Before Heath Ledger died, he planned on directing the music video for “King Rat” by Modest Mouse. According to MySpace, “the video was fully conceived down to the last detail but unfinished when Heath passed away in January of 2008. In the interest of fully realizing Heath’s final work as a visual artist, THE MASSES (a film and music company which Heath was a partner in) finished the video in his honor, with the support and advocacy of Isaac Brock.”
While things might have changed as Heath directed the piece, if you’re curious what his initial thoughts were and how the video came together, it’s after the jump, along with some info on the subject matter:
In January of 2007, while visiting his homeland of Australia, Heath Ledger presented Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse with an idea to direct a video for their yet-to-be-released song ‘King Rat’. Heath’s vision, brave and unapologetic in its nature, would marry his love of bold and original music with his impassioned stance against the illegal commercial whale hunts taking place of the coast of Australia each year. Always one to operate from his heart and take a stand for what he cared deeply about, Heath’s intention was to raise awareness on modern whaling practices through a potent visual piece without having to say a word. It was his way to let the story, in its candid reversal, speak for itself.
Proceeds from iTunes video downloads in the first month of release will go toward Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization committed to ending the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd uses direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. People are encourage to visit their site in you are compelled to make a larger donation or volunteer your time. http://www.seashepherd.org/
The “King Rat” video was directed by Heath Ledger, co-directed and illustrated by Daniel Auber with lead animation by Norris Houk, animation by Jade Taglioli and produced by Sara Cline of THE MASSES.