David Knight - 22nd July 2021

Kalina Pulit directs an effervescent time-travelling mini-blockbuster starring singer Mae Muller and DJs Billen Ted for their dance-pop anthem When You're Out. 

With the Billen Ted duo breaking free from enforced isolation to clubbing freedom courtesy of their time-travelling DeLorean - complete with Back To The Future accessories - Pulit builds a playful, all-action narrative, employing 360 camerawork to enhance the storyline, and Mae Muller's charismatic performance.

It's a big breakthrough into mainstream pop videos for the director, whos work for the likes of Harry Edwards and Schafter has tended towards the more experimental. But that proves to be an advantage here as she interprets this infectious summer hit through a distinctive lens.  

We spoke to Kalina Pulit about the experience of making the video.

We got our hands on the most accurate Back To The Future Delorean Time Machine...

Pn: How did you get involved in the project?
KP: It was one of those projects that caught my eye for several reasons. It came through Emily Rudge, an amazing EP. We’ve been meaning to work together for a while. Billen Ted guys have laid out a compelling foundation to build on within the brief. Also, the track pays homage to a classic Don’t Think I’m Not by Kandi, so there’s an element of reworking something nostalgic, which I found interesting.

How did you develop the time-travel idea for the video?
I think it’s important to make work that resonates. I imagine a lot of us daydream occasionally about time travelling - either to the past or future- especially when going through such a period of reflection as the one brought via the pandemic. The aim was to address the transition from a home rave to a club one, and we took that quite literally. The base for it came from Billen Ted and I’ve just built on top of that and developed it further.

I love working with music artists that have a vision for the visual aspect of their work and this was a great opportunity for capturing the playfulness of Billen Ted duo and Mae Muller’s empowering energy.

We aimed to address the transition from a home rave to a club one - we took that literally.

Your directing work in videos has generally been for more leftfield artists. How did you adapt to directing a video for a pop banger?
There was something about pop music bringing joy to the masses that Sia spoke about during her podcast with Louis Theroux, which has stuck with me. I felt like bringing some positive vibes into our Covid-fractured reality.

Also, I like to be versatile with my work and I’m particularly interested in things I haven’t explored yet. More consideration went towards the audience on this one. I wanted to create something that would be cinematic, and at the same time reflect some of the trends generated on platforms such as TikTok.

Linear narrative is not usually my thing, I’m more into non-linear storytelling. Working with a more commercial song required a compromise on that front. I like to layer messages in my work rather than force a certain literal interpretation, so that the viewer can take what they want from it. In this case it might be Mae’s powerful performance, Billen Ted duo being fun, the energy of a much longed-for night out and the DeLorean looking cool.

And if you want to read into it more, there’s inter-dimensional time travel, duality of worlds, escapism from mundane reality, disco ball and plethora of other circles within the frame and camera style, symbolising movement and things being forever in flux.

360 camera technology... seemed like a perfect vehicle for transitioning between the two worlds.

Where did you find a DeLorean with proper Back To The Future tech? Could that be the original car?
We were extremely lucky to get our hands on the most accurate Back To The Future Delorean Time Machine - with some of the parts used from the vehicle in the movie. Kudos to the DMND CLR production team for making that happen.

I have a thing for peculiar cars - but this one was like nothing I’ve seen so far. Literally out of this world experience. The design, the details, the condition of it, the sound it made. One of the highlights of the shoot for the crew and onlookers, and rightly so.

What was the thinking behind shooting some of the footage on a 360 camera?
I’m always on the lookout for something that will provide a framework for storytelling and an opportunity for visual experimentation, whether that’s working with analogue film, datamoshing, CCTV cameras, projection art or 360 cameras - depending on what fits the narrative best.

I was drawn to 360 camera technology as it’s still fairly new and unexplored. I was curious to see what we can do with it. Plus it seemed like a perfect vehicle for transitioning between the two worlds – the ‘current’ and the ‘club’ reality.

What were the big challenges on the shoot - and on the production as a whole?
We’ve had a really great day on set - lovely crew, amazing atmosphere. We worked within a very tight schedule, due to the multi-camera set up, amongst other things. I think the biggest challenge was to facilitate the environment for the 360 cameras element – as everything gets in the shot when using these. It took some meticulous planning, balanced with plenty of improvisation.

What has been your biggest takeaway from making the video?
The biggest takeaway from making the video is perhaps easing more into the art of relinquishing control over the final outcome and adapting to work within certain limitations, whether that be technology, time, or resources available.

There’s plenty of things that turn out to be much better than intended and some that don’t work at all on projects with that level of experimentation so training that flexibility muscle and staying on course is key.

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorKalina Pulit
ProducerDijian Eccles
Production CompanyRadical Media
Production CompanyDmnd Clr
Executive ProducerEmily Rudge
Executive ProducerAndré Reid
Production ManagerAndre Wooz
1st ADDanny Rumbelow
Director of PhotographyArran Green
Focus PullerOrlando Morris
2nd ACSam Kemp
SteadicamRupert Peddle
GafferKristof Szentgyorgyvary
Art DirectorElla Violetta
Stylist (Artist)Jaime Jarvis
Stylist (Artist)James Loach
HairLisa Laudat
Make-up (Artist)Zara Ali
Stylist (cast)Jake Hunte
Make-up (Cast)Oonah Anderson
Casting directorOla Christian at LEVILE
EditorKalina Pulit
ColouristVlad Barin
Grading companyCHEAT
VFXDenova Media
CommissionerKatie Dolan
LabelBlack Butter
Other credits360 Camera Op: Sununu Hernadez Key Grip: Mark Morley Spark: Sam Humphries Camera Trainee: Tailor Jordine Director’s Assistant: Talia Beale Producer’s Assistant: Dominic Davies Production Co-ordinator: Danniella Theodorou Production Assistants: Dante Roberts, Liz Adeleye 2nd AD: Bolia Bamolende Runners: Aaron Griffiths, Camden Skerman-Stevenson, Jim Omeyemang, Callum McRae Andrew Set Design Assistant: Neil Clarke Billen Ted Stylist’s Assistant: Haruna Jebak Cast: Monique, Ralph, Lorena, Matt, Giselle, Michael, Nicholas And Mina BMX Trickster: Neil Cast MUA’s Assistant: Francesca Horn Cast Hair Stylist: Cort Bray Editor’s Assistant: Amy Dang 360 Editor: Joe Packman Graphic Design: Ieva Misiukonytė

David Knight - 22nd July 2021

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