interview with Mark Staubach

Simple Plan’s newest music video for “I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed” has been out for over a week now, yet due to the lack of interviews and behind the scenes videos, we still don’t know much about the videoshoot itself. That is why I decided to ask Mark Staubach, the director of this music video, to tell us more about it. Mark was kind enough to answer a couple of my questions regarding his work with Simple Plan and even sent in a picture from the set [see it below].

Mark Staubach has worked with Simple Plan since 2011 when he directed the music video for “Can’t Keep My Hands Off You”. After that, Simple Plan called Mark up many more times to direct their other music videos including “Astronaut”, “Summer Paradise” (feat. K’Naan, Sean Paul and also MKTO) and most recently “I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed”. Besides working for Simple Plan, Mark directed a number of other very popular music videos including “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy (feat. Bruno Mars), “Keep On Keeping On” by Travie McCoy (feat. Brendon Urie), “The Best Thing (That Never Happened)” by We Are The In Crowd or “Best Day Of My Life” by American Authors.

Check out my interview with Mark Staubach below, in which we discussed the advantages of working with Simple Plan, the ups and downs of filming on a beach and also some behind-the-scenes scoops:


The first time you worked with Simple Plan was over 4 years ago – in 2011 on the music video for “Can’t Keep My Hands Off You”. How did this first collaboration with SP come about?

I had done several videos for Atlantic Records for artists like Travie McCoy, Bruno Mars, Lupe Fiasco, and The Academy Is. They had grown to trust me, so when “Get Your Heart On” was about to come out, they thought of me for the videos.

Atlantic sent me the tracks for “Can’t Keep My Hands Off You” and “Astronaut” at the same time and asked if I was interested in doing both of them back to back since the guys were only available for a few days. At that point I had never met the band, but I loved the songs, so I gave it my best shot and turned in my ideas.

Chuck called me a few days later and told me how much he loved my idea for “Astronaut”. We brainstormed and spoke about the videos for well over an hour. We just got along really well, and that was it – the beginning of our friendship.

Is working with Simple Plan different than working with other artists you’ve directed music videos for?

Completely different. A lot of artists don’t understand how video production works, and they just leave their record label and management team to do the work and make the decisions.

Simple Plan is great because they are so involved, which I love. Chuck especially is very interested in everything from initial concept, to casting, locations, and even the gear we are using! With IDWGTB, Chuck and I actually edited the video together! I love that they are so involved and interested in the process.

Since “Can’t Keep My Hands Off You”, you’ve directed 6 Simple Plan music videos in total (if we count all three “Summer Paradise” versions separately). That makes you even with Frank Borin, who also directed 6 SP music videos in the past. Why do you think SP approach you this much when it comes to directing their music videos?

I think the reason they work with me a lot, is the same reason they work with Frank a lot – we are all friends. I feel like we get along and share a lot of the same ideas and vision. Making a video is a lot of hard work and long hours. It helps when you have a great rapport with the people you work with.

Most of the music videos you’ve directed for SP had a rather uplifting and funny tone with the exception of “Astronaut”, which was much darker, sadder and more serious. Which type of music videos do you prefer more to work on?

Tough question. I will say that although “Astronaut” is more serious, I feel like it is still incredibly uplifting. It’s about finding somebody who makes you feel like you aren’t alone any more. The lost astronaut is just an analogy for loneliness.

With that said, what I care most about is telling a sincere story, and I find that element in everything I do. Even the funny videos still have a level of sincerity and heart to them. I could never make a video that is just violent or sexualized. That doesn’t speak to me.

Your most recent involvement with SP was directing their newest video for “I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed”, which was inspired by the TV show Baywatch. How did the idea come about and was it difficult to obtain the rights or permissions to use the idea of the show in the video?

Chuck and I sat down one day at his house and brainstormed several ideas. We knew that we wanted to come up with something funny and unexpected. IDWGTB is such a different song for the guys, so we knew we wanted to make a video just as unique.

After going through several ideas, we hit on spoofing a classic, well known television show or film. We though about several such as “Starsky and Hutch”, and “Dukes of Hazard”. Out of nowhere, Chuck pulled up the Baywatch opening credits on YouTube. We couldn’t stop laughing thinking about the guys running in slow motion and diving away from explosions, so from that point on we were hooked on Baywatch.

Once David Hasselhoff got involved and gave his blessing, the company that owns Baywatch became very receptive to what we were doing and have been great to work with. It’s been a total pleasure.

Pierre recently mentioned that before the Baywatch idea, there was another funny concept idea for the “I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed” music video, which came from your brainstorming with Chuck, but didn’t work out in the end. Could you let us in on what that idea was about?

Sorry, I may want to use that concept in the future for another video so it’s best that I keep it under wraps.

You’ve already had some previous experience with working with SP on the beach from the “Summer Paradise” music video, which is in many ways very similar to “I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed”. What would you say is the biggest challenge in filming in this environment?

I’ve shot several videos on the beach throughout my career and it’s always tough. Moving in the sand is difficult, not to mention moving gear. Everything happens about 50% slower than usual. You need vehicles to move gear just a few feet it seems.

The beach is always full of surprises. The tide will come in and cause everyone to grab gear and quickly move it away, it can be blistering hot on the sand, or the foggy “marine layer” will create an ugly, overcast sky all morning. You just gotta roll with the punches.

No-one can deny that the “I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed” video is very funny and the filming of it must have been very entertaining. Do you have any funny stories from the videoshoot?

Every shoot with Simple Plan is lots of fun because the guys are all so awesome. I think for me, the funniest thing was how many cameras were rolling at any given time. At one point we had our main camera shooting one of the guys, a secondary camera shooting girls on the beach, a third camera in the water shooting Chuck diving, a gopro camera mounted on the speedboat, and a drone flying overhead. I turned around and saw FIVE CAMERAS all shooting simultaneously. That sort of sums up how crazy the shoot was.

One of the biggest surprises was the David Hasselhoff cameo. Did he immediately say yes to the idea? And what was it like to work with him?

Chuck actually worked that out. He’s very proactive and doesn’t hesitate when there is an idea he likes. From what I heard, David said yes right away, which was good since we had to put the shoot together quickly. David was leaving the country to shoot a film a few days later.

I actually wasn’t available for that part of the shoot, since I was away and couldn’t get back in time. Chuck and my friend Josh Forbes went over to David’s house and shot that portion of the video. From what I heard, David was really funny and totally down to earth.

Watch the outtakes. They’ll give you a good idea of how funny and easy going he is!

In retrospect, if you could – is there anything you would change on any of the past Simple Plan music videos you’ve directed?

Every time I watch any of my videos, I always think about something I should have done differently. A shot that isn’t as good as it could be, a location that wasn’t perfect, etc. That’s just part of doing creative work. There is always something that can be improved on.

With that said, on the whole, there really isn’t anything I wish I could change with Simple Plan. I’m incredibly proud of everything I’ve done with them, and only look back on the shoots with fond memories.

Hmm. Actually… I did have bronchitis during “Summer Paradise”. I would probably have gone to see a doctor before that one. Yeah, that’s the one thing I would have changed.

Thank you, Mark!