Thoughts about the project itself
Kristine began making music videos shortly after I met her in college. They were videos of her dancing to her favorite songs and gave her a chance to practice her video editing skills…something which really became a hobby for her around that time. Having been in a few of her music videos myself, the “Fighter” video was the first and only video she ever made that really looked to share a social message. Utilizing a few film friends from college, she found a way to artistically express what she’d been through with the hope of creating a real conversation. What’s interesting looking back on the video now, is examining where Kristine still was in her healing process. She had accepted what happened to her, but she still hadn’t found a way to fully accept who she was or figured out how she wanted to present her story long term. While she was open about what had happened to her, she still needed some more time to heal before she could put those pieces of her recovery together.
Kristine was pretty set in what she wanted in regards to the video. It just so worked out that one of the guy’s we shot the video with knew some people who worked at Allegheny Cemetery. The shot of her getting shoved out of the car was something she really wanted to include. Another thing she did prior to the video shoot was literally getting the word “Fighter” tattooed on the right side of her rib cage. The tattoo, I felt, was something incredibly liberating for her. I know that as years have passed and she’s added to that very tattoo, it’s just like her life, one piece of her. It doesn’t define her, but it is a part of her and it’s something she wears openly. Everyone did bounce ideas off of one another about potential scenes, but in the end, it was Kristine who really decided what she wanted shot. This video was really one of the first steps towards cementing her acceptance to what had happened publicly.
What I really remember about the shoot is how excited and how nervous Kristine was that day. She was excited to be shooting the video, but there were nerves there about getting it right. I would even say we managed to really have fun that day. I know it sounds weird to say that, especially with what the video was about. Overall, I just remember how proud I was of my best friend and how honored I was to be a part of it.
I also would like to state that watching her break the window may or may not have been one of the funniest things I ever got to witness. Turned out well though.
After Kristine got the final video, I can remember watching it in a parking lot with a few people close to her. She hadn’t told them about her Fighter tattoo and when that scene hit the screen, I remember she was immediately asked, “Is that real? Did you really get that tattooed on your body?” When Kristine confirmed that she had, the response was, “How will your future husband feel having to look at that?” To this day, I still remember her exact response was, “This is a part of who I am. This happened to me. I would think my future husband would be proud of how far I’ve come.” Years later, I know he is. The video, like the tattoo, is a testament to accepting what happened, but knowing that healing is possible.
How the video could help someone suffering from some form of violence
I think what’s great about the video is that Kristine is just so honest about what happened to her. I think it’s also great that she was able to artistically tell her story and share it with others. While I know she doesn’t make or edit music videos the way that she used to, this video is a great time capsule for where she was at that point in her life. Part of me would find it incredibly interesting to see her make yet another music video today and use it as a benchmark for how far she’s come. So proud of you, Honkus!!!