The Witch in the Woods
Halloween is drawing near and the veil is getting thin…
Every year I do a Halloween special and this was last year’s Hocus Pocus but I am resharing it now along with the photoshoot, making of and locations
so get ready for some eerie entries this October… :). Video was done last Fall, but many of the pictures have been recently edited and are shared now for the first time. Sharing here a special creepy little music video I made for Halloween last year as I am preparing a new seasonal special for this one. In the mood for something slightly eerie? This post also includes photo shoot, filming locations, and lots of pictures!
Are you in Halloween mood quite yet? Do you usually celebrate it?
Are you plotting your costume already?
There will be some “Special Spectral entries” as Autumn is here now in its full glory with its mysterious mists and fallen leaves.
Press play to listen / watch the video featuring several locations in Spain and France.
Who remembers this movie?
Hocus Pocus is a fantasy seasonal Halloween movie that was released
in 1993 by Disney. Featuring a trio of Witches (The Sanderson Sisters)
the movie is lighthearted and fun entertainment, but there was an eerie
haunting moment, darker than the rest of the film by its tone and
meaning, that stayed with me longer, and that was the moment Sarah, the
blonde haired witch (how appropiate) uses her power, her sweet voice
with which she is able to lure unfortunate children into her lair…
just like a Siren.
So as a collector of movie scores, my main and major influence in my own music, I have been picking some “classics” from my childhood and giving them a spin within my own style. And thus here I’m sharing my own version of the soundtrack.
So do you remember this movie?
It was indeed a commercial and critical flop back in the day but slowly it became a cult classic. Apparently there is a sequel about to be released too after so many years. I remember it with fondness though and some scenes like Sarah singing this song are quite vivid in my mind… It is now a seasonal classic of my generation, so well drop also your impressions if you remember or have watched it. If not, this is the perfect month to have a look at it!
I put a spell on you and now you’re mine
But this post is more than about the song but also the hikes and behind the scenes of this little creepy video I made as Halloween special. (Preparing another surprise for this one) as we get into the mood for the forthcoming All Hallows Eve. Despite being blonde myself and having a “similar garment” than the character that sings it I did not pretend to cosplay the character but tell a different kind of story (darker in mood) than the original take… I am curious about your own interpretations.
The veil is getting thinner…
“Sarah’s Theme” is one of the sung and most iconic tracks in Hocus Pocus Movie score with music by James Horner; lyrics by Brock Walsh inspired by Edgard Allan Poe; performed by Sarah Jessica Parker in the movie. Additional variations were made by who was in charge of most of the instrumental soundtrack of the movie. The theme also known as “Garden of magic” and has become a rather well known seasonal Halloween classic. There are longer versions but the original lyrics (very short) are these:
Come little children, I’ll take thee away,
Into a land of enchantment.
Come little children, the time’s come to play,
Here in my garden of magic.
Credits: Sarah´s theme was composed by James Horner and variations and rest of the movie soundtrack by John Debney http://johndebney.com/. Lyrics by Brock Walsh.
John Debney was kind enough to listen to my version and send back a compliment which I found so encouraging. This is just a tribute cover and it’ was not an official release, I always recommend to purchase the ORIGINAL soundtrack but I enjoyed recording this as it was a challenge was a good practise to improve my hammered dulcimer playing 🙂 and thus it deviates quite a lot from the original arrangement.
I loved your rendition, it sounded great John Debney (Hocus Pocus OST composer and conductor)
Cover and arrangements by me, Priscilla Hernandez (http://priscillahernandez.com)
Priscilla Hernandez voice, lead and choir, arrangements, hammered dulcimer, piano, video edition
Armen Vartanyan: violin
Svetlana Tovstukha: cello
Héctor Corcín : mixing, mastering, camera work, video edition
The abandoned decaying ruins of a former village of miners of Arruitzgain on Basakaitz Mount (Spain) served as main background to film the video… There used to be also a train (Plazaola) to transport the minerals from this area that has been of mining interest since the Romans settlements in the area… And at the beginning of the hike you can choose to go over the now deserted rails and tunnels. Then there is a hike uphill while while enjoying a forest of long and slender beech trees. I filmed this exactly mid October last year but the leaves hadn’t fully shifted into autumn colours quite yet (thus we used color correction in the video to make it moodier)
The mining village was abandoned in the fifties and barely a few buildings tumbling down and emerging chimneys and walls over the engulfing and lush vegetation and they look much older while a thick pad of moss, vines and blackberry bushes have covered the walls.
It felt convenient that there was a fireplace in one of them… oddly enough with signs of recent use, maybe one hiker took the remaining building structure as shelter.
Don’t worry, I don’t eat children, I’m vegetarian 😉
We also collected some wood in order to create that uneasy feeling of “Witch in the Woods” as I was intending to do a video for the song “Come Little Children” anyway. I always try to release a Halloween special, whether a cover of Halloween classic like this, or an original… so already working in this year special Halloween release. The early autumn filtered light was perfect and I found a perfect witchy staff out of a wooden stick.
After filming we stayed in the woods until dark… you had to be careful as light got dim you could easily for into hollows like this
El Señorío de Bertiz also in Navarra (Spain) served as additional location including the spooky shot at the end wearing a mask I made out of a piece of bark I collected from the floor. It’s a place we often visit and hike that I will cover in detail in one of my “hiking adventures” posts. But here a clear still of that “eerie ominous ending”. I decided to add a spooky reverse effect to finish. And well , I think I succeeded in my “spectral” makeover.
Additional scenes were added filmed on or hike to the mountaing Midi
dOssau (French Pyrenees), some general scenes of autumnal elements and
small waterfalls and conveniently filming scenes dressed in black like
casting spells in different spots on our ascent. Yes, I hiked with a
corset up to the Pyrenees and here is proof!
I even got into thef freezing mountain lake but I did not use that footage in the final edit of the video.
Little boys and girls don’t get lost in the woods after dark