I'M HUTCHTASTIC, 4min., USA, Music
Directed by Brittany Ballard
A water goddess decides to explore land for the first time, to be nature’s lover. After a surreal experience with new natural elements, haters come to attack her. But finding her strength and power in the elements, now a tree goddess, she turns her haters into worshippers. They beg her to stay as their queen, worshiping her all night, but by morning, she returns to her water home, and floats away back into her bliss.
When Hutchtastic approached me to create a music video for their groundbreaking track, "I'm Hutchtastic", I was ecstatic to work with them again. We first collaborated on "Cute" (winner, Best Underground Music Video, Clubbing TV Awards, Audience Award, BendFilm), then on "Disruption" for Plump Records). I couldn’t wait to co-create with Hutch for a third time, to build upon our cinematic and musical language.
I pitched Hutchtastic my concept for the piece, gleaned from a recurring dream I had: “A water goddess decides to explore land for the first time, but finds haters everywhere, who are first afraid of her, then realize she is a water goddess and begin to worship her. But she chooses her own pleasure and water element over the attention and approval of land animals.” Hutch was super down, and suggested we glean further inspiration from activist Annie Sprinkles, who says the "Earth is Lover, not only Mother."
On a deeply personal level, working with Hutch continues to teach me that I can love my body as it is, right now. That I can be very happy without constantly concerning myself with the male gaze, which often feels like hate.
Hutch and I both love nature, and the sensuality we feel when our bodies are in water and moving amongst the trees, so we chose to shoot at the spectacular Mendocino Magic campgrounds, full of lush trees and lakes.
For Hutch, it was important to center female body worship - and the water “squirting” is an offering to the water goddess in all of us. Hutch said to me, “People have their opinions but I’m too busy owning my shit to be bothered by any of that. Here I am - in my strength, in my power, in my desirability. Fully embodied on land and in water.” And I said, “Hell Yes! Let’s make that in visual form!” And so we did.
On set, we treated the creative process of “I’m Hutchtastic” more like performance art, and less like a traditional music video, and I'm thrilled with what we co-created, along with our tiny crew: our fiercely talented DP, Adam J Richman; our Camera Assist, Whitney Freeman; and PA/cast Kevin Knapp, DJ/Co-Founder of Plump Records, Hutchtastic’s husband, and my best friend.
Since I was a child, growing up in Oakland, I’ve been fascinated by underwater life, and the idea that all earth life comes from, and embodies, water. I believe this is where my recurring water goddess dream comes from. I can feel that we come from the ocean, I live according to the cycles of the Moon, and I feel the most myself when I'm near the ocean waves. But recently, I moved to Denver, a high plains desert very far from the ocean, yet close to the dramatic Rocky Mountains.
At first, I was devastated. I missed the ocean terribly. But I came to realize I am now living by rivers and lakes, with the ground covered in a snow blanket. Snow is water! And most magically, I'm surrounded by trees, with their light absorbing magic, and color changing leaves.
It took me leaving the Bay Area to realize I've come to the source, that all water is connected, and that we all do come from water, but trees are our cousins, with blood and language and community and sensation all their own. Trees remind me of all the most important things: that change is mandatory for growth; to shed what’s no longer useful, even if it’s comfortable; to be unafraid of the cold because the heat will come; that sometimes it's best to hibernate; that parts of ourselves must die so new parts can emerge. Thus, the Water Goddess becomes the Tree Goddess in the video. She can be both. We all can be both!