NIN “Down In It”

Directors: Eric Zimmerman and Ben Stokes

This is the first NIN music video, it was at first banned on MTV because it showed suicide, then later earned a “Best New Director” nomination at the MTV-Billboard Awards. Trent was interested to work with our Chicago production company because we had done videos with Ministry and Wax Trax. TVT Records would only agree to let us do the video if we “put a girl in it”, so a girl appears for like 1 frame of the video. We decided to film it behind my industrial loft space, bought thrift store-bought 16mm and 8mm film cameras, and tied these to weather balloons to get a shot of Trent’s soul rising. The first fishing line we used broke, the rig flew across Lake Michigan where a farmer found it and gave it to the FBI. After over 100 man hours they traced it to us. We called Rolling Stone to tell them the story, they were like “Nine Inch who?” Hardcopy did this insane broadcast segment on it, see young Trent and us starting at 6:30min. After this Zimmerman went on to direct “Head Like A Hole.”

This is the Bolex RX-5 16mm camera used on “Down In It”