Freediving in a music video? And not just freediving, but with a healthy dollop of Beyoncé too? Believe it or not, that’s exactly what happened with Naughty Boy’s 2015 track Runnin’ (Lose It All), a musical hook-up between the English DJ/producer and singer/songwriter Arrow Benjamin, with Queen Bey also penning lyrics and sharing vocal duties with Benjamin.
While we don’t get to see Beyoncé in the music video, it does showcase Alice Modolo and Guillaume Néry’s skills – both are world champion freedivers and they do an amazing job under the water, both individually and when they finally embrace deep below the surface. The short film Ocean Gravity – filmed in French Polynesia by Néry and his wife, acclaimed underwater director and diver Julie Gautier – was obviously a huge influence on Naughty Boy’s video, even down to the location: the Runnin’ (Lose It All) team went straight back to the Tiputa pass in Rangiroa – exactly where Ocean Gravity was filmed – to shoot their music short.
Director Charlie Robins was aware of the difficulties he would face using freediving in the video but knew he wanted it anyway. “As soon as I received the track from Naughty boy I contacted them (Modolo and Néry) to see if they wanted to collaborate on a music video with me.”
The absence of weights was a particular issue, and caused difficulties for the divers. Modolo acknowledged the problem when she said, “… we couldn’t have lots of air in our lungs because we couldn’t put weights on us. So I had to dive with nearly no air, because with full lungs, we could not stay at the bottom…”
It was a wonderful experience for all though, especially Modolo who said, “… My family is so happy to see me. Sometimes they didn’t understand why I love diving so much and now they understand why. It’s difficult to explain, but with this video, you can feel the emotion that we feel when we dive. They understand now why it is so important to me. There are not a lot of people who can do this type of project. This gives it a spotlight.”
Find out more about free diving at www.gofreediving.co.uk