My Chemical Romance’s reunion tour, kicking off March 20 in Australia and running through October, is among the most coveted tickets of the upcoming concert season and it comes with little marketing and zero publicity. Instead, the band reintroduced itself by way of a one-off show at Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium in Dec. 2019, and revealed its tour dates a month later via a short film titled “A Summoning.”

The 13-minute-long video was directed by Kristian Mercado and produced by Joanna Shaw and Audrey Ellis Fox who collaborated with the band to bring its vision to life.

Mercado first met frontman Gerard Way backstage at the Shrine, describing the encounter as “a crazy vibe” — namely due to the presence of writer Grant Morrison. As Mercado recalls: “Seeing him backstage I was like, ‘Woah! Alright, Gerard, you roll in a really interesting way and it’s kind of cool.’ And I think him being so multi-faceted, I clicked with him quickly on that. I respect that he has so many talents — being able to be the rock star, but also a writer, an illustrator, toy designer. He has so much creativity that cross pollinates.”

The band had an initial storyboard for “A Summoning” which created the narrative. “The whole concept came from the band,” says Ellis Fox. “They were involved in every aspect — approving a production designer; with casting and approving the lead; location; all the Easter eggs that the fans went crazy over, those were all placed by the band. And then Kris and I were able to do our own spin on things. Usually with music videos you sort of talk to the band through a label. But this was direct.”

For Shaw, whose production company Unicorns & Unicorns got involved through Warner Records, MCR’s label, via her longtime friendship with VP of creative services Devin Sarno, seeing the band live and feeling the “family vibe” among the MCR team, “was music to my ears,” she says. “We work with so many people in this industry who are not as willing to be open and inviting of people into their world.”

Once the initial meetings at the Shrine were successful and the band felt comfortable bringing Unicorns & Unicorns on board, everything came together very quickly. “It was this huge project and we were prepping over Christmas, so I was the casting director as well as the location scout and location manager,” says Ellis Fox. “This script was particularly complex. [The band] and Brian Schecter wrote a story about a boy summoned by My Chemical Romance who not only has to escape his own reality, but also the many alternate universes of My Chemical Romance’s past, finally encountering the band in present day in the empty Forum. Kris did an incredible job putting his own spin on the creative and modernizing My Chemical Romance’s history.”

“For them, music as a visual landscape was a really important thing,” adds Mercado of the three-day shoot. “So I could see, at least from a top-line perspective, how we built this story. It was essentially a young man’s journey through the catalog of music and kind of in a visual sense. We were able to pull imagery from what felt like a decade of their music history. … so it becomes a cool journey through nostalgia. You’re able to revisit that iconic imagery and iconic themes, but through a new lens.”

The video logged over a million views on YouTube and has spawned a slew of reaction videos, from fans sharing their opinions to deciphering those many Easter eggs in the film. Says Shaw: “It’s almost like the reinvention of the music video because what a video used to do is promote a song. I feel like this was a super creative way to tell people, ‘We’re back, we’re going on tour.'”

Watch “A Summoning” below: