Romance Films’ performance director Emilie Badenhorst delivers bold love story in latest music video ‘Strangers’
Only a few days after the release of her award-winning short film ekstasis, Romance’s Emilie Badenhorst once again flexes her ability as a performance director in her new music video for DJ Dom Dolla. Celebrating those lost in the cracks of society, ‘Strangers’ is a passionate coming-of-age love story that catapults you out of your comfort zone. We spoke to Emilie about her unfiltered approach to directing and the importance of representation.
Having fallen in love with Emilie’s work, Australian DJ/Producer Dom Dolla approached her to direct his latest music video ‘Strangers’ with Mansionair. The film is a co-production between Romance Films and Couscous, exploring an unconventional love story between two rebellious teens on the outskirts of society.
Q: What is the idea behind the story of ‘Strangers’?
Emilie: The music video tells a love story about people on the periphery of society, those that don’t ‘fit in’ so they end up either being ignored, forgotten or ostracised. The only way I could do this narrative justice, was by focussing on the honesty in the characters reactions as their love unfolded. It’s a love story that defies the public definition of acceptable love.
Q: Why these characters and this story?
Emilie: I’m driven as a director to tell stories with a broader focus, ones which give a more intricate and delicate sense of representation. The stories I want to tell are about people living boldly and chasing a sense of defiance, those who are seen by society as ‘Strangers’. I wanted to represent these characters as truthfully as possible, how they are misunderstood or shamed by a system for how viscerally they experience life. I want to continue to champion this generation.
‘Strangers’ performers Caitlyn Summer Gilmore (Ivy) and Jay Gordon-Turner (Noah).
Q: The characters in ‘Strangers’ are so well cast, where did you find the couple?
Emilie: They are not professional actors, but have an intrinsic understanding of character nuances. Caitlyn Summer Gilmore (Ivy) and Jay Gordon-Turner (Noah) are fresh out of high school. Jay is studying to be a fashion designer and Caitlyn is studying botany.
IDIDTHAT: Okay, they are literally the most interesting people we’ve heard of!
Emilie: I know right, haha. They were recommended by Mariana del Carmen, who played one of the leads in ekstasis. They are a couple in real life and although I saw a lot of really great actors in the casting process, the chemistry these two had was already on fire. Chemistry is so important, especially for this story and I felt that as a director you can always work with the actor on performance, but not necessarily completely recreate organic chemistry in such a short period of time.
Q: When you directed your short film Ekstatis, you worked very collaboratively alongside your actors, did you have the same approach with ‘Strangers’?
Emilie: Collaboration is something very important to me. When everyone on set feels they have a stake in the work and that their opinions matter, the work is always better. Often when I tell people I work collaboratively they mistake that for me not knowing what I want and it’s not that at all. I know exactly what I want as a director, I am very clear on what I want, and what the end goal is on every project. But, how I get there is up to us as a team and that is why I choose to have certain people around me.
Behind the scenes with director Emilie Badenhorst for ‘Strangers’ on location at Zone 7.
Never in danger of being described as ‘vanilla’, Emilie is not afraid to express her point of view, but whether she’s telling stories that cross socio-political boundaries or evocative love stories, with Emilie it’s always performance performance performance.
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STRANGERS FILM CREDITS
PRODUCTION COMPANY: COUSCOUS X ROMANCE
DIRECTOR: EMILIE BADENHORST
PRODUCER: DIDI EXELBY
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: SALIM EL ARJA
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: HELENA WOODFINE
FIRST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: SARAH BLANCHARD
HEAD OF PRODUCTION: LEANNE SANDERS
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: ELMAREE BOHM
PRODUCTION TRAINEE: CASEY DIEPEVEEN
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: TAPIWA MANDAZA
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: MAMELLO MAKHETHA
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: BRANDON LEE BLIGHT
SOUND TECHNICIAN: LUIS TRUJILLO GARRIDO
FOCUS PULLER: MARK VAN ZYL
LOADER: TAFADZWA PASI
DIT & VT OPERATOR: MATTHEW SANDE
GAFFER: SELEMANI MEHANGO
BEST BOY: AHMADI KOKO
SPARK: LUDWE BALINTULO
SPARK: ISSA ZAIDI
PRODUCTION DESIGNER: SABRINA LINDER
PROPS MASTER: SAM KELLY
PROPS ASSISTANT: LEE SIMPSON
WARDROBE: MEGAN THERON
MAKEUP ARTIST: GISELLE INGABIRE
HAIR ARTIST: NONZALISEKO BANGANI
EDITOR: JULIAN REDPATH, LEFT POST
ONLINE EDITOR: KENO NAIDOO, LEFT POST
COLORIST: NIC APOSTOLI
SOUND DESIGN: OLYMPIC
UNIT MANAGER: CHRISTIAN MTSOTSOYI
MEDIC & SAFETY OFFICER: NAZLIE
CATERING: MAX KING
CASTING DIRECTOR: HOLLI BENNET, DISCO CASTING
IVY: CAITLYN SUMMER GILMORE
NOAH: JAY GORDON-TURNER
CASHIER: ANZIO SEPTEMBER
FISHERIES MANAGER: ANN CHARLES
ICE CREAM BOY: ANDREW MCINTYRE
KAREN: SUNETTE BESTER
OLD COUPLE: PAULINE SILVERWOOD
OLD COUPLE: RAY GOWAN
STUNTMAN: CHRIS VISSER
A SPECIAL THANKS TO
Executive Producer: Helena Woodfine
Executive Producer: Rozanne Rocha-Gray
Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder
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