Director Kimberly Stuckwisch Boosts Women in Music Production for Bose

Burning the midnight oil with H.E.R., WondaGurl, PinkPantheress and BLOND:ISH

H.E.R., WondaGurl, PinkPantheress and BLOND:ISH—four leading artists and producers—shine a light on the outrageous gender gap in music production for Bose with "Turn the Dial." The visually vibrant initiative reveals that only 2.8 percent of popular songs from the last decade were produced by women. 

After receiving a loose concept and a list of talent from creative collective Partners in Crime, director Kimberly Stuckwisch brought on writer Chelsea Marshall to develop the script. The resulting spot features music written and arranged by H.E.R., with additional production by WondaGurl.

"Partners in Crime were really great with allowing us freedom," says Stuckwisch, who is represented by Scheme Engine. "They were open to our ideas."

Stuckwisch and her crew, including production designer Pili Weeber, developed four visually distinct environments for the artists to inhabit while making music and talking about their work as producers. "Each environment is specific to either the sound of the artist, the feeling their music gives, or something based in their history," the director says.

H.E.R. appears in a Venice, Calif., house with a home studio for a "nice, earthy, organic" feel, Stuckwisch says. “Her music has that vibe to it."

PinkPantheress sits on the floor of a dorm room created on a soundstage. "When she first started, she would create music at night alone in her dorm when people were sleeping," Stuckwisch explains.

"For WondaGurl, it was, 'What would it look like to produce outside of a burger joint?'" says Stuckwisch, who shows the artist perched atop at table near Jim's Burgers.

BLOND:ISH also appears outdoors, making music in he trunk of a car parked at Dockweiler State Beach near L.A. “We built a little DJ setup inside of the Porsche," Stuckwisch says, in part because BLOND:ISH is known for outdoor mixing sounds into her tracks.

Stuckwisch avoided placing any of the artists in traditional studios. "We wanted to come across with the message: You can be a producer anywhere, anytime. You can take your headphones, you can take your computer, you can produce from anywhere."

That said, Stuckwisch built a small recording chamber in H.E.R.'s house for the shoot. In the video, the artist walks between the jagged edges of that set. "That’s kind of showing the old and new way [of recording]," the director says. "It's like she's leaving the past and stepping into the future. Leaving his sterile, cold environment and entering this more floral, organic space, which is representative of a new wave."

All of the setups in "Turn the Dial" were shot after the sun went down. "A lot of these producers had talked about creating at night. As a creator, I write a lot at night," Stuckwisch says. "I find myself coming alive when everything else kind of slows down."

Filming at night also allowed Stuckwisch and DP Zoë Simone-Yi to utilize lighting to set the mood and punctuate key moments. "Light represents power in the spot, and the light comes on because of the sounds they are making," Stuckwisch says.

Each environment has multiple forms of illumination. H.E.R.'s house uses lamps. PinkPantheress' dorm room is decorated with string lights, and there's a desk lamp on the floor. WondaGurl basks in the neon glow of a Jim's Burgers sign. BLOND:ISH's car sits beneath a parking-lot light pole (the only one turned on), and spacey illumination radiates from the trunk.

While assigning each environment specific lighting tones, Stuckwisch and Simone-Yi made sure the overall color palette stayed within a given range, creating connection between each artist.

The transitions between the scenes also link the talent, and Stuckwisch credits Simone-Yi with devising some clever camera moves. "You'll see a barrel roll on the Bose logo where the camera does a full 180. She was instrumental in thinking of ideas like that."


Agency: Partners in Crime
Head of Entertainment: Jennifer Zaitz Sutherlin
Head of Brand: Allie Kupec Close
Creative Director: Danna Takako

Production Company: Scheme Engine
Director: Kimberly Stuckwisch
Director of Photography: Zoë Simone-Yi
Production Designer: Pili Weeber
Executive Producer: Jannie McInnes
Producer: Megan Gutman

Edit & Post House: Consulate
Editor: Holle Singer
Producer: Lindsay Bane Hemphill

Color Studio: Ethos Studio
Colorist: Kaitlyn Battistelli

Christine Champagne
Muse contributor Christine Champagne is a writer based in NYC.

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