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An exploration in grief and disassociation made with In Common Films.

FT. Death Parade — SWIMMING

Megan Eleanor Clark and I wanted to make a music video together for 2 years. We threw around ideas, painting visual landscapes for eachother over coffee-shop co-working sessions or late nights dancing. Concepts quickly started to form when Laura Hopkins of Death Parade agreed to let us bring one of her songs to life on film.

“Swimming” is an intimate glimpse into a poignant memory. Morning light through the blinds casts shadows on the wall. Soft stillness—in bed with a lover. Then, the cutting news that a close friend has suddenly passed. Thrashing and wailing, running into the street, rough asphalt. Now disassociation, we go back to a warm summer day at the river, swimming...

The song embodied a lot of the inital imagery Megan and I wanted to play with—a body in water, light on a placid, dark surface, and jarring movement.

We created a dichotomy between light and dark to represent trauma and disassociation. In the day we see a more-masculine Laura in a linen suit. She wildly dances under the harsh sunlight, at one point collapsing into the dry grass. In evening, we see Laura lying eerily still in a white dress. She looks calm in what should be an uncomfortable situation. In the candle scenes, she gets progressively more wet as the video goes on, dripping water until the candle blows out.

We wanted to create a piece without place or time—something strikingly beautiful but with a dark undercurrent. Megan and Kylie from In Common Films put together an incredible, lean team for this project. I co-concepted and co-directed with Megan and handled art direction, costuming, HMU, and graphics. I also had some influence on the edit.

Watch the full film with music below.