I Confuse Us
: An Interview

A look into the music video collaboration between Caitlin Cobb-Vialet & Alex Bush on Caitlin’s debut single “I Confuse Us”

By Cita



Alex Bush, Director

“There were lots of goals I had coming into this video, one of the largest being introducing the breadth of Caitlin’s spiritual essence as she launches this massive body of work. It’s a first impression for what we hope is a long life of artistic conversation with her listeners, and I wanted them to attach to her both immediately and authentically. I also wanted to visually dance with what I found so striking in the song: a succinct, brutal humor coping with a destructive emotionality.

The concept came after hours of bouncing research back and forth: mostly discussing personas, clowning, and the futile, addictive act of trying to become what you believe your partner wants. Watched a lot of Bergman, make-up ads, and psychedelic horror during that time. I landed on this performance of the full life of a relationship in dream-logic time. We were obsessed with photos of people kissing mirrors, and I became fascinated with its ability to transform into something more grotesque and bodied. I think one of the essences the glass contact explores is the returning to the self that happens when the fantasy of becoming someone else has nowhere else to grow.

Then we worked with our fantastic team of DP Alli Gooch and production designer Benny Pitt to ensure that this environment can be both luscious and then clinical without any cuts, moves, or lighting shifts. We did seven takes over three hours at the end of a two-day shoot. Most of the time was spent deep cleaning the plexiglass. Caitlin’s magic trick was always honing in on the love.”

Caitlin Cobb-Vialet

How did you come up with the concept for the music video?

How did you come up with the concept for the music video?
It was mostly Alex’s concept, I initially was envisioning kissing myself in the mirror, and they ran with that idea casting the viewer as the other (the reflection). The kiss became a reveal/glorious failure that’s fully visible to the audience. I gave Alex a lot of creative liberties and my trust in them paid off!

Was it difficult to translate the song to visuals?

“I enjoyed the freedom of having the music video visuals not be a literal interpretation of the song. Alex and Benny Pitt (the production designer) compiled a bunch of research and we started understanding the intersection of our aesthetics as artists, which was important to me cause I wanted everyone on the team to feel excited about it. We also discovered the visual world of I Confuse Us as we went.”

Starting out as a theater performer, how was performing for this music video different?

“Initially the camera was like one singular incredibly judgmental audience member who I imagined could see every one of my human flaws. I never liked getting my photo taken, but I do like direct address and establishing a relationship with the camera like it’s my scene partner, so that is how I pushed past the feeling of exposure.”

Your song is personal and emotional and the music video seems to explore this as well. Was this an emotional journey for you personally? do you feel that the music video follows the emotional journey of the song?  Please explain this process and how it felt for you to explore the song deeper into visuals.

“Writing the song helped me process the surreal experience I had getting to know and understand myself again after abandoning myself in an effort to hang on to someone I loved. To me the song says I wanna fight for myself again. I’m really glad the music video isn’t simply beautiful, it’s kind of disturbing and uncomfortable and that’s real.”

This is all one take!! Explain how that was!!

“We did so many takes. I can be a perfectionist in artistic settings, and after each take that wasn’t working I was rushing to begin the next one. Alex had to be like, “take a second, breathe, you don’t have to keep running up against a wall” etc. I was getting really frustrated and then I finally cried a little and then we did The Take.”

You’ve known Alex Bush from Playwrights and clearly have collaborated in the past. ( I assume!)   How was creating this with Alex as the director, and how was this different from other projects you have worked on with them? Was it helpful to have someone as a guide through this process ?

“I hadn’t worked with Alex as a director before, but I had a feeling we would work together eventually cause there was mutual admiration of each others work. They made everything so easy for me, and immediately saw me/the song with a startling amount of clarity. Not only are they as professional and communicative (rare) they let me get frustrated and be scattered and they cried when things were magical - they were right there with me in terms of emotional availability.”

Why was this song chosen as your debut single ? What made you choose this song in particular for a music video?

It’s one of my more recently written songs so it represents where I am right now as a songwriter. It’s also somewhere in between hilarious and heartbreaking, and it’s one of the weirder compositions of mine so I wanted to let people know right off the bat that I’m not gonna be following traditional song structure rules. Jim Greer’s production work on the song makes it feel epic to me, I didn’t even question whether it should be a music video I was just like when and how?

How do you feel now that it is done! What is next for you! :)

I’m so proud. “Not A Child” is the next song and music video being released from my “curtain!” EP. It is ridiculous and wacky and more up beat, I think it will keep everyone on their toes.