At the Movies with TRC – Clemson’s “I Am Death Valley”

We typically only go to the movies to discuss Gamecock videos, like here and here, but occasionally something comes along outside of the USC marketing department that is so atrocious that we simply cannot ignore.

Clemson’s “I Am Death Valley” is that something. Witness here:

Now, it looks like this video has been around for more than a year, but I just personally found out about its existence this week. Based on a little research the video has been playing before Clemson home games since 2013. Many would argue this video is a direct, stadium-as-first-person ripoff of South Carolina’s “Welcome to Williams-Brice”, which has been playing since 2011. But we really don’t care about that since we don’t particularly like either video.

Let’s start with the voiceover in “I Am Death Valley”. Having Optimus Prime or Beelzebub (I can’t tell which one, it’s not listed in the credits) agree to do the voiceover is quite a coup for the Tigers. But it is also comically distracting. It is either a guy with a deep voice being asked to do something unnatural to make it deeper, or it is computer generated. For the sake of the guy (or girl?) doing it, I hope it is the latter. Again, to sound tough or intimidating you don’t have to have some deep-voiced 60-year-old dude. To both South Carolina and Clemson – branch out with your voiceover talent, do something different.

The imagery is not terrible, although the opening sequence uses the same three under construction photos multiple times to make sync up with the music. Historical footage is always cool, and the rest is pretty standard fare.

The script is not all bad, but there are a few sections that worth noting:

I am the seats handed down from generation to generation. 

Sure buddy, until those PSL’s kick in.

The OOOOOOH of the crowd as a tackler meets his mark.

In 1:25 of creepy voiceover, the “OOOOOOH” part might be the creepiest.

The 110% commitment to be “All In”.

When are people going to learn that, by definition, it is not possible to give more than 100%. And there’s “All In”, ripped off from Auburn, still hanging around.

The paralyzing joy that originates in a California desert. 

What? Perhaps the most nonsensical line of the entire script. What is paralyzing joy? And if joy did actually paralyze you wouldn’t that scare the ever-living crap out of you and take your joy away immediately? And I know the rock came from a California desert, but why did the paralyzing joy originate there? Sounds like somebody got bit by a desert rattler and was transported to the stadium.

I’m where two Perrys, Kirkland, Dawkins, Spiller, and Nuke became immortals.

Why do you use the last names of five of your most celebrated players, and then the nickname of DeAndre Hopkins? It’s not even a cool nickname, “Nuke”. It’s kind of a silly nickname to put up alongside your “immortals”. It also cracks me up that they show Hopkins catching a TD against South Carolina, a team who he never beat. Some immortal.

I am the inevitable erosion of will. The impending doom of consequence.

Wait, did Andy Demetra write this while playing with his Transformers? That would explain a lot.

I am the heart that pumps orange blood through your veins. 

You should get that checked out immediately.

Honestly, most of the script is just typical recycled bravado you find in any hype video produced by a grad student. (Although the paralyzing joy from California thing is just bizarre.) But it’s the voiceover that pretty much turns this video into a parody of other hype videos.

If you think we’re just being haters, we probably are just a little. But you know we hate Georgia, and they put together a ridiculously good set of hype videos this year.  Granted, they’re not designed to be played before the start of every game, but I’m sure if they have one they knocked it out of the park. They use great images combined with great scripts that aren’t overloaded with cliche’. And most importantly they use normal-sounding voices to bring life to the videos. Both South Carolina and Clemson could learn something from videos like this.

4 thoughts on “At the Movies with TRC – Clemson’s “I Am Death Valley”

  1. I’d like to know why y’all don’t like the “Welcome to Williams-Brice” video. I personally like it and it generally does a good job of getting people riled up.

    Love the site by the way. I’ve been reading for a couple of years but this is my first comment. Keep the good content coming guys.

    1. The issue I have with “Welcome to Williams-Brice” is similar to the Clemson video – the voiceover guy and script are just way over the top IMO, similar to a lot of our recent videos. Just personal preference.

      Thanks for reading! We’ll try to keep it interesting and please feel free to comment any time.

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