Superelectric's Moody Music Video For Soosh's "Us"

Soosh is a Scottish producer of Irani descent who creates the soundtracks to dreams. His songs have an ethereal quality to them, and are driven by obscured rhythms with hip-hop roots. To match the inherent sentimentality in his sound, Dutch director Henk Loorbach of Superelectric created a video made from footage of life in the often desolate American Southwest, augmented by a little technique and a few fortunate mistakes.

We asked him a little bit about the process of making the video. Soosh’s upcoming release SoFar is out on Fremdtunes on March 19th. Hear snippets of the album below the interview.

The Creators Project: Where did you shoot the video?
Superelectric: I shot the footage in Arizona at Christmas while visiting my girlfriend’s family. I woke up one morning because I was jet-lagged and decided to go out and see the sun rise on the California mountains. I was a bit late and it wasn’t as spectacular is I hoped, so I started wandering around for a while. I had noticed earlier that it seemed as if the place was inhabited. It was very quiet, asleep, and there were only the distant sounds of cars and birds. So I started to film these moments of a dog behind a fence, a stationary running car in a driveway, etc. as kind of portraits. Sort of like a slightly moving picture with sound.

Do the scenes depicted relate to the song in any way? Though the lyrics are hard to make out, do they correspond to the visual story?
They do in an atmospheric kind of way, I guess—both visuals to lyrics and vice versa. I feel they both have a sort of mystery going on. Certain things are very clear and bright in both the music and the images, then there’s the darker side to it. I was imagining the typical soundtrack of a slow southern movie, with freight trains running by and mosquitos zooming when I was shooting the footage, but when the Soosh track presented itself, and I was trying to come up with a visual idea for it, they became each other’s soundtrack and visuals quite logically.

What technique did you use to frame the shots like you did? For the transitions?
I shot it all without a tripod, simply because I forgot to bring one, and once back home I had started to stabilize all the footage, hoping I could cut a short video from it for my family, as a holiday memory more or less. Because some stuff was moving way off the screen I decided to blow up my composition window, exposing everything outside the frame. I just kept it that way because it looked way too cool to reframe it. I like how you feel you are watching a standard rectangular frame, and that everything in it is centered, and at the same time these frames are moving quite fast, and you don’t really see it, yet you do. The transitions are just fades timed to the music, but not in too constant a manner. That was the initial idea, but it got too predictable quite fast. So instead, I just re-watched the whole thing 100 times, and every time I would add a bit of a fade or a piece of footage based on what I felt was cool.

How did you altar the colors to match the mood of the song?
I used Magic Bullet Looks. I tried a few standard settings and then chose one to build on. Nothing too difficult was done. I personally found it a bit too green, I think because I saw the real places that I shot and remember how beautiful they were in their natural colors. But everyone else seemed to really like the green tints, so I stuck with it and now that I’m used to that I love it too!