• Margot Bennett

I Will Make Some Noise

A LOVE LETTER TO A MASSIVE UNDERTAKING


Like everyone else, I found myself and my plans completely derailed at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown. The release of our EP (recorded in 2019 with David Baron) was put on hold. We had just filmed, "Grown Man," and I was unsure about what to do with all our new content. It was a time when I mostly grappled with how sad everything was, how lucky I was to be healthy, and my guilt over feeling sorry for myself.


Idan Morim, who is an endlessly encouraging friend/bandmate, told me to reach out to Culture Lab, an arts organization in Long Island City. They were mounting outdoor concerts in their sprawling parking lot, featuring artists with no place to perform. Circles were painted on the pavement to keep everyone socially distanced, masks were a must, and we were given the opportunity to play a live show again. ENTER: Tana Sirois, the performing arts director at Culture Lab.


Culture Lab LIC - Live Outdoor Performance Space

During my first few interactions with Tana, all I could make out of her appearance was her long, flowing mermaid hair, twinkling eyes and stylish mask. A fellow theater nerd and actor/director, her life was turned upside down by the complete shutdown of live performance. She told me she enjoyed the theatricality of our music videos and we bonded over our love of the stage. She asked if I would like a quick tour of the Culture Lab gallery space - maybe I could film something there!

I was utterly floored by the beautiful industrial rooms and the plethora of fun equipment / props tucked neatly away in organized closets... not to mention, THE ROOFTOP, with glorious views of the east river and Manhattan skyline. I ran home and wrote up a proposal: A music video film encompassing the 4 remaining songs from our EP, directed by Tana, and produced at Culture Lab.

Tana replied the next day. YES, she was in, YES, we could use the space and can we start in the next month? There was an awesome holographic art exhibition (curated by The HoloCenter) slated to go up at the gallery space and she felt the pieces would lend themselves perfectly to our brewing ideas.


We quickly began the process of finding our skeleton crew. There were so many roadblocks... were there any artists left in NYC? How would we safely bring a team together to shoot a film indoors? Who would be willing to join our somewhat risky endeavor? But despite the odds, we

found the perfect Director of Photography: Eurica Yu, a Malaysian-born cinematographer (now New Yorker) with a detailed eye and a penchant for all that is beautiful. The pieces began to fall into place.


From Left: Tana Sirois, Margot Bennett, and Eurica Yu.

"I Will Make Some Noise" is a highly collaborative and conceptualized film. Everything from props to plot line to lighting was decided between the three of us. Our workflow was a constant dialogue defined by positivity and excitement. I had met my artistic matches, and, I think I can speak for the three of us when I say, our connection was a welcomed distraction from the grave state of the world. We knew that our quarantine experience would be woven into our storyline, as it was the strand that brought us together and it was too pressing to ignore. Francine Roussel, my beloved acting professor in college, once wisely said to me, "Don't use unprocessed trauma as a means of connecting to your art." That sentiment was something I kept coming back to while producing the videos, but what I learned as Tana, Eurica and I toiled over storyboards and shot lists, was that we were processing our pandemic experiences through creating together. Instead of ignoring our pain, we spoke about it regularly and we became a makeshift, alternative indie therapy group. We started every zoom call with a checkin. "How are you today? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Maybe you should step outside or take the afternoon off to binge-watch Netflix."


I am extremely grateful to Tana and Eurica, to the band (including Micha Gilad - on keys - who recently joined us), to Sasha K. Gordon and Daniel Singer who wore about a million hats on crew, to Caitlin Wiederkehr who joined the collaborative post-production process and did a kick-ass job editing this beast of a project, to Kathleen Moloney who baked brownies for every shoot day, to my dad who was cheering us on from New Jersey, to my partner, Omer Berger, who hauled heavy equipment and poured an enormous amount of his time and energy into this, and to the team at Culture Lab who opened their doors and trusted us with their sacred space.


A behind-the-scenes slideshow: Photos by Omer Berger


"Button-Down Shirt" is out June 16th, followed by the release of three other videos that make up "I Will Make Some Noise." We are hoping to submit our film to festivals and to get as many eyes on it as possible. Stay tuned!


With love and gratitude,

Margot

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