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Luke Casey & the GATEWAY

Luke Casey & the GATEWAY

(AKA: How the PAM SS24 GATEWAY video came together)

On a late-March afternoon, while on a run in the English countryside, Luke Casey, an artist, director, friend of PAM, left a series of voice notes detailing how his psy-aktiv video came together for PAM SS24 GATEWAY. The story is not without squat insecurities, buzzin’ models and washing machine economies.

Luke started out as a skateboarder who had a camera. He was a (self-described) really shit skateboarder so he started filming everybody around about the age of 15-17. He eventually got some experience at an editing suite — he can’t remember the name of the guy there, but he taught him everything he knows today. It took years before he would make videos, though. He worked office jobs and was taking photos as a hobby until a friend encouraged him to do it for work. He moved to Hong Kong via a cruise ship, where he was working as a web reporter taking photos and videos. Gradually, he did bigger and bigger projects until his breakout work like ‘Boys in Hong Kong’, which lead to ‘Taxi Driver’ for Helmut Lang. What he stands for is to entertain, to make people laugh, and to connect with other humans. “It’s a dream come true to do this, I like life a lot,” he tells us.

Luke Casey for PAM SS24 "Gateway"

…Misha came to me and said he was doing something about portals. I was travelling, I wasn’t sure where I was going to be, but I wanted to do the project. I used to play Resident Evil. There are a lot of loading pages of doors opening. I felt drawn to do something connected to that. It was a really scary game for me when I was younger, but I loved it. There’s an iconic, really cheesy, script at the start. It’s ingrained in my brain. I wanted to start working with more narrative, dialogue based stuff, but writing scripts is hard — so I just lifted the script from the game.

I was really exhausted, it has been a crazy year for me, but I really wanted to make this PAM video. It was like one final project before Christmas, let’s do this. So I called up some people I’d wanted to work with: Brydie Perkins is the stylist, she’s a friend of mine but I’d never worked with her and I’ve really wanted to. She connected me with the two models, who were really fun. We didn’t have a producer so it was me producing, and Tom Hall the camera man, we were piecing everything together ourselves — and neither of us are the most organised people — but Tom is someone who goes to a lot of raves and squat parties, and takes these really amazing photos. He was like, “Yeah man, I’ve got these friends who are doing these markets in this squat, we could shoot there.”

Luke Casey for PAM SS24 "Gateway"

I think it was an old hospital, it feels weirdly institutional. I’ve not really spent time in squats but they’re these old institutional buildings with people living in them, repurposing them, there’s a temporariness to them. Graffiti on the walls. Quite a creepy vibe, honestly. I didn’t feel super comfortable and I didn’t feel super welcomed to be honest. I think people were a bit suspicious of, like, who are these guys coming into our space — which is understandable. But, Toe was kind of our gateway in.

We arrived and started setting up in this kitchen area and there was sort of a supermarket thing happening. People were selling crafts and clothes and bits and bobs. We were hiding in the back, steaming clothes, feeling a bit awkward. The models arrived, Iris was like “what’s going on, this is weird.” But we assured her it was going to be alright. Martin, the other model, arrived and so I went to give him some context, “Alright, look, we’re shooting in a squat.” And he’d just come from a squat party so he was like, “Mate, I love squats, I’ve just come from a rave and I’m buzzin’ right now.”

So, he’d come straight from a party, his eyeballs were rolling all over the place, but a sweet guy. Both of the models were great and really up for it. We got a bunch of beers and I had a loose plan, but not really. These are the sorts of projects I enjoy, in fact the previous PAM project was also loose, we kind of made it up as we went along — we shot in Konbinis in Tokyo and we kept getting kicked out, and we were trying to shoot it seamlessly so it looked like the same place but it was actually three or four different Konbinis. For this, again, it was like being at school playing a game and making it up as you go along. I think when you do that, you get these fun, authentic, organic moments that you can’t really script. So, some of the outtakes we used as the teaser, we have loads of those, I should have sent more.

Luke Casey for PAM SS24 "Gateway"

Gradually, we got braver and bolder and started making our way deeper into the squat. They warmed up to us, we warmed up to them. Running around, dancing, partying, shooting some people that were doing performances there. The space itself was really vibey, the lighting was cool, the graffiti was vibey. I don’t know if I managed to pull off what Misha had in mind, about portals, we had some doors.

What else? Oh, the deal. I don’t think a lot of the people living in the squat have bank accounts, so for us to shoot in the space they were kind of like, “We need a washing machine. Can you buy us a washing machine for the squat?” So, after the shoot, Tom and I went off to a shop that sells washing machines and we paid 400 for a new washing machine and wheeled it into the squat. People were happy and we drank beers and had a very merry Christmas. It was a fun shoot before the winter break, everyone had a nice time. I became good friends with Iris off the back of the shoot, we’ve been hanging out, which is something I love about the work I do. She’s a very talented director, video maker, too.

I love PAM, I’m stoked I got to work with them again. It was a fun, strange, interesting experience that I will never forget for the rest of my days.

 

Directed by @luke___casey
Starring @irisluzzzz & @topboiklass
Styled by @brydieperkins
DOP and photography by @twwhall
Animations by @cmkrealm
Sound design and music by @illial91