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Local Music Spotlight: ‘We’re musicians before we’re filmmakers,’ HyperTuna Productions says

Aug. 12, 2021 Updated Thu., Aug. 12, 2021 at 3:21 p.m.

Wes Garvin, Gabriel Lipton and Tiffany Navarro (not pictured) are HyperTuna Productions, a Spokane-based video production company.  (HyperTuna Productions)
Wes Garvin, Gabriel Lipton and Tiffany Navarro (not pictured) are HyperTuna Productions, a Spokane-based video production company. (HyperTuna Productions)
By Julien A. Luebbers For The Spokesman-Review

The music video has, since MTV’s glory days, been a staple of the entertainment industry, a rare opportunity for a music artist to define a visual scene for a listener. The stakes of every music video are high.

HyperTuna Productions, a local video production company that has worked with the likes of Jango, Indian Goat, Itchy Kitty and many other local groups, understands the importance of what it does. And HyperTuna takes the creative endeavors of filmmaking as seriously as the artists do their music.

“All of our clients give us a lot of creative freedom, which is something that I think is unique to the way we’re doing this,” HyperTuna’s Wes Marvin said. “It’s also an agreement, it’s like we are going to uplift this scene, we’re going to do everything we can for each and every one of these bands that we work with.”

Marvin is one of HyperTuna’s three main minds and the founder of the group. Gabriel Lipton and Tiffany Navarro complete the team of adept filmmakers. “The second I got my hands on a camera, I just wanted to play with it all the time,” said Lipton, who studied film at Baylor. “That became, you know, a lifelong passion.”

After school, instead of taking his experience to L.A. or New York to become “a cog in a wheel,” Lipton headed for home, landing back where he never thought he’d be: Spokane. This move was partly at the beckoning of Marvin, who had recently relocated to Spokane from LA “looking for something that could satisfy my creative urge.”

Marvin had chosen Spokane “because I remembered how cool the music scene was,” and it was this point that finally drew Lipton back to town. For Lipton and Marvin, music is the driving force behind their creativity.

As Marvin put it, “We’re musicians before we’re filmmakers.” “I think that is really a big part of what allows us to connect with people in the scene,” Lipton added. Because as much as a music video is a film, its subject is the music. They aren’t indie filmmakers but the realizers of other peoples’ dreams.

“I want it to be the most conducive environment for everyone to be able to get their say,” Marvin said. “And be able to really have a platform to share their individual vision.” The artists make it easy for them in that regard.

“They love the game, they love the art of it, and they love the creativity of it,” Lipton said. “It’s definitely just a part of who they are regardless of what money it makes them, regardless of the fame, regardless of success.” That’s not to say that money, fame and success aren’t good.

As the years have gone by, HyperTuna has found more of each, which meant opportunities to expand its creative repertoire. What started with Marvin making promo videos for free has developed into a team with high production quality and technical capacity.

At this point, there’s hardly anything HyperTuna can’t do. But sticking to aesthetic roots remains a priority. The fancy graphics and smooth, overproduced look of a typical pop-ballad music video just isn’t the goal. It isn’t HyperTuna’s roots.

“We do things as DIY as possible, as low-budget as possible, with as many friends as extra as possible, with as many props from the thrift store as possible,” Marvin said. “It’s very punk rock. It’s very DIY. It’s Northwest, it’s gritty, it’s grunge. It’s all the things that make this region unique.”

And you can see it in the results. From straightforward promotional pieces to creative and story-driven music videos, HyperTuna is authentically PNW. “Everything we do,” Marvin emphasized, “we just want to scream originality.” Quality, originality and community. Those are the three main tenants of HyperTuna’s work.

The next few months hold a number of exciting releases for HyperTuna. The team has been working with Twin Void on media for an upcoming release and doing video and digital work for Kadabra, to name just a few.

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding these projects, which, according to Marvin and Lipton, are some of Hypertuna’s best yet. To see HyperTuna Productions’ work, visit its Instagram @hypertunaproductions, and check out its YouTube channel.

Julien A. Luebbers can be reached at julien.luebbers@gmail.com.

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