Visit Seattle made five diverse film shorts for Sundance TV's Five by Five Project that highlight the magic that makes the city so great rather than just all of the places one music visit to say they've "seen Seattle." Out of the five, this one directed by Terence Nance is the most surreal. It tells and strange, trippy story of a young Jimi Hendrix. He finds a one-stringed ukulele. may or may not have written a song about donuts, and absorbed the sounds of Seattle. From Baptist churches to acoustics, to the sound of feet on a porch. The story of his acquiring an electric guitar is nothing short of cosmic and it keeps getting weird from there, blurring fact and fiction and building a myth while simultaneously taking the piss out of myth making. As self-consciously strange as this film is, it makes a great point about the other-worldliness of creative genius. I have to say, the sound design alone is worth watching this film. It is reverent to Hendrix and espouses to explore sounds the same way he did on his guitar.
I have to give Visit Seattle credit for knowing its audience and its medium in making this campaign. This feels right at home on Sundance TV. The whole campaign is fearless in showcasing Seattle as a place to visit rather than simply showing you the sites. But as much as I loved watching this spot, it is the only one out of the five that seems to have forgotten its purpose. This is a great ad for Hendrix and his magnetic personality and loud rock and roll sensibility. But as a branded content travel ad, Seattle is a little too far down in the mix.
See the other films here: