It’s likely you haven’t heard of “Her Name Is Murder Productions,” but you would definitely know some of their clients. Having worked with heavyweights such as SEPULTURA, NORMA JEAN, SWORN IN, THE CHARIOT, OCEAN GROVE, to name a few, the Brisbane boys have established themselves as one of the most sort-after independent production houses for heavy bands around the globe.
Formed in 2009, HNIMP released over 100 music videos between 2010 – 2015 for bands like THY ART IS MURDER, CONFESSION, AWAKEN I AM, AS PARADISE FALLS, WISH FOR WINGS and many more. After relocating to Scotland in 2015, they based themselves out of the famous Tpot Studios where they were called to shift into the world of documentary filmmaking. Since then they’ve made docos for SEPULTURA, NORMA JEAN, SUPERHEIST, SWORN IN and more.
“When HNIMP made the expansion overseas, we were suddenly presented with so many amazing opportunities,” Founder, D.O. Blackley explains. “Whether it was in the studio with bands like Sepultura, on the road with Norma Jean, celebrating a legacy with a band like Snot, or working with amazing local/unsigned artists around the world, we had the chance to really go deeper with our craft and become storytellers for the band and the fans receiving the information.”
Perhaps one of HNIMP’s biggest achievements to date was being invited to spend 6 weeks in Sweden with Brazilian metal heavyweights, Sepultura, whilst they tracked their latest album, “Machine Messiah.” During this time Blackley lived and toured with the band, documenting the recording process with producer Jens Bogren (Opeth, Soilwork, Dragon Force) from start to finish, at Fascination Street Studios.
“It felt a little like coming full circle. Bands like Sepultura, Metallica and Pantera were the reason I first started listening to heavy music. I had their posters all over my bedroom wall and their albums on repeat. To tour the UK with them and then live together in Sweden was a dream come true. It was made even more special because they invited HNIMP to come out and do it. They wanted to work with our vision, our style and unique ability to share stories with the fans. The whole experience was a dream come true.”
But whilst spending a month and a half with his childhood idols was certainly a dream come true, Blackley believes a core ingredient to his company’s success was in developing a strong foundation in working with up and coming unsigned bands back in Australia.
“In 2009 your option was to either cough up the big bucks hiring a massive scale production house or film studio or get your mate to do it for free with a really cheap camera and no experience. Everything was so expensive ten years ago; The cameras, the gear, the editing software and it was mainly all outsourced and rented. It’s nothing like it is today.
I had a lot of mates in bands and could offer them something of high quality at an affordable price. Thanks to those early days I was able to build a business and create a voice as a filmmaker. Our business has a lot of history because of all the work we did then and that’s taken us a long way and allowed us to continue to grow.”
Whilst HNIMP still loves doing video clips, Blackley knows there is a unique power that music documentaries have in bringing bands and their audience closer together.
“I remember using my pocket money to buy band documentaries on videotape back in the day. It was such a great feeling to get lost in that world with the bands I looked up to and feel like I was actually there with them. The whole idea of creating documentaries as we do is to bring that feeling back.
Music Documentary is something which died off for a little while, at a time where everyone is expecting their information and entertainment hard and fast. We pride ourselves on providing an experience that takes more than 2 minutes. You can see it now slowly coming back. People rediscovering the importance and beauty of documentaries. It creates a bond between artist and fan which is unlike any other.”
Despite now having offices throughout Europe including in the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal, it seems Her Name Is Murder Productions will always have a soft spot for up and coming Aussie bands. Their unique 90s-inspired signature “VintageHD” style can be seen on a string of new releases for bands such as REDHOOK (who will be appearing at Download Festival Australia next week as well as at Download UK in June), VOLTE, BECKON FIRE, THE LOST KNIGHTS, and BRAD HOLDER.
When asked about a recent video clip release for “Fear” by Melbourne melodic metal band, The Last Martyr, it’s clear Blackley is just as passionate about the local bands as he is about the big names.
“The Last Martyr are an exciting band that really ran with our ideas. Over the period of 12 hours, we shot so many scenes at DCF Studios in Melbourne. What proved to be even more exciting was the freedom we had in post production to really push our style and give the band a music video that I truly believe is one of a kind. It’s thanks to bands like this we can continue to do what we do and grow in very exciting ways.”