Scout’s honor: The story behind Reese Lansangan’s new music video

Multi-hyphenate Reese Lansangan is always one to pay attention to detail. From sewing patches with astronaut space suit material names onto a sleeve of a piece from her space-inspired graduation collection, to coming up with separate covers for her debut album “Arigato, Internet!” last year, it’s clear that Reese loves picking at details.

This week, we see how she’s certainly outdone herself with her latest music video for Grammar Nazi, a song from her album Arigato, Internet! The video is directed by Gerard Lopez (also known as geloyellow online), the same person behind the video for Exploration No. 5.

The result is a pastel dream that features kawaii scout uniforms, a pug named Woody, and a whole lot of grammatical errors. We caught up with Reese to ask her for some behind-the-scenes details about the video.

The Grammar Nazi music video features a Grammar Patrol that polices offenders who commit grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

The music video is very on-brand with the Wes Anderson-like costume and shots, as well as the pastel colors and cute animations. What gave you the idea for the whole “grammar scout” concept?  

I wanted the music video to have a sense of purpose so I came up with a team that “polices” offenders who commit grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. The natural progression of that was to build it around a girl scout concept, wherein junior scouts can earn their way up by earning merit badges. There’s a certain level of discipline, dedication, and vigilance required to be a good scout, and I think it matches the purpose of Grammar Nazi as a music video. I also used to be a girl scout in my younger years, so preparing for that video really took me back.

In Grammar Nazi, Reese sings her dislike of the word “stuffs.”

This looks like your most detailed music video yet! How long did it take you to make all the props/costumes for the video?

Thank you for noticing! I take pride in being a girl of details (no matter what I’m working on). Even if nobody notices, I feel content knowing I put them there, you know? I accomplished the entire storyboard for Grammar Nazi in (October 2015) actually. I was supposed to release this video just in time for my album launch in December 2015, but realized that the amount of time we had would not be able to accommodate my grand vision, so plans were put on hold. It wasn’t until September this year when I started revisiting the idea again, this time with Gelo Lopez (director of my first music video). We both have a background in graphic design and have an affinity for pastel colors and quirky details, so it was easy conveying what I wanted coz he understood it completely.

We reworked the board together, then I took on the task of doing the logo and branding for Grammar Patrol (the comma and apostrophe, which also symbolizes a G and a P). Of course, I didn’t have to, but being a graphic design graduate, I just couldn’t help it! I did all the “Grammar Patrol” and “Good Grammar” badges by hand (and had tons of fun conceptualizing designs for them). I drew from classic girl scout uniform silhouettes, went really color specific during fabric shopping, and had costumes made. I had two of my friends (Gaby Gloria and Guia Alvendia) do the merit badges, which I manually sewed on to my sash the morning of the shoot.

One of the many props from the video: a violation report from Reese’s Grammar Patrol.

Most of the grammatical errors in the video are from the song, but there are also a lot of bonus ones (like with the flyers at the start and the file at the end). How did you collect them all? Also, how did you survive collecting/writing them down, especially being a grammar nazi?

The whole Evidence File book thing is something that took me about three hours to put together, but will probably go unnoticed. Last year, I crowd-sourced pics of grammatical errors around the Metro and had people geotag them via Twitter, so I finally was able to put those findings to good use. The locations and photos in there were all accurate. However, I also put in a lot of Easter Eggs (alluding to some pop culture references), so if you spot them, that’s pretty cool! As the song claims, I’m far from being a Grammar Nazi (really!). I make a lot of mistakes, too! But I wrote that song, half for fun, half to educate — so I’m pretty happy being able to do what I can. I’m also still learning every day!

Do you have any plans for an upcoming video?

Yes, but it’s all still swimming around in my head! You will know when something is up 🙂

Watch the video here:

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