Rob Ulitski - 19th Aug 2020

Bruno Chiecco directs a painterly, contemplative music video for Gabi Garbutt's Notes From The Undergrowth. 

Shot on 16mm as London was coming out of lockdown in July, the video is a transcendent exploration of isolation and routine, and the ways in which we cope when alone. 

Focusing on multiple character vignettes, the narrative is abstract and uniquely structured, encapsulating a series of emotions and an overarching mood as opposed to a straightforward story.


This film is very personal in a way, because most of these characters ended up representing parts of myself.

“I believe that feelings of isolation and alienation are intrinsic to the human condition, meaning that we’re all bound to experience these at some point in our lives. These are not necessarily bad emotions, and I think a lot of good can come out of these introspective moments. It’s about seeing the positives within the difficult situations and on my first listen to Gabi’s Notes From the Undergrowth I felt that the track does exactly that, navigating beautifully between notions of melancholy and hopefulness, isolation and growth.

"We came up with the treatment just as we were coming out of lockdown and even though we didn’t specifically want to make a ‘lockdown video’, the idea that we have collectively just experienced an isolation that we’d normally experience alone was a great source of inspiration.

"This film is very personal in a way, because most of these characters ended up representing parts of myself, both in general and during lockdown. Whether I was constantly staring at the contents of my refrigerator out of boredom, taking ridiculously long baths, or incessantly writing in a personal diary, I’d often wonder what other people were doing with their long days during their own self-isolation.

"Even though some of the characters do have a minimal storyline, the idea was simply to create a mosaic of humans experiencing aloneness, each in their own little way. We wanted the pacing to be quite still and contemplative, so we looked to 17th century paintings and tableaux photography for visual inspiration.”


“Bruno and I are longtime collaborators. During the lockdown we were itching to shoot a project that spoke to us and could keep our passionate juices flowing. Bruno chose a track from our friend Gabi’s album that inspired him, and came up with the concept. We shot the video during the end of the lockdown phase with a cast and crew of our friends and frequent collaborators.

"We chose 16mm for how it captured the nostalgia and painterly quality that Bruno was after. We shot on a mixture of 7219, 7213 and 7207 that I had in my fridge.”

PRO Credits


DirectorBruno Chiecco
ProducerBruno Chiecco
ProducerLorenzo Levrini
Production ManagerJens Klit Nielsen
Director of PhotographyLorenzo Levrini
Focus PullerAnil Duru
Production AssistantDagmara Plazewska
Focus PullerNacho Guzman
Clapper LoaderAnastasiya Cherkasyuk
Clapper LoaderSantiago Gonzalez Gomez
GafferJames Duffy
Art DirectorNicola Bell
EditorThom Humphreys
Film LaboratoryCinelab Film and Digital
Other creditsCast: Gabi Garbutt, Chris Brambley, Dagmara Plazewska, Damian Schedler Cruz, Becksy Becks, Pip Phillips, Dan Fatel, Matt Harvey, Celine Abrahams, Magda Goncalves, Helene Gregersen Equipment By: Focus 24 & Josh White Film Stock By: Kodak Film Processing: Andy Hudson, Lab Manager at Cinelab London Film Scanning: Paul Dean, Head Of Grading at Cinelab London Film Lab Producer: Aarti Mahtani Special Thanks: Focus 24, Josh White, Cinelab London, Pixipixel, Phoebe Deeprose, Andy Daly

Rob Ulitski - 19th Aug 2020

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