The Talented Women in Front of and Behind the Camera of “Jaklyn: Syrup”

Talented women have always been involved in the entertainment industry. A main difference between the past and the present is that women are currently creating the message that they are presenting; involved at every level. There’s an implied commitment for any artist working on a creation that they believe deeply in. Producer Nanako Fukui has worked behind the scenes on films, commercials, and nearly every type of production that you can think of within the industry but her work on the music video for Jaklyn’s “Jaklyn: Syrup” shows her collaboration with a number of other acclaimed female creatives to support a story most authentically told by a woman. Working closely with Director Yuito Kimura (known for Netflix’s A Taiwanese Tale of Two Cities – nominated for 6 Golden Bell Awards) and Jaklyn (aka Jackie Scherer), “Syrup” is an insightful perspective into the modern female experience in society told through hypnotizing music and mesmerizing visuals. “Jaklyn: Syrup” is obviously resonating loudly with the music and arts community as evidenced by its status as an Official Selection at the World Music&Independent Film Festival, HipHop Music & Video Film Festival, Orlando Film Festival (including a nomination), and nominations at The Nova Fest for Best Experimental, Visual Effects, and Best Music Video.

The message of “Jaklyn: Syrup” the video was conceived of at the same time as the song. Jaklyn wanted to communicate in “Syrup” the way in which men have brainwashed women to lead roles in society that were designed by males. Her vision was to have the video to feature her locked in a hospital from which there was no escape. Beyond this, it was up to the producer and director to conceptualize how to present this scenario on film and add the emotional tone of the song. Director Yuito Kimura and Producer Fukui decided that using a cinemagaph technique which presents certain moving parts with a frozen quality would most accurately infuse an uncomfortable and unrealistic tone into the visual story. The idea was to place the audience inside Jaklyn’s state of mind and feel the uneasiness and conflict taking place within her. This is easily stated as a concept but manifesting this on film is a much more demanding prospect. Nanako describes,“The most difficult part was when we were filming the scene in which the syrup drips on Jacklyn’s face. In order to achieve cinemagraph in this shot, Jacklyn was not allowed to move at all.  Unlike water or liquid, the syrup was extremely hard to control while pouring on her face. The cinemagraph technique required her to freeze while the syrup was dripping on her face so that the editor could mask out her face and separate her from the syrup in post. If she moved, the separation became recognizable and wouldn’t turn out well. Before we shot this, we used water to rehearse how the water drips her face and made her get used to that feeling that the liquid on her face so she wouldn’t be surprised and moved when we shot with the actual syrup.” This special effect technique expanded the other elements which instill the contrast to reality essential to the tone of this music video short.

“Jaklyn: Syrup” is much more than a musical creation by a talented artist: it’s a declaration. Ultimately, isn’t this the essence of what we love about artists? They are the loud passionate voices who amplify the call to change. If there was no truth or support to what they profess, these ideas would simply fade away. Producer Nanako Fukui notes, “As a producer, I treat all of my projects the same. Sometimes I have a personal connection to the project and sometimes I don’t. This doesn’t mean that I rank my projects. For example, Jacklyn’s message hit me very hard because I was feeling the exact same as her and seeing Jacklyn speak up really inspired me as a woman. When I heard Jaklyn’s message, I felt the same way because I went to a conservative Catholic school and I was raised and told to act like a woman, the kind of female figure that society wanted. I went to that school for nine years and I was always questioning myself about why I had to act the same way that others acted and why I had to act like a quiet and modest woman rather than an independent one. I didn’t understand why society pressured me to become a type of person that I didn’t want to be and I didn’t understand why women are treated unfairly in the society. Standing up and speaking about this message was scary and challenging but I really respected Jacklyn’s courageous in doing so.”

Writer : Angela Cooper

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