Rob Ulitski - 31st Aug 2021

Dumas Haddad directs a conceptual short film for Lola Young's new EP, entitled After Midnight.

Haddad's film is a visual showcase of several different tracks, all corresponding with different times in the early morning. It's also a journey through a whirlwind of raw emotions. 

Beautifully constructed and cut together - with Haddad working as both director and editor - the video represents a sense of polarity, both in subject matter and more literally in the visuals; inside vs outside, restrained vs free, love vs loss. 

A terrific piece of art, tied together with powerful spoken-word poetry from Thea Gajic.


I sought to capture this intimate coming together of Lola and her partner.

"Our short film, After Midnight, represents the four stages of emotions, narratively taking us from, quite literally, after midnight, to 4am/5am in the morning, as a visceral experience of Lola’s emotional states through a single night.

"When first introduced to the project, I was instantly captivated by the music, hearing Lola so bare and stripped back, with just vocal and piano. The songs bear all these conflicting emotions - vulnerability, confidence, regret, pressure and reclamation - across all the tracks, and I wanted to ensure that these were felt, all across the narrative.

"I sought to capture this intimate coming together of Lola and her partner in this house, and approach the space less literally, and more as a metaphorical space where the two come together.

Lola’s a fantastic performer and brought so much vulnerability.

"Lola’s actual partner was cast in the film and one of our core themes is his persistent invasion of her headspace, attempting to break through to her psyche. This is further emphasised through his vocals and sound design, whilst the glass between them represents him on the outside of her brain. The nature of his words causes a shape-shift.

"Thea Gajic felt like the perfect voice for our poetry, as her lyrical prose belongs in the same world as Lola’s music. Through her poetry in the preludes, we are able to expand on a lot of the feelings wedged across the tracks. Jake Gabbay’s eye for emotion and light is at the fabric of the visual, where we channel the idea of a moving painting throughout the film. Saul Leiter’s photography was a strong reference point.

"Lola’s a fantastic performer and brought so much vulnerability, which was effortless. I’m thankful for her trust on the project. It was fantastic working with her and her team, and I’m really thrilled to have been afforded the opportunity to put this film together."

PRO Credits


DirectorDumas Haddad
ProducerAidan Robert Brooks
Production CompanyAgile Films
Executive ProducerSana Khan
Executive ProducerPrecious Mahaga
1st ADSam Barnham
Director of PhotographyJake Gabbay
Focus PullerChris Starkey
2nd ACCallum Reeve
2nd ACWilliam Crafts
GafferKieran Brown
Art DirectorSarah Cotterell
Art DirectorAaron Hackett
WardrobeRichard Sloan
WardrobeSophie Emmett
HairAlex Price
Make-upLucy Gibson
EditorDumas Haddad
ColouristMyles Bevan
Grading companyTime Based Arts
Director's RepresentationOB Management
CommissionerLisa Foo
LabelA Day One
LabelIsland Records
Other creditsSound Designer - Bankey Ojo Dubbing Mixer - Ty S. Anderson Marketing Manager - Hannah Colson Artist Management - Nick Shymansky, Nick Huggett, Sarah Charbonnel PAs: Kairo Urovi, Ayo Alli Spark: Amarjeet Singh, Joel Breakwell, Krunal Saadrani Art Assistant: Louise Rezek Runner: Harvey Abbas BTS: Lynn Hayleigh Ifeatu Edit Assistant: Mossie Cassidy

Rob Ulitski - 31st Aug 2021

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