FEATURE: Alae – Hit Me Where It Hurts (Dir. Various)

For a song so pointedly about heartbreak and separation, the choice to accompany it with an anthological video combining the separate shorts of five different directors makes an already unique idea even more interesting. Then on top of that, the twist that none of the directors knew what any of the others were doing takes it to a whole new level. Alae vocalist Alex Farrell Davey reminisces on the inception of the idea for the ‘Hit Me Where It Hurts’ video: “We presented a pretty out there concept to this group of directors and amazingly all of them agreed to pick a story-line out of a hat to create their of video, which forms their section of the final clip.”

Alae – Hit Me Where It Hurts

That feeling of almost-serendipity is carried through the video, as each of the five directors present their takes on the song, all circling around this theme of heartbreak with varying levels of realism. Beginning with Charlotte Evans’ intimate meditation on solitude, into Alexander Gandar’s series of Farrell Davey completely bereft and catatonic, to Petra Cibilich’s emotive dissection of a relationship through expressive action, to Greg Page’s cathartic and charged performance segment, and finally Chris Graham’s depiction of a literally broken-hearted Farrell Davey attempting to exist in a social setting.

Alae – Hit Me Where It Hurts

Alae’s manager and the video’s producer, Mikee Carpinter, recalls those early days of production fondly: “We got everyone together at our managers office and asked their opinions on how to do it – should they all know what the other was doing for instance. The consensus was to do it blindly. The cool thing about those directors is they all have their own aesthetic. So, let’s not tell them that we need to do something that matches another person’s work. We put the bits of the song into a hat and Alex passed it around the room and everyone pulled their own part out. Some were happy, some weren’t, so a little bit of swapping went on. Charlotte (Evans) loves doing long intros, so she swapped with Alexander (Gandar) who got the chorus. The only thing agreed on from the outset was that each would start on a tight shot of Alex and finish on a tight shot of Alex. That gave us a cutting point for each segment.”


Alae – Hit Me Where It Hurts

Even with the planned and structured edit points, there was still a huge job ahead when it came to the cut, to take these five separate pieces and make them a whole cohesive unit. Carpinter explains: “The edit was probably the most stressful part! As we got the different parts delivered to us and we started putting them together, it was a scary but at the same time fulfilling process, when we saw it was going to work and that yes maybe we have pulled this off. We did end up swapping the original first (Greg Page) and second (Alexander Gandar) choruses around which made more sense keeping the energy up throughout.”

Alae – Hit Me Where It Hurts

An incredibly ambitious project that has come together so well, where each of the five takes would’ve certainly been an incredible stand alone video, is instead a rich pastiche of styles and diverse stories, that represents the incredible talent the NZ film scene has to offer. As Carpinter sums it up: “We wanted to see how different directors would interpret the song visually with having their own small part to create. The reason we asked these five directors was because the band loved the aesthetic of their previous videos. They are all great story tellers and create cinematic style clips. We were very lucky everyone was on board.”

Here is the official video for ‘Hit Me Where It Hurts’

Music Video Credits

Directors – Charlotte Evans, Alexander Gandar, Petra Cibilich, Greg Page, Chris Graham Producer – Mikee Carpinter Art: Alex Matthews DOP: Clayton Carpinter

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