"Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now" - the music video {official thing}
 
(public post)

“We didn't lip sync - we sang our fucking guts out. The energy in the room was palpable and radiant - strong enough to move fear and shatter the emotional entrenchment, the forced compartmentalization and the shame. This wasn't just a video production – this was change happening at the most fundamental level.” - Alex Woodhouse, from the cast.

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hello my loves.

watch the video first. then come back and read the whole post. okay? okay.

IT IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK IN THE SLIGHTEST.

watch on YOUTUBE: https://youtu.be/juubxnkgnS8  
watch on VIMEO: https://vimeo.com/293019972

as usual, you are my marketing department, loves. 

SHARE THE SHIT OUT OF THIS VIDEO. post it to facebook, tweet it, talk about it, share stills on instagram, make GIFs for tumblr, email it to your ex, text it to your mom, DO EVERYTHING. start conversations. that's what we need right now. today. do it. do not be afraid. 

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i usually say this at the end of these long posts, but today i'm gonna put this out front. THIS PROJECT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT PATRONAGE. the 11,000+ people supporting this page literally made this possible.

this project was expensive (as you can see). money to make art like this does not magically materialize. and work like this has no "commercial" value or potential. it cannot be sold or monetized. i will not put ads on my youtube channel. and honda or nike would not endorse this shit (nor would i ever let them). to my patrons: BLESS YOU. because of you, we could make this. let's make more. if you are reading this and not a patron, and you are wondering what you can do to support better, free-er, more empowering art in this insane world, support this patreon, and ones like it. we are the media.

...............  

k, deep breath.

last night in los angeles (where i just finished tracking my new record on wednesday, can i get an AMEN), i held a free screening for this video. a few hundred people came to a cinema to watch the clip and ask questions, and i passed the mic around. many women - and it is really important to add, also men - shared painfully personal stories of their own experience with rape, assault, surviving, and their anger at what is happening in our country right now. 

i hugged a lot of people. there were tears. if you were there, thank you for coming and holding the space. it was a much-needed collective howl. 

and now:

it's time. i've been working on this video project for months and it is with a strangely heavy heart that i admit: the timing is uncanny. 

we set the release date for today - october 5th - because it was the one year anniversary of the new york times exposé on harvey weinstein.

as i sit here typing this, we await the decision of the senate to confirm brett kavanaugh, and the news isn't looking particularly promising. in fact, it's looking pretty appalling. i am holding my breath. 

and i feel like i've been holding my breath for 42 years. 

so many women i know right now feel a kind of shapeless, exhausting and indescribable rage. rage at not feeling seen. rage at not being believed. rage at being thrown under the train when a man's job or reputation is at stake. 

our reproductive rights - and therefore, our human rights - are in grave danger of being slashed and burned. and the frenzy around politics and the supreme court decision points to something much darker, much deeper and much more broken about our society. 

many of the women i know and work with don't know what to do with this rage. how to harness it, what to do with it. it's exhausting, it's overwhelming. what can women do to effectively combat what feels like a full-on assault of our human-hood?

i don't know. all we can do is try to answer that question.

so one weekend this past july in brooklyn, in a run-down old church rectory, sixty women (and a few men, see below) got together to try.

this is the video we made together.

it was directed and choreographed by noémie lafrance. 

i had been following noémie's work ever since she did the video for feist's "1234" and "my moon, my man", which i thought were incredible feats of choreography and filmmaking. she answered my call and we had a long, long talk about art, sexual assault, and what this video should and should not be.

it should not be sentimental.
it should not exploit.
it should not be patronizing.
it should not be obvious.

and it should be raw fucking power.

here are some shots of noémie at work with the cast and crew:

photo by hayley rosenblum

photo by hayley rosenblum

photo by hayley rosenblum

("just look....you know....dead").

photo by hayley rosenblum

a word from noémie herself:

“How does one talk about rape, or even harder, illustrate it in a music video? It is too painful of a subject, and in many ways a taboo subject. What inspired me about the song is that it dared talking about rape in all of its different shades of grey. There is a line in the song that particularly moved me, ‘…let's get this over with’, because it explores the fine lines of coercion. I felt that in the context of the Weinstein story it encapsulated the real sadness in this for all parties. I wanted the video to reflect that and be about the sadness, rather than the atrocity.” 

and...how does one do that?

i felt the same difficulty when i was co-writing the song itself with jasmine power (which i write about here).

how do you sing about rape? 

how do you make a video about rape, without getting it all wrong? 

especially when the rapes and assaults being discussed as topics-du-jour in the media are simultaneously empowering women but also forcing us to relive and hash over the worst moments in our lives - our worst traumas - in front of people we don't know? 

it has come to this. in order to effect change, we are having to expose our darkest pain in public forums. on the internet. in newspapers. in the streets. in the senate, in front of hundreds of millions of people watching. 

it seems infinitely complicated to address these issues when they're already so over-saturated and raw. how to not make things worse? how can we express ourselves and our righteous anger in our own terms, on our own dime, in our own time?

that's what i wanted to do with this video.

take it back.

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the crew who worked tirelessly on this video shoot deserve a standing ovation that lasts days. they were so incredibly focused and professional, and everybody gave the space a kind of holy respect so that we could unleash without self-consciousness. if one person had made it weird, it just wouldn't have worked.

i want to thank, deeply, profoundly, every woman who bravely decided to get in front of the camera for this moment. 

many of these women had never acted, performed, or been in a video - much less emotional or naked in a video. to get so real so fast: it was not easy work. these women KILLED IT.

photo by hayley rosenblum

the feeling in that space was unlike anything i'd ever felt. we were doing something that felt earth-changing. doing together, in solidarity, doing something creative as an act of resistance.

i said to the cast as we were assembled for the choir rehearsal: "even if the footage all accidentally burns tonight, the point of the video has already been accomplished because of how we all feel right now. take it with you."

several women in the cast took me aside during the shoot and told me about their own stories of assault, and how cathartic this experience was. one of the cast members broke down crying in my arms because her friend had been assaulted by one of her professors and won't come forward because she's too afraid of the consequences. we held each other tight. this is happening, now. and this is why i do this, everybody. for moments like that. 

for a moment: we all had each other, and for a moment, we had hope. 

and now: the video belongs to the world, it's not just our moment. 

it's everybody's. this is why i would like you to share the shit out of this video. spread it like fire.

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i should mention, it wasn't all doom and gloom and rape stories.

we joked all day and laughed and spun around a lot and had a ton of fun. we had to: it would have been unbearable otherwise.

photo by hayley rosenblum


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a word about the men involved in this project, because they are important.

matt nicholson, aka sketch & dodds, helped write and arrange this entire song. those gorgeous cinematic strings and piano are his doing. jasmine and i wrote the lyrics, and we sang our guts out, but matt helped provide a container. he should not get cut out of this narrative, and i find it important - and not unpoetic - that a man helped to midwive this song into being. 

if you look closely at the credits, you'll see that - beyond the director, noémie, and the producer, natalie - almost all the crew on this film production were women - including the steadicam operator, lisa sene, who literally got a round of applause from the cast and crew at the end of a very, very long day of carrying around a 60 pound thing. here's lisa at work:

photo by hayley rosenblum

one notable exception was michael belcher, who was the director of photography. he and noémie spent a good amount of time working on what was and wasn't kosher on the set given the intimacy and nudity in the video, and it posed emotional challenges that i didn't know he'd come up against until he emailed me after the shoot. 

i'll share that whole conversation with you in a later patreon post (i have his blessing), but the main take-away for me was: only through conversation will we get out of this hellhole.


isn't this the point of progress? 

we figure it out. in real time.

to all the other men who worked on this project, off and on set: jordan, michael, gerald, edwin, steven, jack...your presence was not an accident. 

we will do this goddamn together, or it'll be very hard to get done.

it is a stark reminder that feminism is not "women's work". it is absolutely and unquestionably "everybody's work". 

if we do not unite and do it together, we are lost.

thank you, men.

..............

a word about race.

i put out a casting call through my channels (this patreon, my email list, facebook, twitter, etc) when we determined that we needed a LOT of women.

when we went through the submissions, were were frustrated (but not surprised) to find there were almost no women of color. my demographic skews white. so i posted to the internet channels that were were looking specifically for women of color to take part in this video. my friend coco here, who is one of my close friends, and a brilliant dancer, went out of her way and took hours out of her life to hunt down some performers who were women of color to get involved. she's a shero.

around this time, some people gave me blowback on the net for being racist in my casting choices, because i specifically wanted to cast women of color. and seriously: fuck that. in the wake of that blowback, some of my fans who were women of color stood up and said they'd be proud to be involved. all of them: sheros. all of these things only came together because people helped me. coco, my fans, the people who spread the word for me. 

thank you to all of them.


what i said above about the men applies here, too. 

everything intersects, everyone has to get on board, and i'd rather do a clumsy job of trying to everyone together into one life-raft than die nailed to a cross on an island of carefulness.

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here are some more shots from the day.

our incredible gaffer, alexa harris, with lisa (steadicam) on the right:

coco led us in a warm-up outside the church. did i mention we shot this in the rectory of an episcopalian church? we did.

photo by hayley rosenblum

photo by hayley rosenblum

a good story: when we were warming up, natalie (the producer) flagged me down and told me that we probably ought to move inside because she could see the episcopalian minister of our location-church across the street, eyeing us and reaching for her cell phone. i immediately had visions of our entire shoot getting shut down because we’d decided to go off-agreement and plant a group of half-naked women doing weird movements and sounds in the courtyard in front of a church in brooklyn. 

an hour later the church co-ordinator told me that the minister had come onto the set, watched us rehearsing the group-sing-along, and was so inspired by what we were creating that she - the minister herself - wanted to invite us to please come PERFORM the song IN THE CHURCH as a part of series they run to empower women.

PROGRESS IS HAPPENING.

here's the make-up and hair room:

the crew, watching a take:

photo by hayley rosenblum

alexa looking at lighting:

photo by hayley rosenblum

the real world outside:

about to rehearse...

photo by hayley rosenblum

jasmine & me, leading the performers in a choral rehearsal...

photo by hayley rosenblum

photo by hayley rosenblum

..............

i asked the cast and crew if they had any words to share. 

their words are below.

this is from natalie galazka, the powerforce who produced the video:

“What I could not have been prepared for was the depth of the experience and the pure magic that filled the old mansion beside the church in Brooklyn that Sunday of our shoot. Watching Amanda and Jasmine lead the 50 beautiful cast members in a passionate choral rehearsal of the song, the presence that each of the cast and crew offered to the shoot, and the very fact that every single crew member made mention of how grateful they were to be involved in something so meaningful...we made something that day, with our bodies and our hearts.”

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this is from jasmine power - my co-singer-sister (you can find more of her work here):

"As we directed the chorus members through our song chorus, I felt this overwhelming emotion come  over me as I gazed into the eyes of each and every woman singing along.  There were moments while  watching the monitors where I felt shudders of pain and sparks of excitement run through my entire body. The day felt powerful, dark, fearless and then light when I would respond to a grateful smile  of another woman on set, as she would say 'thank you for writing this'. I hope my children will watch this video one day and be relieved that times have changed."  

me and jasmine rehearsing on the set:

photo by hayley rosenblum

(if you're a patron, good news: i cut together one of the alternate takes of me and jasmine singing the song - which was footage we wound up not using for the final cut of the video - and made it into a separate video cut for patrons only. i'll send it out in a few days with more words. it's really powerful in its own way.)

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more, from the cast:


“Through the tears, I sang as loud as I could for all women across time. What a chilling, moving and oh so empowering experience. We stand strong, together.”  
Hanna-lee Sakakibara
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“At 49, I thought I was immune, but no. Breastless, facedown, alongside my husband in couples massage, I was sexually assaulted. First time since gang rape at 19. Men of this country, shut up and step up.”
Melanie Testa

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“Sweating and screaming and running and repeating carved through parts of me that have been stagnated and congealed for ages. Trauma runs deep in this body. So does connection and creation. I bonded and felt and lived. Since the shoot I've written new songs. I've cried, a lot. I've made choices. I've changed. Healing and integration are happening.”
Vie I. Paula
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“We didn't lip sync - we sang our fucking guts out. The energy in the room was palpable and radiant - strong enough to move fear and shatter the emotional entrenchment, the forced compartmentalization and the shame. This wasn't just a video production – this was change happening at the most fundamental level.”
Alex Woodhouse

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"(Me): one of the few (older) ladies in identical white shirts in the room filled with energy and emotion  --of experience unique and universal our own or (of another)--the vulnerability of little girls and the spirit of women."
Suzie Sims-Fletcher

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"Women are a force. I'm glad to be one of them. Also glad to witness the presence of a strong sisterhood that gives ZERO fucks about codling the fragility of toxic, misogynistic, white/black/purple/green and all the male colors in between, the seen and unseen. We're calling a ripe, wet, hardy bullshit."
Melanie G

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"Walking into the shoot I had no idea how much it might impact me.  It was the gift of seeing and being seen by others. I think that is what it means to be human and to heal, instead of being 'objects' for a system to use."
Heather

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"Women need camaraderie and support with and from one another and the space that we created on that day exemplified the beautiful nature that comes from empowerment. I hope this video will reach many women out in the world and help you know that you are not alone."
Delaine Dobbs

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photo by stephanie zakas

"I tend to be very stoic in public, and only allow myself to drop that wall when I am alone. For the first time in a very long time, surrounded by so many incredible humans, I dropped my wall.  I let myself feel.  I let myself feel all of the things that have happened to me.  I let myself get angry about it.  I let myself scream.  I let myself cry.  For the first time in a long time, I felt safe."
EJ Baker

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"I am an intersectional feminist and artist. I articulate from the feminist perspective in my work. I'm always looking for projects with feminist intentions, so I was excited to be a part of 'Mr. Weinstein Will See You Now."'For me, this video with Amanda encapsulates a moment in time when the glass ceiling cracked a little more under the pressure of #MeToo. I had just moved to New York two days prior to this shoot, and doing this project amongst a cohort of powerful people was symbolic for me of a new beginning in the right time and place. I felt I hadn't landed in a random city but in a deliberate community. Every person at the shoot chose equality, kindness and creativity as a community. Imagine if we kept community going like this post-Weinstein? (You can find my poetry online at mariahkatz.com)."
Mariah Katz

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"There is nothing like the feeling of raw feminine energy coming together to make a statement. It is often hard to stand up alone. This was a project of love, strength and magic. I am grateful to have been a part of it."
Gravity, Queen of Love and Hope

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"It felt really special sharing energy, feeling, stories and love...
As a tired mother of 2 small girls I felt more energized after 48 hours of working with these lovely ladies in a small space."

Adi Mayan 

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“Choosing to get naked on camera is always a big happy fuck you to the horrific ‘purity culture’ I was raised in, which pits women against each other and shames them for virtually everything.”
Miriam Pultro


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“Women are powerful. Women working together are unstoppable.”
Bex Odorisio

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UN. 

STOPPABLE.

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THE CAST/CREDITS:  

Core Performers:  

Ching-I Chan
Alison Clancy
Natalie Deryn Johnson
Melanie Greene
Jil Guyon
Celeste Hastings
Kenya Joy
Gibson Dages
Juvelier Keates
Coco Karol
Ronell Kit
Adi Or Kfir
Hanna-Lee Sakakibara
Seana Steele
Sarah Wollschlager  

Chorus Performers:  

Giada Maria
Aracri Alicia Aswat
EJ Baker
Lily Balatincz
Heather Banieviiz
Aleda Bliss
Alexandria Boddie
Delaine Dobbs
Mickie Garcia
Oihana Garde
Ariel Guidry
Amy Hope
Suzie Sims-Fletcher
Lindsay Katt
Mariah Katz
Jasmine Vivian Knight
Olivia Lopez
Rebecca Odorisio
Amanda Palmer
Vie Paula
Rosalie Perez
Jasmine Power
Miriam Pultro
Manasvi Sridhar
Heather Stevenson
Alexi Tasanaprasert
Elana Tee
Melanie Testa
Olivia TuPartie
Ania Upstill
Alex Woodhouse  

THE CREW:  

Director - Noemie Lafrance
Producer - Natalie Galazka
Director of Photography - Michael Belcher
Editor - Kara Blake
Art Director - Delaney Rath
Make-Up - Stacy Skinner
Hair - Gerald Decock
Wardrobe - Ashlee Muhammed
Steadicam - Lisa Sene
1st AD - Anna Swando
2nd AD - Ashleigh Bell
Camera Assistants - Steven Tong & Jack Baldwin
Gaffer - Alexa Harris
Colorist - Francis Hanneman
Art Assistant - Jess Costa
Make-Up Assistant - Aja Allen
Hair Assistant - Lily Scheff
Production Assistants - Jes Norris, Edwin Villanueva, & India Sebastian

and without these folks, nothing: 

my team: Michael McComiskey, Hayley Rosenblum, & Jordan Verzar, Nick Rizzuto & Brittney Bomberger. i love all y'all. thank you for your tireless work to get this project out.

here's michael, working in the "office" that he and hayley set up on the third floor of the church space. 

here's the sink behind him. just so you get the vibe of the space we were shooting in when it wasn't all dressed up like a hotel....

(photos by hayley)

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here's the artwork & link for the original single. you can download it at bandcamp HERE, and 100% of the profits will go to the TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund, which provides subsidized legal support to those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace.

https://amandapalmer.bandcamp.com/track/mr-weinstein-will-see-you-now-2 

if you belong to the patreon (espcially if you're new and you missed it), the codes to download the song are here.


photo by coco karol.

...........

that's it, my loves.

may we all get through this together.

i love you.

i see you.

i believe you.

let's do this.

xx

a


------THE NEVER-ENDING AS ALWAYS---------

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