Befitting their name, the video for Cults’s “Go Outside” centers around the story of the People’s Temple cult lead by Jim Jones in the 1970’s. It features both kitschy and haunting original footage from daily life in the cult before the infamous 1978 Jonestown Massacre.
Already in heavy rotation on our summer playlist, after seeing the unique video for this song, we like it even more. We’ve drank the Kool Aid and it tastes good.
The video’s director, Isaiah Seret, included this statement with the video:
To tell the story of Cults’ hauntingly beautiful track, “Go Outside”, I was inspired to bring the band inside the world of Jim Jones’ famous religious cult, Peoples Temple, and the eventual tragedy in Jonestown. Fortunately, when exploring the feasibility of this video I became acquainted with Fielding M. McGehee III, an expert on Peoples Temple history and the primary researcher for the Jonestown Archive. It is thanks to him and his encouragement that I was able to take on this project and through his support gained access to over two and half hours of home videos showing Peoples Temple in Jonestown. For this music video we didn’t want to put a spin on the footage or the peoples lives—instead we wanted to re-tell and humanize their story. In order to achieve this we used a combination of stock footage, visual effects and other tricks to embed the band into the historical footage. This was achieved through my collaboration with my visual effects supervisor Bill Gillman and my cinematographer Matthew Lloyd. Lastly, I am moved to say when we completed the video we were able to preview it for some of the survivors of the Jonestown Massacre, who expressed their appreciation of our focus on the lives of the People’s Temple members as opposed to exploiting the graphic images of the final tragedy.
In History and Memory,