Set in the near future, electronic duo Speed of Snakes revel in the role of future-pimps as a sex-bot rebels in ‘Backbone of Night’. Having won the Young Director Award at Cannes and more recently a UK MVA Stevie Russell prides himself on strong narrative, who can forget Kodaline’s ‘All I Want‘. It is then of no surprise we see ourselves transported, this time to a slum where contactless payment can lead to first contact. The beautiful Teodora Sutra owns her role of sex-slave turns femme fatal whilst bits of post tie the video together. The idea that a pussycat sets free some paid-for-pussy is simply put, as fun as it sounds.
We got in touch with Stevie to find out a little more about just how Rupert and Vin, of Speed of Snakes, prepared for their roles (pure LOLS), the expections of model Teodora and the secret to working with kittens on set:
Word Is Cheap: With the rise of the sex-bot becoming more reality than fantasy did you do any research into the industry before pitching the idea?
Stevie Russell: I’m always reading about this kind of stuff. Robots have always been something to marvel about. The Sex-Bot thing is moving along like everything else. I think Roxxxy is the newest version. It’s a very weird thing as you’re basically banging a mannequin and I think it’s probably a step backwards in terms of our evolution and social interactions. That said, if it scratches an itch for some strange guys then maybe it’s a good thing. For now, they are just dolls that instead of saying ‘I’m hungry’ say ‘I’m horny’. If in the future, we decide to give these machines artificial intelligence then there are some ethical hurdles that we may have to jump. Old man Asimov has probably covered it all at some point.
Were Rupert and Vin excited by the chance to play futuristic pimps?
We wanted them to just be like a couple of bored programmers. Sort of like they might have 10 of these bots around the city and they are just taking payments. Business as usual. The guys were excited I think, they were researching for weeks. Watching Harvey Keitel in Taxi Driver and Gary Oldman in True Romance for references.
Were there any problems on set, how good are kittens at following direction??
The kittens were very method. Thankfully there were two that looked exactly the same so if one started freaking out and acting like a kitten we just slipped the other one into shot. As always with music videos we were up against it in terms of time, but it was a pretty easy set overall. The rain came at the end of the second day and we had to change the star gazing shot. That was a pain in the ass.
Teodora worryingly plays the prostitute perfectly, does she have any previous acting experience, were you confident she could fulfill her role?
We talked a bit beforehand about how we wanted her to come across. Slightly sad, but also indifferent. She hadn’t acted much before, but I was confident she could pull it off. Teo is a very busy Model here in Dublin, so I had seen her stuff around. She has a sort of steeliness to her and we just tried to channel that into the character. But she also dialed in the emotion perfectly in a subtle, quiet way. She’s a great actress and I’m sure she has a solid career ahead of her if she decides to go that way.
Tell us one thing no one knows about this music video.
My dog, Digby, makes a cameo as Teo is walking through the prostitutes alley. Like a bullet.