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Tristan Holmes fights back over "Fallen"

2007-06-27 11:32

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What other concepts did you have for the "Fallen" music video, and how come you settled on the strip club theme?

We had a lot of narrative concepts, but given the budget limitations and time it would have resulted in having to make a much smaller video... I don't know, I don't want to give all my ideas away. But there were others. Like one with a lonely security guard trying to make ends meet, patrolling a wealthy neighbourhood. And we had one about a wealthy guy - a good boy whose life wasn't satisfying. He has a pretty girlfriend and a job, but it doesn't give him enough, so he engages in a darker seedier side to try to find meaning in his existence. We were toying with those two, but we felt to tell a story like that, and still to maintain quality, the job is so much bigger that you have to downgrade format (and we wanted to shoot on film), you have to find multiple locations, and find sets, and get the whole narrative into three and a half minutes... its logistics become quite hectic.

How involved were the band on set?

The band weren't on set, except for Arno. I have a good relationship with the Nude Girls and they let me operate fairly freely. You can only have one director on set, and it's a matter of trust. Some people have reacted to the video by saying it's using sex to sell music - and that the Nude Girls have sold out. What's your response to them?

I think those people are hypocrites, and anyhow, they're not the market. If people read too much into the vide they're just stupid, and they can go say sorry to Jesus at church or whatever they want. There's no indication that these people (the models) are being forced or abused into it. There's no nudity. It's sexy and it's brightly coloured and its tongue in cheek. There's a flipping fat man dancing on the pole too. Are we being offensive to fat people? It's a simple issue that primitive people can understand so they harp on it. To them, it's always polarised good and polarised bad, and I feel sorry for them, because they're not going to adapt.

Where was the video shot, and what technical challenges did you have to face and overcome to shoot it?

We just didn't have money for lots of light. It's hard to do good lighting if you can't rely on natural light. So ... The Grand (a swish strip club in Joburg) was perfect. An over-a -million rand lighting set up that was there already. They - in helping us - allowed us to make the music video look a lot more expensive and glossy than we would have made it look anywhere else. Another challenge was time. We made this music video in two or three days ... and getting the girls to get into the song and mosh and headbang, while still maintaining their sexiness, was a challenge.

Final thoughts?

It's a cool video. Sexuality is not something we should shy away from, it's something we should celebrate. And it doesn't have to be taken seriously, all the time. It doesn't have to be something laden with negativity. Making a video like this helps make it less stigmatised, and stops people attaching judgement to it. The people complaining are people whose lives are very significant, and they feel they can give credibility to their existence by making some stupid comment!

Read all the comments Tristan is referring to and tell us what you think of his critics.

- Interview by Jean Barker
He's causing controversy with his sexy video for the Nude Girls' song, "Fallen". We interviewed him to get his side of the debate.
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