Breaking with the conventions we’ve come to expect from the music video world, Martyna Iwańska and electronic duo Rysy combine forces to challenge expectations about bodies on screen in Father. Martyna tells DN what inspired her to craft a promo in which the presentation of diverse body types – from the magnificently wrinkled to the voluptuously pregnant to the muscularly chiselled – was essential to the concept and not simply a statement of inclusion.
This is a sleep lab. Touching darkness. Strange and vague space. It is a place where desires and fears come and exist together in an adequate proper distance. The place where the instinctive images of consciousness overlap each other with a multiple echo, heard even while wide awake. There, the line between the real and the unreal fades, the logic defies comprehension and time does not exist.
The music video for Father is a sequence of somber, surreal shots that blur the boundary between the real and the surreal. It is a vision full of symbolic meanings and powerful characters entangled in a plot which escapes plain logic. The greatest impact on my desire to create surreal scenes were abstract works by the French collage and digital artist Matthieu Bourel. In a sense, I’m also inspired by the dark portraits by Mustafa Sabbagh and pure and minimalist art installations by Stuart Calvin.
During the casting more important than dancing skills was the individual structure of the body.
In this project the body plays a very important function of narrative. During the casting more important than dancing skills was the individual structure of the body. Heavily sculpted muscles, taut lines, strong and mighty wrinkles, pulsing veins visible as in a lens. Body illustrates a process, a kind of flow of time. What remains unchanged, is the title character, androgynous “Father,” who conducts this whole world.
When working on the music video, rather than follow a clear-cut plot, I focused on capturing the close atmosphere of the song. At some point, the scenes just started to arrange themselves. The unhurried editing style and slow motion shots were designed as a striking counterpoint to the band’s strong electronic sound, and with the enormous support of the post-production team, I could fully unleash my imagination.
The project was quite a challenge. The huge number of special effects scenes required very close cooperation with the post-production crew right from the stage of designing the film set. We had a large number of characters, beautiful but time-consuming makeup, and a limited filming time – let me point out that we managed to finish shooting in just one day, mainly thanks to our committed, professional and efficient crew. Even the snake obediently followed the orders.
The most difficult scenes were designed in advance and visualised in 3D in order to select the best equipment and lenses, and even determine the positioning and angles of the camera and the size of the set, and decide which parts of the scene would be shot as set elements, and which ones would be computer generated at a later stage. In order to achieve natural, high quality images, we deliberately chose not to use green screens, which meant there was a lot more work to do at the post-production stage. The VFX team were also present on set at all times, optimising the work on the special effects scenes as they were filmed. There are more than 30 of them in the video. We shot on Arri Alexa SXT and Zeiss Master Primes lenses. Special effects were created by Chimney Poland, which is one of the best Polish post-production studios, and the production process was supervised by Wiola Łabędź from Flota Filmowa.
After the strong visuals of Father I want to do something with kind of a literal narrative. I’m currently working on the script of a short feature film. It will be a story about the phenomenon of ‘cellular memory’ kept in a climate of ‘magical realism’. At the beginning of 2017 another music video will be released, but I can’t reveal the details yet. I’ll also continue working on commercial projects.