As we wrap up another premiere week, we have the first premiere of the day as we move over to Norway where we find Kate Havnevik who is back with the release of her new short/music video for “The River,” an abstract and visually stunning that goes from strong colors in UV paint to a pale behind-the-scenes feel. There are dancers, a painted horse and a huge painting on the wall. A expérimental take for a very abstract, haunting song itself.
The video is created by Icelandic director and designer Gotti Sigurdarson and was filmed in Oslo in an old airport hangar, to a remix by Valid Lover of Kate Havnevik’s song “The River”, a song she wrote with LA-club producers Sultan + Shepard.
“There were huge challenges filming the video. We had to find an art painter to create the huge wall painting, a horse we would be allowed to paint, professional dancers and lots of ultraviolet lights”; says Kate.
The whole idea was created by Gotti Sigurdarson, who has been Kate Havnevik’s longtime collaborator, making all her videos, album covers and design. The last video they did for Kate’s single “Falling” was a huge success at film festivals and was nominated for Nordic Music Video awards, it starred Westworld actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal.
“The horse, Snappy, was the first to be filmed for ‘The River’ and we had a problem straight away as the concrete floor was too slippery for the horse, it was like Bambi on ice which meant we could not film it in front of the painting as planned, in the hallway it calmed down and we painted it with water-based UV paint. The horse actually enjoyed being painted as it was a show-horse and liked the grooming and attention.”
The dancers were filmed in several different constellations and at times the dancers practically melt into the big painting. Kate is sparsely used in the video but shows up in some strong pictures on the horse and with the dancers.
Still the most dramatic event happened after the video shoot. Being low-budget Havnevik and Sigurdarson did more or less everything themselves and was left to clean up the location, same evening Gotti could hardly walk and got strong vertigo.
Sigurdarson went home to London next day and thought he had a stroke, he went to the hospital where he did several MRI scans and checks over several months and eventually got diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. He had a serious relapse a few weeks later and is constantly dealing with cognitive fog and extreme fatigue.
That meant the video was in limbo for a long time as Gotti Sigurdarson was the editor as well as the director and was the only one who know how the video was supposed to be put together.
After getting used to new medication and the situation Gotti contacted Norwegian editor Erik Treiman, known for his work with Røyksopp and Robyn, which he has won several awards for. They edited the video together and it turned out amazing.
“The River video became a long journey with several serious obstacles. It somehow feels like it describes how life suddenly can take unexpected turns” says Kate.