Moscow’s Pussy Riot garnered headlines — and even jail time — for their provocative performances in the past. The female band’s latest music video, Straight Outta Vagina, may likely do the same.
Produced by Matthew McCluggage and directed by Phillip R. Lopez, the project was shot in one 12-hour day at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. According to the director, band member Nadezhda (Nadya) Tolokonnikova had a strong opinion about what she wanted and how the video should compare and contrast the childlike nature of the song.
“The budget was not big at all,” Lopez recalls, noting that the shoot took place last fall, right around the time of the presidential election. Lopez had been shooting on Red cameras for some time and chose a single unit for this project, capturing multiple passes to create a multicam feel. The director edited the video himself, using Adobe Premiere Pro.
The production partners then called on MTI Film for post services, including the online and color correction.
“Matt has run my post production since forever, and has worked with MTI,” Lopez notes. His goal was to capture as much of the look in-camera, and then use color for further enhancement.
“It was a pretty easy edit,” Lopez recalls. “My traditional workflow is: share (the edit) with the producer and make internal revisions, and then to share it with the client.”
Alex Chernoff served as the colorist on the project, working on a Nucoda system. “The Nucoda system has a good grain tool,” Chernoff notes. “As far as color, they did a really good job of choosing the location,” he adds, referring to The Theatre at Ace Hotel. The goal was to create a church vibe, so the golden colors of the theater were highlighted. He also used the Nucoda system to clean up the green and blue colors featured in the bathroom scenes, as well as to bring out the red contrast of the women’s shoes that the men are wearing.
Chernoff says he spent three or four hours working on the first pass. After a review session, he spent a few more hours making tweaks based on input from the label and artists. While the video does not rely on visual effects, speed ramps were used in some scenes, such as those shot in the bathroom. Lopez says he’ll use the Red camera for shooting 4K at 120fps or 2K at 300fps when desired. MTI handled the deliverables, creating 444 and DCP versions for screenings, like the one at the SXSW show. They also created a Pro-Res 422 HQ version, which tends to be a standard requirement for label clients.