Film Code Odessa: “Winter Keeps Us Warm”
An amazing sequence showing a female astronaut trying to escape a maze of tunnels. It’s all about “Winter Keeps Us Warm”, the video clip which was shoted in Odessa for Black Orchid Empire by Alina Gordienco.
Continuing on in the Film Code series the second music video directed by Alina Gordienco is ‘Winter Keeps Us Warm’ by the British alternative rock band Black Orchid Empire.
In life we end up in a labyrinth of our own making in our minds
The filming locations of the clip is set primarily in the historical Fine Arts Museum in Odessa, specifically the grotto below the palace and features Juliya Ovcharenko as an astronaut. The music video plot developed organically from the overall sci-fi theme of the bands’ Sophomore album and further cinematic influence was driven by the mind-bending motion picture 2001: Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick. Wearing an authentic spacesuit lent from Odessa Film Studios, Juliya Ovcharenko finds herself lost in the subterranean cavern space, which bears resemblance to an unknown alien landscape. The mysterious nature of the environment is juxtaposed alongside the sonorous melodies of the track and as Juliya traverses deeper into the tunnels, the strange essence of the scene echoes.
The slowed footage and red strobe lights add to the unsettling feel and it is only upon walking through an unexpected door that some detail is revealed. Speaking to Alina Gordienco, oftentimes “in life we end up in a labyrinth of our own making in our minds”, the meaning of which is reflected in the labyrinth sequence of the video.
The last shot of the clip unveils the face of an older woman, alluding to the ambiguous nature of this planetary realm whether this was all in the astronauts mind or if the viewer had witnessed some kind of gravitational time dilation. This sense of lapsed time is what Alina Gordienco felt reflected how day-to-day “we don’t notice how our life flies and we don’t find ourselves in the moment”.
Winter Keeps Us Warm is a huge song for us. We wanted to do something super melodic that still maintained the complexity and heaviness we love. Balancing the two helped us craft a track that is so much fun to play. Lyrically it continues exploring the Sci-Fi ideas shared by all the songs on Semaphore.Paul Visser, Black Orchid Empire guitarist and singer
For Alina Gordienco and her team, the importance of shooting at the Odessa Fine Arts Museum stemmed from the rich history of the palace, as well as the museum housing over 10,000 pieces of famous artwork. Having been built in the 1820’s, the monument had various owners throughout its time including Seweryn Potocki and Grigorios Marazli, before finally being purchased and donated to the state by Gregory Marazli in 1899. The neo-classical and opulent design of the palace displays the height of 19th century Ukrainian architecture, whilst below ground the grotto includes a man-made waterfall which leads to the coast.
Speaking to Alina Gordienco, the unusual environment of this subterranean lair is what drew her to the site and the combined scenes of Black Orchid empire that were shot in London, attest to the collaborative nature of the project. The final song premiered at the 02 Arena in 2019, when Black Orchid Empire opened for the well known UK rock band Skunk Anansie, led by the fabulous singer Skin. In London the video was met with a great reception and viewers in particular noticed the unique location of the underground grotto space. For Alina Gordienco, being able to represent Odessa a second time on an international stage is always an uplifting experience, as well as her being “happy the band is happy with it too”.
“Winter Keeps Us Warm” is taken from the new Black Orchid Empire album “Semaphore” released June 12th, 2020.
Director – Alina Gordienco
Cinematographer – Vadim Dusman
Producer – Alina Gordienco
Executive Producer – Vadim Dusman
Performance Videographer – Jay Hillyer
Featuring – Juliya Ovcharenko
Editor/Colourist – Maxim Denysenko
Produced By – Saturn 8, Bazooka production
Gaffer – Nykola Bulavsky
1 AC – Sasha Chernov
2 AC – Vyacheslav Shevchenko
Production Designer – Alina Gordienco
MUA – Tetiana Mikhnevych
Production Manager – Mikhail Sorvachev
Key Grip – Anton Lysykh
Best Boy – Andrew Tishchenko
Band Hair and Makeup – Jo Sugar
Music – Black Orchid Empire