Eugene McMahon on directing a music video dreamworld in lockdown

Written by Hatti Rex

Eugene McMahon's sheer creativity in his latest work for dreamy electro-pop singer Wafia via Atlantic Records combines self-recorded camera footage with a fresh-feeling aesthetic. 

The video features Wafia and her girlfriends dancing in their bedrooms, a rite of passage that rings familiar to all women, edited together with a hint of peach in a celebration of femininity. A simple concept executed perfectly, with a clear vision taken from the brief through to the final result. 

“At the time when I got the brief, it seemed like new videos and articles of famous people in their lockdowns were coming out every day. All of that was giving me this huge sense of disconnect”, with endless Instagram lives from their mansions and singing compilations in place of restorative donations, the majority of us as viewers were feeling the technological burnout, Eugene too.

“Like I think most of their intentions were good but it was pretty obvious that what they were going through was different than what most people were going through. With the video, more than anything I just wanted to portray our current situation in a way that would feel more relatable and truthful.”

“Wafia is an artist who is undeniably herself and wears her authentic personality on her sleeve. When it came to creating something that felt true to her and the rest of the girls in the video, she wouldn’t have had it any other way.”



Shooting in lockdown

Surprisingly, the team essentially treated the project as you would a ‘normal’ video shoot. 

“We virtually scouted the spaces the talent would be shooting in ahead of time. We approved costumes through pictures and sourced 'set' dressings which were delivered curbside to Wafia. We scheduled out a shoot day where we had hour-long sessions with each girl. We’d all be in a video conference where we could monitor the footage while they filmed using their phones.” Keeping it as true to ‘real-life’ as possible evidently worked wonders, but how challenging has it been trying to stay creative in lockdown? 

“It’s definitely a challenge to stay motivated to do work right now,” Eugene muses. “With all this free time, I’ve been able to work on things that have been in my mind for a long time but I just never got around to. At the same time, I think it’s pretty important for everyone to go easy on themselves and not feel like they need to be productive all the time. So while I’ve got a few projects I’m working on that I’m really excited about, I’m also thrilled to just be spending tons of time watching old movies and terrible television.” 

Our Netflix recently watched list is definitely a testament to that.