A self-portrait by the music video directorErin Shea Devany
You may have seen her name dropped a few times over the last year thanks to her tireless efforts creating visuals for shows, photographing bands and putting together music videos for Rosegarden Funeral Party’s “Ill and Getting Worse” or just a few days later, Upsetting’s new video for “Form/Foul.”
Who is this woman behind one of the local music scene’s favorite production companies, All Hallows Productions?
Meet Erin Shea Devany. She may have only recently stepped onto the scene, but her presence has certainly made an impact.
“I’ve been taking photos since moving up to Denton two and a half years ago,” Devany says. “I pretty much just show up wherever I could bring my camera and document the incredibly diverse selection of music that this tiny town has to offer.”
Devany quickly made her move into making music videos after a fun conversation turned into a genuine spark of creativity.
“Around this time two years ago, I filmed Loafers’ ‘Peter Pan,’” she remembers. “We just got together and bounced ideas off of each other until we found a ski mask and just kind of built a whole character and story around it.”
With this first taste of filmmaking still fresh, Devany knew she had stumbled upon a passion that gave her a sense of personal fulfillment and a way to give back to the music community she'd received so much from.
“I’ve been a huge fan of movies for as long as I can remember,” she says. “They’ve helped shape me as a person and have shown me so much culture and taught me how impactful imagery can be. I wanted to be able to provide that same experience for others.”
Devany started All Hallows Productions with the intent to create powerful and provocative imagery for fans as a way to promote local music.
“In order to create that experience,” she says, “I needed my own professional and legitimate business (in order) to begin learning how the insane world of film works. All Hallows’ Eve is my favorite holiday, so naturally I had to make it a part of my image.”
In what seemed like no time at all, Devany was making videos for a slew of heavy hitters from the local scene: Loafers, Lorelei K, MNKR, Tom Ben Lindley, Rei Clone, Hey Greg Hello, Jade Nickol, Super Hero Super Villain, Ansley and, of course, Upsetting (and their former incarnation, Teenage Sexx).
Devany says her videos "normally begin with a general concept either provided by me or the band, and then I’ll get a script written, figure out location, props, actors and finally a date. It’s a pretty lengthy process, but I’ve been very fortunate enough to work with some driven and passionate bands and artists that help the whole process tremendously.”
When it came to making the video for Upsetting’s song from 2018's Everything I’ve Done So Far, Devany wanted to bring the song’s true darkness to the light.
“I wanted to take a dark and sadistic song and create a story that matched it,” she says. “Horror is my bread and butter, so it was an easy start.”
After reaching out to local artist Jessie Moncrief, who rents an art studio in Dallas and who kindly lent Devany her space, the director knew that she had the perfect place to bring the video together, and her friend Sarah Agnew agreed to act in it and also build the props for the entire thing.
“I really wanted to dive into the concept of nightmares and what they mean to different people,” Devany says.
The video conveys nightmarish scenery: a strange figure bleeding from the mouth, a crowd that seeks only to maim and destroy and a crowd of faceless strangers pointing in shame.
Devany conveys gratitude for the team of extras who took time out of their busy schedules to make the nightmare come together.
“With everyone assembled there that day,” Devany says, “everything fell together beautifully, and we were able to create a lamenting, horrifying, meaningful video that is true to Upsetting’s sound.”
Watch the video for "Form/Foul" below:
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David Fletcher writes about music, arts and culture for the Dallas Observer. You can usually find him at a show in Deep Ellum whether he's writing about it or not. A punk scholar and local music enthusiast, David focuses his attention on the artists screaming in the margins of Dallas' music scene.