Video Chats: Susie Francis on "All I Want" by Kubalove

Posted by Doug Klinger on February 28, 2014 in Interviews

Staff Post

Susie Francis

“All I Want” by Kubalove, the directorial debut from production designer Susie Francis, manages to be one of the sexiest videos of the year without feeling forced or being too explicit. Despite being her first time directing a video, Susie’s background in the industry is evident in “All I Want,” thanks in part to directors like Isaac Ravishankara and Ellis Bahl lending a hand to the production process. We talked to Susie about the video, using the set as a character in the video, and the power of the closeup.

IMVDb: You have a background as a production designer and art director. Would you say your history in those areas influenced your role as director?

Susie: Probably. A set is just like another character with as many layers and hidden meaning as the story itself and I tend to keep that idea very close to me. And then obviously on a practical level I knew what I could and couldn’t achieve and was able to direct with a clear aesthetic in mind.

Susie Francis

IMVDb: This video is obviously very sexy, but it never feels forced or too explicit. Is there a technique to directing a sexy music video that doesn’t come off as trying too hard?

Susie: Thank you! The most important tool to achieve the “not too explicit sexy” is the closeup. With the closeup you leave the audience to imagine why she is moaning without showing all the skin. And I guess the rest is just left to personal taste? I'm really happy people think its somewhat tasteful.

IMVDb: What characteristics were you looking for in the actors in this video? Do you know Kasmira and Tarquin personally or was there a casting process?

Susie: I was looking for actors with strong personalities and nice legs which was actually extremely hard to find. And to add to the difficulty of my hunt, this project was super low budget so whenever I found these very special people, I’d have to ask them to do it for basically nothing. I had no luck through casting agencies so Cristina Dunlap [DP] and I began asking for favors.

Kasmira and Tarquin are friends of ours in Malibu. They were the perfect couple so I was thrilled that they were available.

Susie Francis

IMVDb: Kubalove is a London-based artist. Given that, how involved was she able to get with this project?

Susie: Anna (Kubalove) was the most pleasant person to work with imaginable. We skyped or emailed every other day in the beginning so that helped to build trust between one another. From there we just remained honest in our opinions and I tried to keep her as included as possible in the process.

IMVDb: This video was commissioned through Radar Music Videos. Do you find - even as someone who is already plugged into the music video industry - that Radar is still one of the best ways to start working as a director?

Susie: There are so many ways to become a music video director. When I decided I was ready to make a video I emailed commissioner friends, signed up for Radar, and waited for a track that I connected with to come along. I know a few bands personally but they’re already working with bigger directors and I didn’t have the experience.

Thankfully, being that I’m already integrated into the music video / commercial community, I was able to make a video with high production value. We’re all friends and we take care of each other. I couldn't have done it without them.

all i want, kubalove, susie francis, video chats

Doug Klinger is the co-founder/content director of IMVDb and watches more music videos than anyone on earth. You can find him on twitter at @doug_klinger.

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