Tree has recently released his debut short film titled Stuck Down The Wrong Rabbit Hole.
Tree, AKA Oliver ‘Tree’ Nickell, wrote, produced, performed, engineered and mixed the song when he was only 18. His friend Beat Culture was 17 at the time when he contributed some synths and percussion to the track. Lena Kuhn was also 18 at the time she recorded her segment of the vocals. They were just kids attempting to make the music they wanted to hear but quickly after posting the song, Stuck Down The Wrong Rabbit Hole, for free download on Tree’s soundcloud, MTV and Record labels began approaching him. This was the song that sparked the attention of R&S Records, eventually landing him a full time job working as an artist for them.
Fast forward two years later to last summer and Tree had released his debut EP Demons for R&S Records, experimental offshoot Apollo (available in 12″ vinyl or iTunes) and he had also just given away a selected works, Splitting Branches. During the time span of those two years, Tree also switched a lot of his focus over to music videos as he started feeling unable to express all his ideas sonically. By last summer, he had started his first short film with Steve Dabal which he wrote, produced, co-directed, wrote the entire score, sound effects and even did his own stunts. Tree said: “I don’t see much of a difference between any of the roles I played. Whether we are talking about the creation process of the music or putting together the short film, all the different roles I have been experimenting with are merely a testament of what it means to be a modern story teller living in 2014.”
This is the third video Tree has made with Steve Dabal but this was the first time they had the budget to be able to bring aboard this many artists and mediums together. The team were able to work with Toronto based animators at Tinman Creative Studios. By the end, it became a collaboration between 12 different creative minds.
The short film sees Nickell venturing outside of the comfort of his treehouse home to chase the white rabbit down the rabbit hole. His adventure leads him through the woods and the story coincides perfectly with the lyrics of the track, “I’m falling down/I’ve had enough/This rabbit hole has got me stuck/A flickering light about to die/When it gives out so will I…” This song is an expression of the boredom of daily routine – the wrong rabbit hole. The video starts with Nickell eating popcorn and watching TV before he catches a glimpse of a white rabbit. His curiosity gets the better of him and he decides to leave his home to follow it on its journey. He leaves his ‘wrong rabbit hole’ for the right rabbit hole full of adventure and excitement.
Stuck Down The Wrong Rabbit Hole is the first proper attempt at visually resurrecting Tree Collaborations, a project that hopes to expand in the next 15 years at least. New artists and creative minds will constantly be rotating in and out of this ongoing experiment but Tree has ensured Rocking Republic that Tree Collaborations is here to stay.