BERLIN, GERMANY — Director/performer Cara Stricker (www.carastricker.com), who goes by the musical identity of Drool, recently completed work on her second music-visual series, titled Deus. Shot in Berlin, Down follows a group of artists holding out in a snow-covered, post-apocalyptic city nearly devoid of humans. As the track offers the spiritual mantra, “If you want to keep me down, work it out,” the collective fearlessly runs toward new beginnings, visualized by a floating, transforming monolith.
“I wanted the sound to be very cinematic, evoked by the duality of a new kind of humanity,” explains Stricker. “I’m interested in the dark space of our future, born from the artificial combining with nature, creating a Homo Deus, if you will. Our skin will be particles of another universe, built from our memories. But, in this destruction, there is a rebirth toward a hopeful future.”
Down takes its visual inspiration from Stricker’s experimental background in Australia and bloodline to Berlin. “All the things that transformed my family, marked me, shocked me and reshaped me went into this, creating beauty out of that destruction,” says Stricker. “All the memories of the past combine to create a new future.”
In the true essence of Drool, and its origins as a collaborative project (the first album was recorded and produced with musician John Kirby and released by Terrible Records), the film features digital artist Anton Woll Söder, and samples by Bot, former Crookers producer, and Kate Levitt’s underground drums.
Cinematographer Gerrit Piechowski used two Red Epic Dragons and a Scarlet-W with Kowa anamorphic lenses for the shoot. Drones were also used, but since it was minus eight degrees Celsius during the shoot, sometimes the drones wouldn’t fly, and the batteries quickly died.
“To capture the footage, the team had to move seamlessly with one another, like a dance running all over Berlin,” says Stricker.
The 3D monolith, created by Söder, was a collaboration between Söder and Stricker, who shared screen tests and inspiration with each other to get the right feel for the colossal symbol. Söder used Cinema 4D, Houdini and Octane, with additional compositing in After Effects. Makine the crowded Berlin borough of Mitte appear barren was another challenge, but compositor Michael Bell removed all human traces, leaving only an empty, dreamy urban landscape.