Here’s director Ally Pankiw’s visuals for the new song ‘Girl Next Door’ by Torontoan pop prodigy RALPH ft TOBi. Beachside frolics and supermarket shenanigans give us quirky fun-in-the-summertime feels. The set pieces are a blend of modern-vintage styles from the colour coordination and even choreography. Pankiw incorporates contemporary dance into many of her videos, especially in a way that feels grounded and pedestrian. She was helped by choreographer Isabella Di Liello, who built out sequences that integrate into the narrative naturally and seamlessly. Everything from the wardrobe (by Jackie McKeown), to the colour palette (by DP Nina Djacic), to the fantastical elements like the hammock hanging out of nowhere in the grocery store, were planned to help push the dreamy, hazy and off-kilter feeling she often presents in her work.
Pankiw: “When I was conceptualizing the video for RALPH’s "Girl Next Door," I couldn’t get the image of a hot, lazy day in my childhood suburban neighbourhood out of my mind. So I set out to create a visual that was dripping in nostalgia, but set in a kind of subverted version of suburbia. I like to take really beautiful, authentic images and either heighten them or push them into a surreal place, and that’s how we got to a lot of the setups featured in "Girl Next Door" - like the scene where RALPH was buried in the sand. There, I took that feeling of teasing someone you like on the beach when you’re young and made it more mature and hopefully more elevated and elaborate. That’s also how we got to the more sexualized setups of RALPH hanging languidly off of the monkey bars. Taking something innocent and simple and turning it on its head.”
“I hope people can listen to this song and watch this video on a hot summer day and be transported back to their childhoods when the most they had to worry about was chasing down an ice cream truck or spying on their crush over their neighbour’s fence. And I hope people explore more of RALPH’s songs, as they’re so catchy, cool and the perfect soundtrack for a mature and sexy take on summer vacation.”