Hoobastank have a choice to make with their next single — not which song to pick, but which video.
The group has made two clips for “Same Direction,” the follow-up to “The Reason.” The first is a sequel to that song’s clip (see “New Hoobastank Video Picks Up Where ‘The Reason’ Left Off” ), and in the second video, Hoobastank’s fictional former fifth member, “Ted,” runs the show.
Ted, according to a treatment conceived by a fan who wrote it as part of a contest, was once the band’s triangle player, let go in the fifth grade for artistic differences. Ted, now 25, is still obsessed with Hoobastank, and he builds shoebox dioramas in his garage to role-play that he is still part of the band. Ted’s hand shots are captured with high-speed cameras to give his creations a frenetic feel.
Hoobastank perform and party in life-size versions of Ted’s dioramas, where giant pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, dry pasta, cotton balls, sugar cubes and other oversized art supplies form the band’s rehearsal spaces, motel rooms, concert stages and parties. The video moves between the tableaus of the actual shoebox dioramas populated by action figures to their life-size counterparts, showing the contrast between Ted’s present-day garage — which is gritty and shot with a flat, unsaturated color palette — and his diorama fantasies, which are lush and vibrant with color, with a “candy-coated slickness and the high-glam styling of a hip-hop video,” according to the treatment.
Though the band parts seem real, cracks in the illusion keep that world from really coming to life. Microphones are revealed to be made out of trimmed cotton swabs with the cotton dyed black and the shaft wrapped in tin foil. Framed pictures in motel rooms are postage stamps; spotlights are Christmas lights.
Through these dioramas, Ted lives out a fantasy in which he never left the band and in fact became its most revered member, nibbled by models in limos and hot tubs (made of popsicle sticks with blue hair gel for water). Ted’s older sister — played by Joan Jett — is concerned that his imagination is taking over his life, but there’s not much she can do.
Strangely enough, the bandmembers — or echoes of them — are in the garage as well, watching Ted play with their miniature selves. Ted senses them, turns around, but there’s no one there. But in one of the dioramas, the video for “The Reason” is playing on a makeshift TV set, and as the final scene plays, the stolen ruby’s red light somehow has transformative powers to bring the real-life Hoobastank into Ted’s garage and transport everyone back to 1987, when he was really in the band.
Overjoyed, Ted grabs his triangle and strikes the last note of the song. The band hugs, looks up, and then sees a giant Ted looking down on them, smiling.