Experiencing Interruptions?

Hold In

A woman gains independence from a nostalgic lover in this all female ensemble dance music video.

  • Lee Fitzjames
    Hobo 1 Meets Hobo 2, Con Artistes, Chicken 65
  • Lee Fitzjames
  • Lee Fitzjames
  • Lee Fitzjames
    Key Cast
  • Vicky Rodewyk
    Key Cast
  • Lillian Jean Shaddick
    Key Cast
  • Sarah Mitchell
    Key Cast
  • Genevieve Fitzjames
    Key Cast
  • Mark Lapwood
  • Dom Lloyd
  • Milla Yoon-Young
  • Isa Lilai
    Makeup Artist
  • Project Type:
    Music Video
  • Genres:
    Pop, RnB, Beach, Feminist, POC Director, POC Producer, Music Video, Pacific Island, Female Director, Female Producer, New Zealand, Alternative, Dance, Female Narratives, Los Angeles
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 57 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 29, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    New Zealand
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Lee Fitzjames

Lee Fitzjames is a global artist who is known for her physical comedies and vocal dexterity. An actor, musician and director/writer maker hybrid, this mixed race creative explores themes around gender, death and economic injustices. Alongside commercial video productions, she has directed several plays internationally and is now developing a series of films and music videos.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Hold In is a global project which was launched in Sweden, filmed in New Zealand and finished in Hollywood. Mark Lapwood's beautiful cinematography showcases some of New Zealand's finest dancers against the stunning backdrop of Whatipu, one of the country's most untamed west coast beaches. The wind was so wild that at times the dancers would fall during the dance sequences. Behind the scenes photos remind me of how we wrapped up in blankets in between takes and how we needed PAs to physically hold up light stands as sandbags weren't enough.

Despite the environmental challenges I knew I needed the all female dance ensemble to look fortified and strong. While I would traditionally have amplified the message of strength by adding to the cast size (most dance videos have at least a dozen dancers, we have five) I decided to instead achieve this through the choreography, costume and low angle coverage. In the scenes where I walk alone, I draw power from my surroundings, an old cave and the vast desert (which was played by a beach).

I wrote the song 'Hold In' in the space of 10 minutes. At the time I was in the process of letting go of toxic relationships which were being kept alive out of sentimentality and obligation. There came a time when I could see no sense in 'holding on'. I let go of many ties recently - from family members to friendships and clients. The soaring synths give the feeling of finally feeling empowered for the first time, as if it is a new and unexplored feeling.

The choreography was conceived in just as short a time.

What took the longest was the post production of the video and music. The song features dozens of layers of vocal harmonies - all recorded from my apartment as studios were shut during lockdown. The vocal stacks were processed and aligned to a millisecond. I'm grateful to have collaborated with Gold, an exceptional Producer, Mix Engineer Travis Ference and Mastering Engineer Tom Frampton.

As a self producing director, it is rare to find someone pouring more hours into a production than me, but cinematographer Mark Lapwood treated me like a true creative partner and pushed me harder than I've ever been pushed. His international experience has afforded him an intense connection with nature; it was a thrill to watch him dance alongside the cast with his camera.

Last of all, like many other no budget music video creators, I have to give thanks to my New Zealand-based family. My mother gets a credit for Craft Services, my father as a PA and Driver (we got hit by a car on the way to set and he still did a 12 hour day!), my sister as a dancer and her boyfriend as a Grip PA. Every time I see them, which is only once every few years, I am working on a new creative project. They're always there for the ride.