This Music Video Will Make You Want to Dance While Giving You the Chills

The apocalyptic scenario of zombies flooding our cities and hunting us all down is one which has crossed our minds and our TV screens many times before. Directing Kaskade’s music video for his song Tight, featuring Madge, Will Kindrick finally got a chance to realise his idea of making a video set in a world with characters resembling something between zombies and sleepwalkers.

Will had come up with this thought long before and even pitched it to pop star Katy Perry, but the perfect match finally came around with Kaskade’s track. Drawing from childhood experiences with his sleepwalking sister and collaborating with the extremely convincing and energetic actor-duo of Britta Grant and Chad Mayate, Will’s video captures the intriguing power of Kaskade’s song while making the most of his talented and continuously convulsing actors.

Find out how Will put together all the pieces in our amusing and personal interview.

THE PLUS: First of all – are you a sleepwalker? And if yes, do you have any memories you’d like to share with us, be it special or funny?
Will Kindrick:
I’m actually not a sleepwalker myself, but growing up my sister was. She had a habit of standing in front of the washing machine and pouring laundry detergent everywhere. My Dad would come in and carefully walk her back to her bed. I’m sure that was one of the incidents that inspired the milk pouring scene at the beginning of the video! She’d also talk in her sleep which was hilarious. 

TP: What interests you about sleepwalking?
I’m a big fan of all things whimsical and surreal! I always tell my DP’s art department and other collaborators to approach things stylistically as though we’re making a fairy tale, something familiar but that’s not quite set in the real world. Sleepwalkers already tread that line between dreaming and reality so it seemed like perfect grounds to play and explore, especially in a music video format!

TP: Do you have any further ideas going into this direction?
I’d be totally interested in doing an entire series about sleepwalkers and everything that happens when they’re unconscious – completely separate lives? Think of all the adventures!

Tight 2

TP: The mood of the video is quite eerie. How do you think the theme of sleepwalking enhances this?
I think sleepwalking has a spooky or other-worldly quality to it. When we sleep, our brain sends signals to the rest of our body, paralysing it so we don’t physically act out our dreams and step into traffic or walk off a cliff. With sleepwalkers, some wires get crossed and their dreams end up seizing control of absolutely everything. Send them out into the empty quiet night and you’ve got yourself an eerie combination!

TP: How did the idea of this scenario come up for Kaskade’s song, Tight? 
A couple years back I was asked to write an emergency treatment for an artist that needed it overnight. I was at San Diego Comic-con sharing a packed hotel room with a bunch of friends so I waited until everyone fell asleep and then started writing. I remember tip toeing around people to use the bathroom and all of the sudden the idea hit!

TP: What happened then?
The next day, the artist passed on the idea. I knew there was something there so I kept pitching different reincarnations of the concept. I even pitched to Katy Perry at one point, but I think it was just too weird for everyone! I eventually put it to rest and moved on.

Tight 3

TP: How did Kaskade revive your idea?
When the Kaskade track came in and I started to listen, my eyes went wide! It was like every beat, sample and drop had been orchestrated for a sleepwalking dancer, even the lyrics and the sonar beeps. Kaskade’s team was enthusiastic and gave us their blessing and the concept finally found a loving home!

TP: Why did you choose these two actors, Britta Grant and Chad Mayate?
Britta was my first choice! I had worked with Britta a couple months back on another video, so I knew she had the right vibrant energy and would bring something unique and exciting to the table. She has training in a wide variety of styles, but the coolest thing is just letting her run wild and do her own thing!  She choreographed her own moves and totally nailed it!

TP: What about Chad?
Chad was also an amazing find! He was a recommendation from a choreographer I’ve worked with a lot. I looked up his work and was blown away by everything! We’d roll camera and he’d instantly turn into a hyperactive ball of endless energy. The entire crew couldn’t stop laughing every time he turned it on. I feel like writing him into everything I do now! Even if it’s a serious court room drama, I’ll find a way to throw him in there dancing and convulsing!

Tight 4

TP: The dancers nearly seem like zombies – was this your intention? How did the choreography come together? 
Definitely! I showed Britta Spike Jonze’s Kenzo perfume commercial, plus a few zombie videos. I told her the performance should live somewhere between those two references, empowering yet eerie. I think I just told Chad to be a possessed marionette who’s being electrocuted while luring people in with his sonar beeps. Normal stuff, you know.

TP: Was it hard for them to keep the convulsive movements going? 
I was worried about them hyperventilating or passing out, but they both just kept going and never slowed down. It was like all their training had lead them to that moment, going into convulsions in the middle of the street.

TP: Where did you shoot the video, and why did you choose that location?
We shot all over downtown Los Angeles, from Sunset Boulevard at 3 am to a nearby construction. This was a low budget production, so we needed somewhere we could get a wide variety of looks in a short period of time. We shot on 16mm and wanted to put as much of the budget towards film as possible. My DP David Vollrath worked his magic and we took advantage of as many practical lights as possible, like street lamps and store windows.

Tight 1

TP: Did you encounter any major challenges during the shooting process?
I had written a scene where Britta stumbles into an Uber and drives off – the driver being asleep. With her swaying around, they crash into a wall. Britta stumbles out just fine and continues her journey. It was one of those sequences that got cut for scheduling purposes. I don’t miss it, but I still think it would’ve been rad and fun to shoot! Maybe we’ll put it in the sequel? Tell Kaskade we’re making a sequel now!

TP: How was it cooperating with the song’s artists, Kaskade and Madge?
Both Kaskade and Madge were awesome to work with. I’m all about the collaboration, but on this one they just trusted the concept and let us run free, which was really refreshing. SEGO, another musician, produced this video with me. He’s collaborated with Kaskade several times in the past and brought a great perspective and energy to the project. It was a solid team. 

TP: What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future? 
I have a couple of fun music videos coming down the pipeline! I also just wrapped a short film called STORM that should be hitting festivals soon! Oh, and I guess that sleepwalking series I thought of at the beginning of this interview. I should get on that!

Tight 5