinkers is benign, totally cartoonish and rooted in baseless conspiracy theories, but many times it can become very real discrimination and have a true impact on your way of living.
The stars, galaxies and other elements of deep space used as backgrounds visualize the aspirations to leave this place and pursue a career in art. This is especially hinted at in the third act of the video when these elements appear in the lens of the space helmet, as if to say the singer has his sights set on the stars, this happens during the bridge, when the feel of the song is more hopeful, despite the lyrics being much darker. But as soon as the music shifts back to normal, he removes the helmet, as if to snap back to reality.
If you look closely, you'll notice one of our singers is speaking on the phone to his girl, but she hangs up on him. This leaves him literally upside down in the next shot, floating aimlessly through space. You may also notice the phones they're using are very old style home telephones. This is because the traditional ways of dating are considered archaic in this society, and anyone who attempts to court someone this way is basically, again.. An Alien.
A UFO flies around our Space pilot for a moment, and then in the next shot he appears to be abducted. By the end credits, we have a POV shot of a craft gently cruising through the universe in direct contrast to the opening sequence of a ship desperately course correcting. This is to symbolize the chaotic nature of living and working in a small economy, surrounded by hateful citizens; compared to the idea of doing what you Love with like-minded people, even if that does seem entirely out of this galaxy.
I loosely took some inspiration from an obscure source, the novel No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy. No, seriously. Despite clearly being a Western in stark contrast to our Sci-Fi Music Video, the theme of being an outcast in a society you don't belong in runs deep in the character Ed Tom Bell, that's why the book is called "No Country For Old Men". I guess if I was naming the Music Video it would be "No Town For Folks Who Aren't Racist" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.
Since PhantomX is featured in the Music Video and has a ghost theme, I looked for inspiration that combines outer space and horror like "Event Horizon" and "Alien". If you've seen any of my work you know I don't hesitate to move to a dark or low-key look, which fits both genres nicely. I wanted to contrast that with something higher-key and well.. Ghost=White sheet over face, it looks pretty spooky and fit within the budget. For that sequence, I implemented some elements used in Heavy Metal music videos, I wanted to see how well they would translate to Rap. In the end, it turned out.. Well, it is what it is.