July Talk // Push + Pull

When July Talk first approached me to make a music video for Push + Pull, I had a long phone conversation with Pete about the meaning of the song. He told me it was about Western excess, about our never-ending appetite, about the types of people who consume and consume and don't know when to stop, about our irrational but constant need for more food, more mind-altering substances, more sex, more "likes", more money, more things. 

I thought it would be interesting to try to capture these themes in the video through raw documentary-style footage showing various groups of people partaking in excess in different ways across North America over the course of one night, which would be intercut with performance footage. 

For the doc-style shoots, I worked with my long-time collaborator, cinematographer Maya Bankovic. The overarching concept was that everything we shot should somehow relate back to the idea of excess or consumption or that desire for more extreme experiences - that type of careening-through-life that makes you feel alive.

For the performance footage, I worked with long-time friend but first-time collaborator, cinematographer Adam Crosby. We loved the idea of choreography, so we found an opulent mansion as the backdrop for the dance sequences. Leah choreographed the dancing - we worked together to establish movements that we called "human dancing" - not too dancy, but more gestural. And we also brought in some of the spastic movement that I'd explored in a previous video with Dan Griffin - shot at 120fps, it has a strange, dreamy quality to it.

Wanting to keep the band performance as clean as possible, we decided to go with a black void studio shoot and a simple one-light setup. I wanted each shot to have subtle movement to it (a push or a pull, if you will), so we shot the entire performance section on steadicam, operated by the indomitable Ali Khurshid. Cinematographer Mike McLaughlin also joined us for the day and shot some 16mm footage on a bolex.

PRODUCER: Pete Dreimanis (Vulture Culture)
DANCERS: Amanda Acorn, Krystel Cisnero, Ishan Davé, Peter D'Souza, Malcolm Messado-Fletcher, Norah Sadava, Zahra Vassell, Ross Wirtanen
CINEMATOGRAPHERS: Adam Crosby, Maya Bankovic, Mike McLaughlin
STEADICAM: Ali Khurshid
STYLED BY: Jenna Rose Storey
MAKE UP BY: Jess Panetta, Emily O'Quinn
COLOURIST: Conor Fisher (Alter Ego)