More in this project
- Em-J / EMLE en MOTION
- Julia Falkner and Lorena Hydeman / Harry and Boys
- Ilia Petrov and Antoha MC / The City of the Sun
- Kenji Hirano / UN.a, COLOR
- Antoine Plainfossé/ Killian Lassablière, UNWORDABLE
- Urzulka and Juliana Ramirez, Belly Flop
- Lara Verheijden, NINAMOUNAH x Stadman.Lara
- Soft and Shallow, Vol. 02 Interviews
- Sean Connors, Blow of Mercy: Assassination Complex
- CRIB PRESENTS, CRIB x TOMMY SISSONS
- Mowalola Ogunlesi, Kilón Shélé Gán Gán
- Matthew Gode, Can You Hear Me
- Alexandra Kennedy, ALXVNDRA A/W 17
- Andre Bato, Stockholm Syndrome: Les Enfants Riches Deprimes SS 17
- Boyhood Garments Official, My Ideal Brothers
- Kenji Hirano, Lepus Cornutus
- Michele Foti, My Beautiful Laundrette
- Adam Csoka Keller, Echtes Leder
- Jeaneen Lund and Barði Jóhannsson, Sacred Universe
- Regina Sepp, I Don't Need It
- GVN908, Gravity
- Yuen Hsieh, Xiu Long
- Sylvyen Nazaah, Bisou
- Ela Kaçmaz, Istanbul, 400 Lira
- Jayne Lies, Wonderful Law
- Laura Searle, Litost
- Candice Lo, Whoever, Wherever, Whatever.
- Nüesch Sisters, Moon Girls
- Egor Novikov, BASIC
- Victor Claramunt, Breaking Rules
Sean Connors, Blow of Mercy: Assassination Complex
Direction: Wayland Bell
Creative Direction: Sean Connors and Lindsay James Soto
Original Score: Vette
Sound Design: Jauntin
Styling: Sean Terris
Cast: Valentino Watson, Krozs, Sierra Paletta, Thomas Santos and Taylor Simone
Can you describe the role of the model in your work?
Sean Connors: We wanted the models to function as a representation of the collective terror of war and surveillance. To achieve this we never wanted them to feel at ease and wanted them to always be in isolated contention with the camera.
Tell me about the film's concept, where did the idea stem from?
SC: The concept stemmed from a number of sources. Namely, the work of Jeremy Scahill, Laura Poitras and a United States Army handbook. Scahill is an investigative journalist who released an incredible documentary entitled Dirty Wars which exposed the extensive damage caused to the people of the Middle East by the United States government's drone warfare. Poitras held an exhibition entitled Astro Noise at the Whitney Museum which delved into documents leaked by Edward Snowden. It was a fully immersive experience and it helped to further expose the extent of the US government's surveillance and drone programs. Lastly, throughout the film, there are title cards interspersed which break up each act. These words come from a United States Army handbook that my father, who was in the 82nd Airborne, gave me. The title of the handbook is Survival, Evasion, and Escape, an idea which we wanted to apply throughout the film.
How do you approach the inclusion of fashion in a shoot?
SC: For this shoot particularly, we wanted to confront and question the functionality of camouflage and military garments. The camouflages used in the film were originally created for military campaigns in the Middle East, with the Desert Night camouflage specifically developed to avoid detection from night vision goggles. Although our models are 'dressed for war' they are still terrorized and paranoid.
Can you tell me about the making of the film?
SC: The film was made in collaboration with director Wayland Bell and the co-creative director of Blow of Mercy, Lindsay James Soto, at the abandoned Fort Tilden in Queens, New York. We spent a full day running and chasing models throughout the dilapidated bunkers and buildings and utilized a drone for our closing shot. Throughout the shoot, perhaps fittingly, we had to actively avoid various law enforcement officers around the fort and beach. On set, we had a great stylist, Sean Terris, who, along with our awesome models kept going despite these threats and complications. The score was composed and coded by Vette who helped to provide the perfect atmosphere with her abstract sound. Our sound designer, Jauntin helped to add some details to her sonics when we executed the final cut of the film.