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The Murder Capital 'Ethel' by Maxim Kelly

Rob Ulitski - 22nd Nov 2022

A young maid finds herself at a crossroads, in Maxim Kelly's mesmerising promo for Ethel. 

Waiting hand and foot on a slightly surreal family, we see the main character run errands and try to stay out of the way, as the father figure lip-syncs to the track, getting oppressively close to her wherever she tries to escape to. 

Ending with a climactic dance in the living room - performing to the awkwardly apathetic parents and daughter - the video is haunting and contemplative, echoing films from French and Korean arthouse cinema. A subtle manipulation of the textures of the image at certain points also heightens the surreality of the concept, which creates an unnerving atmosphere.

“Initially I thought Ethel should be the main character and do the dance at the end, and I always had this image from this French film called My American Uncle, where it’s like a little girl standing up at a table," Kelly explains. 

"I originally had that image in my head for a rap video, but it didn’t really make sense to the song. I wanted this to feel more like surreal so then as I started finding more imagery. It kind of transpired that maybe the maid was the more interesting character.”

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Rob Ulitski - 22nd Nov 2022

Tags

  • Director's notes
  • artistic
  • Surreal
  • haunting
  • Family
  • Maid
  • Narrative

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Maxim Kelly
Producer
Sam Katz
Production Company
Executive Producer
Eleri Evans
Production Manager
Sacchin Chande
1st AD
Phillips Nortey
Runner
Rory Purdy

Camera

Director of Photography
Ollie Ford
Focus Puller
Milo Brown
Harry Feltham

Lighting/Grip

Gaffer
Riaz Ahmed
Spark
Meg Sharpe, Gian Claudio Calipa

Art

Production designer
Syd Harmony

Wardrobe

Stylist
Marianthi Hatzikidi
Make-up
Elena Diaz

Choreography

Choreographer
Arran Green

Casting

Casting director
Ginny Kerr
Lead actor
Stephen Harakis
Lead Dancer
Myana Van Cuijenborg
Mother
Yasmeen Scott
Daughter
Anais Berinde

Editorial

Editor
Editing company
Edit Producer
Dave Frost

Grading

Colourist
Tom Mangham
Colour grade company
Black Kite Studios

Misc

Colour Producer
Lewes Bridson

Rob Ulitski - 22nd Nov 2022

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