By Courtney E. Smith
You know those terrible fashion shoots masquerading as music videos, where there’s a female who changes looks a half dozen times and that’s the video? For “Fall In Love” Phantogram has created a visually engaging version of that video that is actually how it should be done. The secret ingredient is lighting.
The duo, Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel, are ostensibly the focus of the video, but the eye is constantly drawn to the use of light employed by director Timothy Saccenti. The effects beamed onto the walls around them are the most obvious, creating an air of French New Wave sensibility filtered through the ’80s aesthetics of Max Headroom’s animators.
But there’s a more subtle play that happens with the studs on Barthel’s leather jacket and fluttering across the white keyboard keys that creates an element of beauty. One of the best shots here is Barthel’s face, which has been treated with illuminator (a type of make-up that brightens the skin in a very J. Lo-glow way) and hit directly with light– it’s simple and visually stunning.
What pushes this video, which is really little more than a fashion shoot video, above and beyond the usual treatment is the sophistication of references. Instead of a flat, colored background we get texture made of light. Our female feature, Barthel, is styled in a distinctive, tough style that stays on the same course through the duration of the video. In short: it has a point of view.