OUR MONTHLY FEATURE PIECE
A transformative music video, showcasing vulnerability and strength.
The story of The Trouble needs to be told. But it needs to be told in three parts.
Rewind to May 2018 and Pina Tuteri was helping out on a film set for Melbourne Indie Production, directed by her friend Lee Galea. As is Pina's nature, she would lend a hand to any and all who need it at the drop of a hat - and ask for nothing in return. Except perhaps the chance to sit and have a beer when you had the time.
In this particular instance, instead of a beer and a yarn as payment, Lee offered to shoot footage for a song she had written earlier in the year. A particularly personal song titled simply 'The Trouble'...
Beginning with the lyrics ''The trouble with waking up...'' which, in lamentable serendipity was to run parallel with events to come, Pina earnestly and simply sang to her audience about loneliness, longing and feelings of isolation. About the feeling of knowing things aren't right. About feeling isolated. About hope that this might change but with a vulnerability in the sense of not knowing in certainty that it would.
With the live recording of the footage complete, Pina put the song and the video away for over two years.
Fast forward to October 2020.
BiggerPictureAnimation received a message on facebook from Pina asking if it might be possible to create some animated visuals to accompany a music video she had recorded. (To read specifically about the animation and VFX created for The Trouble, click HERE...you massive nerd)
And so we met to talk through her idea - she wanted 'distractions' to keep the eye away from her, to draw focus and essentially hide behind. Without having seen the raw live footage I assured her we could do this and assumed the main point of the animated elements would be to hide mistakes or perhaps distract or fill in slow points. Pina was happy with this as a response and so, sent me a copy of the video.
I couldn't believe the absolute gold she presented to me. I watched the whole thing through at least 10 times the first time I got my hands on it.
Shot in one take. In one camera movement. Straight on, at eye level and starting in a medium Close-up. With only a single, well timed step toward the camera at exactly the right moment as the song rises to meet the penultimate climax where Pina lets her voice roar to full volume and the emotive punch of the song is delivered in full in the lyrics 'The Trouble with waking up, is knowing I'm not feeling right. Without someone to love, can I live this way? Something's got to change'. Before breaking down into an instrumental section containing what can only be described as the sweetest guitar licks, and coming full circle - finding the staging and Pina back in the same position as the beginning.
It was impossible to watch this and not feel the anguish and longing Pina sings about. The footage was powerful and engaging on it's own. Personally, I advised that some simple video editing, VFX, changing from black and white to full colour as a narrative device and use of graphic effects would pull all the punches she needed to compliment this clip - but she was adamant that animation be used to distract the focus from her to a point she was more comfortable with.
And so begun my task of bring her animated visuals to life. We tried many different version of her ideas and gradually as we worked and re-worked the ideas, she came to see that the clip stood firmly on it's own two feet. She scaled back the visuals. She stopped aiming for 'distraction' and 'drawing focus away' and begun to be proud of her raw and honest performance in the clip. She begun to see herself as we all see her. Talented. Whole. Amazing. And beautifully complex.
To watch my friend make those connections and become proud of her work, of herself - was, for me, transformative.
On Thursday 4th Dec 2020 Pina brought me a new computer chair because she has noticed mine was falling apart. And that's just the kind of person she is. I said I'd come around for a cuppa soon to thank her. In the meantime I had a few final, green-lit visuals to finish and the clip would be completed. I told her I would send her the final clip by the end of that weekend. She was so excited.
On Saturday 6th December as gale force winds lashed the east cost, Pina went into serious respiratory failure and had to be resuscitated from a sudden episode of cardiac arrest. She collapsed as she reached hospital and was put on life support, remaining in a medically induced coma for over a week.
She has not been able to see the final clip. Though her family have played it for her in hope that it will bring her comfort.
At present we continue to love her from afar as she recovers in ICU, her family by her side at all times.
It was on behalf of Pina Tuteri's friends and family that we released The Trouble, her new single from the Album - Gale Force Wind as she wanted on the 15 December 2020.
I believe you will understand the power of the video and Pina's performance when you see it. She is an intuitive artist and shares with her audience exactly what she sings about.
It is with great pride that I give you - The Trouble, by Pina Tuteri.
Please share her work. Scroll down to watch full clip.
A GoFundMe is live and we encourage donations as her recovery will be long and difficult. If you cannot donate, we ask that you share this information so that others might.
The Trouble is available for download and stream
Spotify - https://tinyurl.com/y2jbqwm8
iTunes - https://tinyurl.com/y4afmzg3
Video directed by Lee Galea
DOP - Bernard Winter
Director of Animation, VFX and Video Editing - Annie Murray - Bigger Picture Animation.
Recorded and produced by
Songwriting and vocals - Pina Tuteri
Guitars - David Bleus.
Bass - Andrew Haszard.
Drums - Nathan Tuffin
With huge thanks to the family members and friends of Pina - Daniela Acary, Tina Tuteri, Justin Smith, David Bleus, Petria Eaves, Glen Wee, Lee Galea, Anjo Flanjo Banjo, Bernard Winter, Nathan Tuffin, Andrew Haszard as well as the many, many supporters of her music that have come forward to share love with Pina.
Special thanks to Julian Smith for creating promotional write ups to accompany Pina’s work during the release period