Still from 'Alpha Female' Wild Beasts Music Video
Alpha female is the new single released by Wild Beasts (UK Band), part of their 5th studio album, 'Boy King' through Domino Records. The film was shot in Bangalore, India. the video follows India’s first professional female skater, Atita Verghese, as well as skate collectives Girl Skate India and the Holystoked Skate Crew through the streets of Bangalore. The girls and women in “Alpha Female” are seen continually pushing themselves forward in the face of stereotypes and the male gaze throughout the video.
Directed by Sasha Rainbow, Sasha is a film director & creative director who moved into working with film in 2009, after working consecutively as a stylist, art director and photographer.
Sasha overlooking Bangalore
More about Sasha, Alpha Female and the idea that got all of this together;
I'm going to jump straight to 'How did the thought of the girl skaters in India (out of all places) even come to you for this video'?
My best friend works for skateistan, and so when I heard the song I immediately thought of her and what they are doing to empower young women. They told me about what was happening in india, and I thought with all its cinematic landscapes it would be an incredible place to shoot.
What was the immediate response you got to this idea? From friends, family, crew members video stars..
What the hell. Everyone loved it, and was amazed to learn that there is a growing skate scene in india, let alone girls jumping on for the ride.
What's the message you wanted to get across though this? Beyond the female empowerment wave.
I think the media is so responsible for the messages it puts out and in the current political climate people need to be reminded that there are incredible things going on, and if we focus on building up the people who are fighting for what's right, then it will create a wave of inspiration for others to pick up a board, so to speak.
Tell us more about the journey of finding the girl skate scene here and taking things forward.
It was the hardest, yet most fulfilling job I have ever done. I had never been to india so just tackling the environment was one thing. I arrived knowing of only two girls who skated, and by the end of it we were gathering most of the girl skaters from around india to come together to be part of the video. It couldn't have happened without the holystoked crew, who supported me through the whole journey, and welcomed us all into their world with open arms. I made memories for life, plus had the best birthday party ever with them.
Sasha and DOP Alex Jamin on the back on a rickshaw filming
The process of conceptualising the video, did it go as planned?
Ha! Nothing went as planned. I always storyboard my videos so I have a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve, but we had to throw it to the wind. For one thing, time seemed to slow down in india. At first I freaked out that we couldn't get everything done, but when I changed my mentality and went with the flow we managed to get the same amount done in 3 hours that would usually take me 8. It was a strange experience!
What's actually gone into making 'Alpha Female'? The time, crew, travel & other efforts.
This project was born about 5 months ago. I don't think there's anything I can say that would explain how hard everyone worked to make this happen. We had time constraints, money constraints, visas rejected, Indian customs to deal with...but the spirit of the video kept everyone going. I'm very proud that we persevered and pulled it off.