The Artist Explains: Gina Leonard - 'Playing Dead' (Video)

Singer-songwriter Gina Leonard speaks to us about the concept behind new single and music video ‘Playing Dead’.
‘Playing Dead’ is taken from Gina’s debut EP ‘Catch’ which was released on the 20th July.

The Artist Explains
Where was the video filmed?
I filmed the video at home with the help of my friend Dora and my sister Ali using a go-pro.

How does the video compliment the song?
The video compliments the song in a pretty literal way. The first line of the song ‘watching TV in a power cut’ fits with the shots of me watching a blank TV screen. The video, like the song, is dark and bleak. There is a lack of coherence in what I’m wearing and the fact that everything is covered in newspaper which fits with the unsettled feel of the song.

Any behind the scenes stories?
The whole thing was quite unplanned if I’m honest. I raided my next-door-neighbor's bins so I’d have enough newspaper to cover everything, then my sister and my friend came round to help film it. It was my sister’s idea to wear the goggles and I ended up putting on socks because my feet were freezing which completed the strange outfit.

Tell us about the ideas/ themes/ imagery used?
The use of newspaper and the clips of the weatherman contrasted with the living room scene, represent a desire to escape the outside world. We used projections of storm footage which builds on the lyrics:
the storm's eye is still open,

wind is stroking the walls outside,

it’s the best excuse I’ve been given,

to pull the curtains to and hide

There are lots of opposing themes which help to bring alive the sense of unease. Even though the whole video is shot inside one room, a sense of movement is created through merging shots and projections of wild weather. The room is empty apart from myself, the chair and the TV but the flashing images and dense newspaper text make it seem cluttered and confusing. I didn’t want there to be too much going on as to distract from the lyrics so the same images appear throughout. The changes in angle and seating positions suggest a long time has passed which fits well with repeated lines ‘I’ll let myself out when I’m done’ and ‘I guess I’m good at playing dead’.

What is the message the video is trying to convey?

The video aims to express the desire to shut out the world coupled with the negative effect isolation can have on a person- I do come across as pretty crazy!

Interview feature by Karla Harris