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Kat Penkin '15' by Harry Tomlin

Rob Ulitski - 5th July 2024

Harry Tomlin directs a heartfelt promo for singer-songwriter Kat Penkin, telling the story of a teenage girl struggling with an eating disorder, how it affects her life, her wellbeing and her family.  

Anchored by a powerful performance from Birdie Wright, the video recounts the artist's experience as a 15-year-old girl struggling with body image issues, and follows her through different struggles and aspect of her youth. 

Employing naturalistic cinematography, the visual is broken up with narrative sections which drive home the theme of the track, showcasing the acting talent on-screen. With DoP Ben Smith's framing and utilisation of natural light Tomlin focusses on fragmented moments which help us connect with these characters. And with so much narrative to pack into this video, Rebecca Quinn creates a momentum which builds with the song and creates this rich, non-linear story of the characters' lives. 

"I worked very closely with Kat at every stage, taking care in making sure we did this story justice," explains the director. "I wanted us to understand these characters beyond the visuals - to project our own experiences onto them, how we might react differently or the same. It felt like a dynamic that was so universal and many of us react so differently in tough times like these.

"It was important that even though we were inspired by Kat's experience, we were not just retelling it. This is it's own story that hopefully many can get something from. I’m so grateful to Kat for trusting me with telling her story and lucky to have had such a wonderful team working on this."

Kat Penkin adds: "My ED is such a big part of my life that I’ve kept hidden and never spoken about publicly. Maybe because it already took too much of my life and I didn’t want to give it anymore, or maybe because I felt ashamed I’m not sure.

"I’m so proud of that girl in those pictures who found the strength to fight for her life. I didn’t realise at the time of writing 15 that it would help me heal in ways I didn’t know I needed and I hope it brings the same comfort to others."

Rob Ulitski - 5th July 2024

Tags

  • Director's notes
  • Drama
  • Pick of the Day
  • Singer-songwriter
  • Pop
  • ED
  • Tender
  • Eating Disorder
  • Mental health
  • Narrative
  • Candid

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Producer
Tyler Parker
Producer
Red Williams
Producer
Sophie Nimmo
Production Company
Random Think Studio
Production Company
Abnormal Productions
1st AD
Scarlett Pivaro Monaghan

Camera

Director of Photography
Ben Smith
2nd AC
El Tooth
2nd AC
Tom Foster

Lighting/Grip

Gaffer
Tom Smith
Spark
Stevie Walsh

Art

Production designer
Kat Easto

Editorial

Editor
Rebecca Quinn
Editing company
Work Editorial
Edit Producer
Martha Smedley

Grading

Colour Producer
Abigail Duncan
Colourist
Katie Linard
Colour grade company
Harbor Picture Company

Rob Ulitski - 5th July 2024

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