“It’s a song about how you don’t always want what’s for the best– and neither do I.” – Kip Berman on Sun Blisters
Directors Remy Holwick and David Usui on “Sun Blisters”:
The artists and audience of Americana have always been as diverse as America itself, a truth we wanted to reflect in the “Sun Blisters” video. We sought to tell parallel narratives, set in a sumptuous 1960s aesthetic, but careful to acknowledge the era’s complexities and contradictions. On one hand, it was a time of great musical opportunity – one in which TV allowed artists to take their music to millions of living rooms beyond the confines of Greenwich Village and college campuses. But by focusing on the struggle for personal freedoms inside those homes, we ask the viewer to consider how the art that often “defines” an era in cultural memory is only part of the story – and in many cases, is mere background music to the work of marginalized groups to write their own narratives.
We first encountered the work of real-life couple Gabrielle Sprauve and Chris Bloom, both with the esteemed NYC dance company Ballet Hispánico, when we saw their self-produced production of “Tunnels.” This routine, which the couple choreographed and filmed in a hallway in their NYC apartment building, took place when their dance company was forced to postpone production during the pandemic and they sought innovative ways of continuing to create during lockdown.
Fashioning a version of a familiar mid-century American television show on which The Natvral was the guest proved to be a real joy. Employing heavy stage makeup, over the top costumes, period evoking interiors, and sweeping camera work, we sought to capture a transitional moment in time where a singer/songwriter would take their music to a seemingly bigger stage, but also a more intimate presence in viewers homes.
And in those homes the story is no longer the singer’s, but those who inhabit that space. As such, it was important to us that Sprauve and Bloom be the storytellers for their portion of the narrative, shaping the dance and the story arc, and that we as directors supported them in that storytelling. We wanted to use this platform to bring a more diverse world into focus and to enable a collaborative perspective with the overall story. With visceral melancholy and estrangement lurking not far beneath a stunning, emotive, physical performance, we hope that Sprauve and Bloom take your breath away as much as they took ours.
Director Remy Holwick, David Usui
Featured Dancers Gabrielle Sprauve, Christopher Bloom
Director of Photography Drew Levin
Steady Cam Op David Quanteman
AC Bridget McQuillan
PA Astrid DeProssino-Lois
Edit David Usui
Colorist Peter Steusloff
Stylis Jess Mederos
Hair Isaac Davidson
Makeup Mitch Yoshida