Interview: Nile Saulter Director of Massiv Fashion Film “SeaSaw”


“SeaSaw” Director Nile Saulter photographed by Joel Burke.

Not so long ago Jamaican filmmaker Nile Saulter shot a short fashion film on the beaches and streets of Jamaica for the American streetwear brand We are Massiv. Saulter pulled together some of the most creative new minds in the industry and developed “Seasaw”, a story about a mysterious beauty who emerges from the sea. We had the chance to speak with Saulter on his association with Massiv, the atmospheric sound and how this sultry film came to fruition.

Massiv is a clothing company based out of LA, how did you and Nate Massiv come to collaborate on this project in Kingston?

Well me and Nate have been good brejins for a while, and doing a fashion film is something we’d discussed before. He’s been coming to Jamaica for years and birthed the idea for the brand while here. I’ve always supported We Are Massiv and felt the time was right now to help rep it film wise. He agreed and we got the ball rolling immediately to plan the shoot. About a month after the initial conversation he flew down and we shot it in a day.

The young woman in the film emerges from the sea seemingly out of nowhere… is she a mermaid? What was the concept for this short fashion film?

That’s my sistren Cindy Wright. She’s beautiful and was great to work with. “Mermaid” is not quite the right word for what her character represents, but I’d say she’s “of the sea” in a metaphorical sense. The concept is loose, I wanted her to represent someone who’s on the outside and a little jaded. Also to show how the vibe of the brand mirrors her own sense of adventure, pulls her out of her shell. Her emergence from, and return to water represents a few other things that I’d rather leave open to interpretation for others.

There are so great new behind-the-scene-makers in this short film: James Black consulted on style, Donnalee Curtis was the production coordinator, Ayana Riviere, Loni Jones, Alex Delapenha-who’s photographed for us- and your bro Storm. Is this a fashion film powerhouse crew?

Perhaps you’re right. They’re all talented people who work really hard and are great at what they do. It helps having people with great taste on set when youre essentially attempting to make a piece of art. They get it and are very supportive about the process required to get what’s needed on camera.

Seasaw from WE ARE MASSIV. on Vimeo.

You used a creative atmospheric soundtrack for the film. Balam Acab? We love their fluid Lana Del Rey Remix of Video Games. How did you decide on which musical artistes to use for this film?

I’m constantly stockpiling music for my own listening pleasure and to share with others. But I always put aside tracks that I know would work really well in video. While editing I’ll dip into the list and see what works to accompany and sometimes enhance the mood of the visual. I like to use real “scoring” music, stuff that’s emotionally stimulating.

You went to New York recently and had Massiv had a video release at Miss Lily’s. Will you have one in Kingston as well?

Well it just so happens that Nate was planning to do a pop up shop in New York not long after I finished the edit. It made sense to add the film premiere in and make one big event out of it. Max Glazer, Codes and DJ Select also played which was great and set a nice vibe for the night. Miss Lily’s has always shown a lot of love to me and my colleagues, which I really appreciate, and it was definitely the right place for the event. Lots of people came out to support so we give thanks for that. At this point we’re not gonna do a Kingston premiere because the film’s ready to go online for everyone to check out. The weekend following the actual shoot in Kingston, Nate had a pop up shop event at Base Kingston with some wicked live music which was really dope and had a huge turnout. People definitely support the brand heavily in Jamaica.

  • Craig Johnson