Seeking Empire | “Fairytale” Soundcheck In Studio Session with Aaron Axelsen LIVE 105

Reflections of streetlight and bored traffic signals were the only things living on the empty streets outside the radio station.  The bums must have found a warmer doorway away from Battery and  Broadway. The weight of my gear and the walk to the studio was comforting but when you’re waiting outside in cold like this, everyone’s a smoker. Nikki rolled up to the curb soon enough with Phil. Guitar case and camera  in-hand, the three of us checked past the old Filipino security guard and went upstairs.


Directed and Edited by Aja Pop
Band Official:

SEEKING EMPIRE is: Nikki Aclaro, Alan Kao, Phil Pristia, Paul Thomas
and Cary LaScala

Starring: Seeking Empire, Jessica Bystry, Anthony Kane

Director of Photography – Matthew Abaya, Aja Pop
1st AD – Choncy Shu, Lizzie Cuevas
Lighting – Lion Bellamy Chiu
Key Grip – AJ Ibanez
Production Assistant: Jessica Hook, Diano Mulimbayan, Eugene Ibañez

Hair and Makeup – Veronica Sjoen, Monica Bolyard, Sanaz Azad
Styling – Tietjen Fischer –, Joy Fan –

Nikki’s dress by Marilyn Yu – Plutonium Clothing –

Special Thanks: Adam Andreini, Maggie Blane, Ralph Blas, Leo Guzman, Patrick Khoumphonh, Patrick Murasaki

Aja here from AJAPOPFILMS and director of “Caving In” by Seeking Empire – here I wanted to share some behind the scenes treats from the video shoot because bringing you closer and deeper is all a part of what AJAPOPFILMS is about. It started when Alan and Nikki from Mud approached me in December. They they just started recording an EP for the new project with Phil and Paul. The band needed a video to launch in support of it and were shopping for directors. I worked on some video and photo material with Mud before and myself being a fan of their bands, we clicked. We had a few meetings and afterwards developed treatments and collected locations that fit the Seeking Empire style. So “‘Caving In’ is a freight train of time rumbling through bedrooms and streetlight.” That was the logline or theme that we were working with. The end piece came out to be raw, evocative, honest, moody – all with a glimpse of hope. I’m pretty happy with how everything turned out and myself and the band are very proud to share it you guys. It was awesome working and evolving with a talented team that helped bring it to life along the way. I just want to say thank you to everyone who was part of this video. Big thanks to my go-to guy and Director of Photography Matt Abaya and my brother AJ, the universal Grip, who also does my sound editing for my projects. You’ve probably seen the in-studio AJAPOPFILMS and Seeking Empire videos floating around the past few months while the band recording their EP and I’m glad you’ve all been enjoying them. Trust me there’s more to come. This is the first official AJAPOPFILMS music video. Don’t forget to keep up with us for more.

Peace, Love


[Preview] “Caving In”

I thought it would be nice to add some more color here. Currently working on live event photos and videos from the weekend so those should be coming up soon. Also, an AJAPOPFILMS video with Beta State vs. Seeking Empire is sitting in a timeline. Check out Beta State out at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco next week 9.15.11! Myself and the SE crew should be there.

Are you ready, world? “Caving In” has been in production for some time. We are very proud to premiere it next Wednesday 9.14.11. Catch it here at AJAPOPFILMS HQ or at Seeking Empire’s YouTube channel

See you next week!


Seeking Empire | Bottom of the Hill [PHOTOS]

What an amazing SOLD OUT show! Bottom of the Hill was packed from from back to front. Seeking Empire killed the house and left the crowd crying for more. Video update of their performance coming soon for those who missed it. Special Thanks to Please Do Not Fight for their fun set and congrats to Company Car on their CD release.

I can’t say in words how fun this night was. It seemed that a new or old friend was only in arms reach. I spent the evening taking as many pictures of everyone enjoying the night before shooting video for Seeking Empire. Enjoy the photo set here and share with your friends!

Seeking Empire – “Caving In”, Shoot Phase 2

Yesterday my rag-tag group of grips, outcasts and all-around awesome people collectively gathered to capture the performance scenes for the new music video for Seeking Empire. The location was at the old Paradise Lounge. Even with a weeks notice the results came out even better than I expected! Much appreciation to my department in-charge of aesthetics: stylist Tietjen, MUA Veronica and Monica. Special thanks to Lizzie and my brothers AJ and Eugene for taking time to help me run the show. Sincere gratitude to our location owner Adam who was super patient and welcomed us into his venue. This dude has best stories to tell. Of course I could not have done this without the support of my dear friend and partner in filmmaking Matt Abaya whom I’ve been working with for the past two years.

Hitting the suite for a short time to log and transfer until our next shooting day coming soon.