Director of Photography
A Look Behind the Music & Video
Written by: Jamie Brown
Take a dreamlike journey through a relationship in this music video collaboration featuring music by Houston-based composer and producer, David Stükenberg, and starring Krista Zozulia, a Chicago-based dance artist and choreographer. Inspired by the moment when you aren’t sure a relationship is working out and the soul-searching that follows, this video explores a relationship in reverse, reflecting on the beauty and fragility of a relationship at its most critical point.
Rollerskates is a departure from Stükenberg’s usual style. He describes it as his first song written with a stream-of-consciousness approach. It captures the overwhelming thoughts and raw emotions that take hold when you realize a relationship isn’t working and the bittersweet experience of reliving the memories, both good and bad, that led to that moment.
(Photo of Leeway Films Director Ryan Schwalm filming dance artist Krista Zozulia)
At the end of a relationship that once felt like a dream come true, time takes on a visceral quality. You tend to move backward in your thoughts, likely thinking of the scars first, the worst moments, many of which are still fresh, before you get to the good memories, and then continue all the way back in your mind to the day you met.
We wanted to bring the nature of that experience to life in the music video, and since the song is unique and soliloqual, we wanted to do it in a highly personal and original way by having it interpreted through dance.
It’s an inner battle that is familiar for many of us. There are moments in every relationship where you feel like it’s the end, but maybe it isn’t. It could be the real beginning, and you could just be caught in your own head, but it’s still a critical moment.
We’ve worked with David on several commercial projects in the past, and when the opportunity arose for us to collaborate on a purely creative project, we couldn’t have been more excited. Our creative similarities are undeniable and this project was no exception.
The Beatles-esq buildup at the beginning of this song was on our collective minds, but it took a while for either of us to bring it up, and through that experience we realized that we need to be complety open because we are on the same page and ignite each others’ ideas.
We’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with many talented artists and have enjoyed each and every experience, but it’s rare to find such a perfect creative match.
(Photo of David Stükenburg, Music Composer & Producer)
(Photo of Leweay Films Director Ryan Schwalm and 1st Assistant Camera Matt Williams)
In the same vein, we are thrilled to have met and worked with Krista Zouzulia, whose interpretive approach to dance allows individual particularity to thrive, challenging the rational and overly-cognitive, focusing on the inward pardox that compels us toward—or in some cases away from—each other.
Our director, Ryan Schwalm, wanted creative collaboration on as many levels as possible. He took Krista through the emotional journey her character was experiencing, but gave her the space to explore that through dance. She took the information and choreographed her interpretation of the story, which is what you see on-screen.
This video was filmed over the summer of 2019 and we have many Chicago creatives to thank for its existence, which we have acknowledged in the credits. Thank you all for taking this journey with us, and we look forward to our next project together.
Exclusive Chat with Stükenberg & Ryan Schwalm
Stükenberg and the director of Rollerskates Ryan Schwalm chat on the making of the music video, the meaning behind the song and how terrifying early Disney movies were in this very special edition of “voice memos”!
(Album artwork by Lizzy Szwaya)