Film junior creates music videos for The Lonely Biscuits

Dylan Adams
Dylan Adams

Film junior creates music videos for The Lonely Biscuits

calendar icon08 May 2013    

An agreement between high school friends led to an experience of a lifetime for Dylan Adams, a junior from Omaha.

For the past couple of years, Adams, a film and new media major, has shot music videos for the band The Lonely Biscuits while being in school at the same time.

“I started making videos for them because we were trying to help each other out getting a start,” Adams said. “ . . . It’s just like a vacation. It’s an awesome time, and I feel like it’s just something I’ll always remember, these years . . . The experience has been crazy and so much fun. It’s hard to put into words.”

Third try's a charm

Adams was not automatically accepted into the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. He applied twice before being accepted.

“I’m glad he reapplied and got in and that he didn’t give up,” said Associate Professor Sharon Teo-Gooding, one of Adams’ professors and advisor.

During his first two years of college, Adams majored in film studies first and then switched to business.

“The fact of caring about what you’re learning about was when I knew that’s what I wanted to study,” Adams said. “I care about film, as opposed to just be going (to school) to get a degree.”

Adams said the moment he knew he wanted to work in film was when he was part of the crew for the web series “The Dead Hour.” The opportunity to work behind the scenes with Dan Iske and Michael Lang helped motivate Adams further.

“I really do thank Michael Lang and Dan a bunch for basically taking me under their wing and really helping me to understand lighting and filmmaking and taking their time to teach me how to get the right shot,” Adam said.

When applying for the film program a third time, Adams prepared his work more by sending them to friends to critique.

“I think that helped quite a bit,” Adams said.

Teo-Gooding said he’s taking full advantage of being a student in the film and new media program.

“He knows how hard it is to get in,” Teo-Gooding said. “He’s not taking it for granted.”

How it all began

Adams began shooting music videos for The Lonely Biscuits before he was accepted into the program. Sam Gidley, drummer for The Lonely Biscuits and a high school friend of Adams, said he would score a film for Adams if he needed, and Adams agreed to shoot video for Gidley as well.

“It was kind of this thing where we mutually agreed, and it wasn’t too serious,” Adams said.

Then Adams got a call from Gidley one day asking him to film the band opening for The Fray in Kansas City.

“Backstage there was crazy just hanging out with The Fray,” Adams said. “It was just a surreal experience. It was like ‘What am I doing? I’m a sophomore in college and not a film major but I’m hanging out and doing this awesome thing.’ I wasn’t even expecting it.”

Since then, Adams has traveled back and forth between Nashville and Omaha to shoot the band’s music videos, while also traveling to New Jersey a time or two.

“I want to say that every time we shoot a video that something pops out at us, and it’s something we hadn’t plan for but it’s something that makes everything that much better,” Adams said.

Band videos crucial to the group's success

This year, The Lonely Biscuits won the “Chevrolet Sonic College Artist Woodie” in mtvU’s Woodie Awards.

Adams’ videos became an important part of the campaign for votes. The band decided to withhold release of a new music video until their fans had shared through social media the band's photo and information about the Woodie Award nomination 300 times.

Photo of Dylan Adams adjusting a light
Photo by Marc Longbrake

When he found out The Lonely Biscuits won, Adams said he was surprised and had no words for his excitement.

“I just sat there and stumbling over words to tell them how excited I was for them and Sam said ‘Dude, it’s not just us, it’s you too. There’s a reason for everyone to be excited. This is huge for all of us,’” he said.

Adams said he was disappointed he couldn’t make it out to the awards show to join The Lonely Biscuits.

“It was a huge bummer,” he said. “I wanted to be there. But I watched the Woodie’s on TV and they shouted me out in the thank you speech so that was cool.”

Adams said that working with The Lonely Biscuits has helped him learn how to market his own work.

“I think it’s done a lot for not only business wise but teaching myself how to market myself toward an internet and social media based society because (The Lonely Biscuits) have it down,” he said. “They’re doing it right, and it’s so hard to adapt that for film.”

Faculty enthused for Adams' work

Through all of this, Teo-Gooding had no idea Adams was traveling on the weekends to film the videos until the day he approached her about needing to miss a class and turn in a project early.

“He never made any excuses,” Teo-Gooding said. “He didn’t say ‘Can I have an excused absence?’”

After hearing of the Woodie awards and Adams’ success, Teo-Gooding watched the music videos Adams had worked on.

“I was so excited for him,” Teo-Gooding said, “(I looked at the videos privately) just to see if anything he learned in the classroom translated in his work. . . I’m very proud of him, and I think he was surprised at how proud we (professors) are.”

Adams has appreciated Teo-Gooding’s critiques of his work throughout his time in the film school and said he enjoyed what all of the professors do for their students.

“(Teo-Gooding) wants you to push yourself to be the best filmmaker you can be,” Adams said. “I think it’s really effective and it makes you think of different ways to shoot things.”

Adams plans on continuing to make music videos with The Lonely Biscuits and other bands as well. He said he plans on finishing school in a couple of years and hopes to turn a script he wrote into a film.

“(But there’s) always the dream that The Lonely Biscuits will take off and I can just go tour with them and not have to do school,” Adams said.

- Ally Phillips, College of Journalism and Mass Communications