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Supreme

Pupil's "20/20" Vision

- Ramon De Veyra -

MANILA, Philippines - The new Pupil music video, for their current single “20/20,” is out now and already charting on MYX. Directed by the handsome and dashing Jason Tan (not the MMA fighter), who’s directed previous videos for both Pupil and Ely Buendia’s solo work with Francis M, the video plays like an extended version of that dream sequence from Vanilla Sky where the typically busy streets of New York are starkly, horrifyingly empty. Except here, when it’s an empty vision of the usually jam-packed EDSA, it’s a serene, longed-for sight.

“That was great, seeing an empty EDSA,” says Erwin Romulo, one of the video’s many producers (alongside Day Cabuhat, Diane Ventura, Mads Adrias, RockED, and Lyle Sacris). “It reminded me of those shots in [Danny Boyle’s] 28 Days Later where they show the deserted, abandoned M1.”

Director Tan and production house Furball (with which he has a long and fruitful relationship) shot the video over Holy Week, when traffic was at a minimum, and with the support and help of MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino. “MMDA officers would block traffic for two-minute intervals,” says Tan. “The length of your average traffic light stop. I’m really glad we had them with us; we couldn’t have done this video without the help from the MMDA.”

If this were a real Pupil gig there’d be a lot more people. Photo by Mads Adrias

Added to this are some very interesting-looking gadgets and contraptions, courtesy of production designer Gabriel Barredo. That’s right, the Gabriel Barredo, the internationally-renowned kinetic artist Gabriel Barredo. The Gabriel Barredo whose inventions, last time they appeared in a music video, was back in 1992, for Michael Jackson’s “Remember The Time.” You may have seen it.

These gadgets are typical Barredo, full of whimsy and texture and detail that you don’t find much these days. They look like they walked off the set of one of Terry Gilliam’s more surreal fever dreams, or one of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s early films, when he was still working with Marc Caro.

Buendia and the band perform in force at the tail-end of the video, which through careful editing maintains the illusion of empty streets, until the very last shot, where the world is revealed around the frame, and the curtain is pulled.

Buendia and the eerily empty EDSA. Photo by Gerhard Bandiola

BUENDIA

DANNY BOYLE

DAY CABUHAT

DAYS LATER

DIANE VENTURA

DIRECTOR TAN

ERWIN ROMULO

GABRIEL BARREDO

MADS ADRIAS

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