A few weeks ago we saw a picture on Instagram of director Dane Dodds wearing an elaborate outfit on set. That image – or experience, rather – has now materialised as The Frown’s newest music video for the track ‘Light People’.
Dane met Eve Rakow, The Frown’s leading lady, just after directing a music video for Dookoom’s ‘Larney Jou Poes’ in 2014. He says, “It was on the night of the Dookoom screening that Eve pulled me into a bathroom cubicle and whispered the song to me. I was hooked.”
‘Light People’ was the last song The Frown wrote for their album W.A.N.D (We Are Not Dead), which came out in August. When we interviewed Eve and the band’s other half Nicholas Nesbitt to coincide with the release, Eve spoke of the feeling of loneliness that gave way to the melody saying, “To my memory I wrote this song on piano at a party one night when I felt very isolated from the rest of what was going on.”
The video for ‘Light People’ is inspired by this feeling, and the manner in which it was shot calls for empathy from the viewer. A person walks slowly along a stretch of road and they’re met with stranger’s eyes as they pass. Only, that person is you.
Dane’s extravagant getup on the day of shooting had a purpose, as you’ve most likely gathered – to attract stares. For him, creating the video was intense and emotional. After all, shooting a one take music video in public on a rainy day bogged down by heavy film gear is no easy task, especially a video intricate as this. Timing was crucial as people had been given queues and the camera movements had to match these precisely. “As is the nature of an experimental piece like this where most of what you see on screen is outside of the director’s control, some moments are truly magical while others didn’t come out as well as I’d hoped for,” Dane reflects. “When working on a set which is also the “real world” you have to trust your gut and try to work with the surroundings while still sticking to the concept and idea.”
While the affecting video centres on the universal theme of isolation, it isn’t self-pitying. Eve explains, “I wanted to reveal the network of invisible wires that connect us to each other even in our loneliness.” When all is resolved and the “Light People” are made visible, there’s a sense of deep reassurance. The Frown’s characteristically peculiar way of saying, “You’re not alone”.
Director and DOP: Dane Dodds / Producer: Håkon Toft / Colourist: Nic Apostoll / Camera assistant: Diogo Domingues / DIT: Rasmus Bitsch / Featuring: The Light People / Presented by Toft Film in association with White Dwarf / Special thanks to: Shoot the Beat, Tvibit, Trafo, Bryan Little and Fly on the Wall