Director Jordan Bahat crafts a wondrous vision for Allison Ponthier’s latest single, the title track off the 25-year-old singer-songwriter’s debut EP Faking My Own Death, available HERE via Interscope.
“Allison has created her own cinematic universe, filled with characters who have been living inside of her head,” says Bahat. “And now, along with production designer Liam Moore, we’ve developed the tools to go out and realize them.” The idea for “Faking My Own Death” revolves around one such character: Buzz Newton, an Evel Knieval-like stuntperson accelerating towards their death wish feat by feat.
From bicycling atop a high wire across the Grand Canyon, to skydiving from a Zeppelin with arms padlocked in chains, the singing daredevil escalates through each sequence in a world of miniature, giving it a gleefully campy, otherworldly feel.
Bahat, who is represented by Golden, is known for his genre-blending visuals. Having previously helmed Ponthier’s videos for “Cowboy” and “Harshest Critic,” the latest film sees Bahat stretching his artistry even further into unexplored areas.
“I have done projects involving animation, but never miniatures, so there was some discovery while playing on the technical end,” he explains. “along with [DP] Niko Wiesnet, Liam Moore, and the lovely folks at Studio Linguini, we giggled through the process, pushing the amount of craft we could jam into a really absurd idea. Bringing Allison into this elaborate mini-world achieved just the right degree of childish strangeness, while also being nerve-wrackingly technical.”
The bulk of the shoot was spent constructing and shooting the model mini-sets, then compositing the very real artist within the splendidly imagined world. Thinking as a hive mind, Liam Moore concepted the lush backdrops, while LA and London-based Studio Linguini built all of the miniature sets and figurines, and handled the opening animation sequence and stop-motion work. Color grade by Aubrey Woodiwiss imbues the visual with a style that feels nostalgic yet dazzlingly fresh.
The final shot reveals Allison as Buzz Newton, laying down in an open grave and laughing. A stunned, borderline romantic expression flashes upon her face right before the mini-crane stiffly dumps dirt onto her body, delivering an unexpectedly delightful payoff as our antihero achieves the ultimate stunt at last.