Shot in New York City, Donnie Dix is a tribute to the brashness of the 80s. Directed by Sascha Taylor Larsen and produced by Oliver Finley, it is a parody of the type of naive self-obsession which characterised this period in our cultural history. The main character, played by Eli Cusick, embodies the absurdity of an era filled with excess. He represents a particular type of machismo coupled with a total lack of personal accountability. In just over three minutes, Donnie Dix’s character arc unfolds as he moves from total self-assurance to an increasing self-awareness, then the self-doubt which ultimately paralyses him.
Donnie Dix is a representation of the collective consciousness of the late 80s based on the films, music, literature and cultural references we have been brought up with. This playful mood is reflected through Josh Herzog’s cinematography, Alex Hass’ lighting and Alexia Salingaros’ colouring. The feeling of the late 80s is also portrayed through Alexandra Ruggieri’s production design, which was influenced by old 1980’s Ikea catalogues and postmodernist design. The styling choices of Gaby Sprenkle, who was inspired by iconic productions such as Miami Vice and The Lost Boys, also served to create the 80s vibe.
The singularity of this music video is that the whole concept stems from the lyrics, written by Taylor Larsen himself. These lyrics reflect a young man who exudes self-assurance, but underneath it all is riddled by self-doubt. Based on this vision, Taylor Larsen asked award-winning composer Eivind Hannisdal to create a sound reminiscent of Jan Hammer’s Miami Vice soundtrack but filled with irony. Hannisdal recreates an authentic 80s sound with live musicians and Taylor Larsen’s humorous lyrics are further exaggerated by this use of the 80s sound.
Donnie Dix is currently touring across the international awards circuit, with the first screening taking place at the Academy Award® qualifying Norwegian Short Film Festival in Grimstad between June 8 – 12, 2022.
About Sascha Taylor Larsen
Sascha was born in Oslo, Norway to Jamaican-Canadian and Norwegian parents. In 2017 he completed a BFA degree from NYU Tisch Film and Television with a major in directing and editing.
Since graduation Sascha has written a feature length script for Lupi Pictures, worked as In-House Editor for the commercial production company JCB Haus, taught film analysis at Oslo’s leading High School in film and worked as Director’s Assistant to Kari Skogland on her production for Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. He is currently working as Development Executive at Skogland’s production company Mad Rabbit Productions.
As a Freelance Director, he has covered a wide range of narrative shorts, music videos and commercial work and has won prizes for best film, editing, cinematography and original score at international festivals in London, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Scandinavia.
Director: Sascha Taylor Larsen
Producer: Oliver Finley
Director of Photography: Josh Herzog
Editor: Sascha Taylor Larsen
Production Designer: Alexandra Ruggieri
Art Assistant: Alyssa Franks
Costume Designer: Gaby Sprenkle
Assistant Stylist: Sevyn Rodriguez
Hair & Make-Up: Elena Kaleda
Colorist: Alexia Salingaros
Casting Director: Cameron Debe
1st AC: Cece Chen
1st AC: Sam Clegg
2nd AC: Ike Oedel
Steadicam Operator: Calvin Falk
Gaffer: Alex Hass
Key Grip: Sam Wolff
Key Grip: Kat Woloson
Stunt Coordinator: Gjermund Gjesme
Music & Producer: Eivind Hannisdal
Lyrics: Sascha Taylor Larsen
Lead vocals: Isak Heim
Guitar: Bror Vegge Kolsrud
Vocals and Keys: Joachim Ose
Vocals: Mariama Ndure
Vocals: Evelyn Hilleren Berger
Percussion: Geir Strande Syrrist
Violin: Odd Hannisdal
Viola: Anni Odenhall
Cello: Karin Hannisdal
Trumpet: Stig Espen Hundsnes
Saxophone: Jørgen Lund Karlsen
Trombone: Sigurd Evensen
Set PA: Blair Taller
Set PA: Miranda Manganaro
Cargo Van Driver: Sean Cologan
Passenger Van Driver: Matt Wade