Q&A With Pax Paloscia, Director of New Spectre Folk Video

September 02, 2010

Underwater photography is so ubiquitous at this point, we didn't think it was possible to film submerged and still be unique. But "Burning Bridge," the new video from New York supergroup Spectre Folk, is shot beneath the water and completely changed our minds. Where does anything this beautiful come from? Italy, of course. Italian-born, New York-based photographer Pax Paloscia is the woman responsible for this lovely footage. (She's also married to fellow talent Gabriele Stabile, photographer of so many wonderful images in the FADER, including our current Glasser cover.) Paloscia answered a few questions about making the video, her transition from still to moving images, and the identity of that skinny kid in the water. Also, how do we go to there?

How'd you get hooked up with these guys?
[Spectre Folk member/New York Times food writer]Peter (Meehan) is a good friend of ours. He sent us the song and I loved it. I'm very lucky, because in my family I have many nephews whom I've been following all my life—so I've been recording a lot of material. On the day we shot the video, I was with my youngest nephew, Tommy, and we were in the swimming pool (I am a little bit obsessed with water). The song was very inspiring for the kind of slowed-down mood, and he actually just jumped in the water and started swimming around. It was like this moment—it looked like he was really listening to the song. Then we played around a little bit with the landscape and I mixed the two moments together, and it came out with a natural mood, like the kid was lost in his own world.

Did you shoot with the intention of making a music video?
I had it in mind when we were listening to the piece. The video was almost done by the time we shot it, in my mind. I knew that I would be in Italy, I knew the landscape, I knew the people, and I knew that it would be perfect for this kind of song. As soon as we were back in New York I couldn't wait to mix them together.

You're a photographer by trade. How was the crossover to video?
I've been shooting all my life, but I have to say that I use my photography for both painting and video-making.  Every time I work in my studio I'm doing a collage of things, a mix of media.

How did your nephews feel about the whole thing?
They love to play and it's great because they totally forget about the camera.  So they kind of just play with me and we used to run like crazy in this giant forest and they just make it fun, so it's totally natural to work with them.

Nerd question—what kind of camera did you use?
A canon 5D with an underwater thing [laughs]. I was very, very afraid to put the camera inside of it. We tried to close it with tape and glue, and everybody was telling me "You're crazy for going under the water with the camera!"

Well, it's a beautiful video.
It's exciting when someone tells you that about something so personal—like my life and the people i love and the things I really love—and when people get it, it's magic.

Posted: September 02, 2010
Q&A With Pax Paloscia, Director of New Spectre Folk Video