Mother/daughter relationships can sometimes be a tempestuous affair fraught with the powerful exchange of amplified emotions threatening to consume everything around them, with no quarter given by either side. In Greek director Thanasis Tsimpinis’ extended promo DUST for Swans EP The Seer, those forces break out beyond the strict rules of the physical world into a realm of magic where soft toys are sacrificed and revenge is a dish best served baked. Thanasis takes us through the production:
So, DUST is a short music film featuring four tracks from the EP The Seer by Swans. It’s a quite visual film facing the mother/daughter relationship as a magic tale. It took us 2 months of preparation, 3 days of shooting on an EOS 5D Mark III with Carl Zeiss Compact Primes and 4 months of post production. Some of my favorite subjects that I feel inspired from are obsessions, paganism, (dead) nature and revenge. I also felt really inspired when I watched Syndromes by Kristoffer Borgli.
It was an idea I had over a year ago, but it was in February/March when I presented it to the producers from the advertising agency and production company that I usually work with for making tvc’s. As it seemed, we were all interested in making something more artistic to showcase our work this time.
From the initial treatment to the final film, they were some things we decided to expand on. For example, we thought it was a good idea to see more from the mother, so we added the kitchen scene where we can see the process of making the cake. In addition to that, the house had a wonderful garden, so I felt I had to use this as well and that led us to the smoking scene. There was no dialogue in the film at first, but at the last moment, we thought we should let the actresses say some words to make the film look more like fiction and less like an art video and I really do believe it worked this way.
I had a storyboard which I strictly had as a guide at shooting, so nothing really changed during the post. I knew how I wanted to tell the story and where each frame would go. Besides that, the “priSm effect” lighting in the forest scenes was made during the actual shooting, so there were no FX shots added in post.
We had a positive response from Swans really soon. We showed them the introduction of the film as soon it was ready to win some time and after that the full film. We agreed to an amount of money to clear out the rights and that was it.