Shot in New York City, Donnie Dix is a tribute to the brashness of the 80s. Directed by Sascha Taylor Larsen and produced by Oliver Finley, it is a parody of the type of naive self-obsession which characterised this period in our cultural history. The main character, played by Eli Cusick, embodies the absurdity of an era filled with excess. He represents a particular type of machismo coupled with a total lack of personal accountability. In just over three minutes, Donnie Dix’s character arc unfolds as he moves from total self-assurance to an increasing self-awareness, then the self-doubt which ultimately paralyses him.
Discover Donnie Dix is a tribute to the brashness of the 80s.
Donnie Dix is a representation of the collective consciousness of the late 80s based on the films, music, literature and cultural references we have been brought up with. This playful mood is reflected through Josh Herzog’s cinematography, Alex Hass’ lighting and Alexia Salingaros’ colouring. The feeling of the late 80s is also portrayed through Alexandra Ruggieri’s production design, which was influenced by old 1980’s Ikea catalogues and postmodernist design. The styling choices of Gaby Sprenkle, who was inspired by iconic productions such as Miami Vice and The Lost Boys, also served to create the 80s vibe.
The singularity of this music video is that the whole concept stems from the lyrics, written by Taylor Larsen himself. These lyrics reflect a young man who exudes self-assurance, but underneath it all is riddled by self-doubt. Based on this vision, Taylor Larsen asked award-winning composer Eivind Hannisdal to create a sound reminiscent of Jan Hammer’s Miami Vice soundtrack but filled with irony. Hannisdal recreates an authentic 80s sound with live musicians and Taylor Larsen’s humorous lyrics are further exaggerated by this use of the 80s sound.
Donnie Dix is currently touring across the international awards circuit, with the first screening taking place at the Academy Award® qualifying Norwegian Short Film Festival in Grimstad between June 8 – 12, 2022.
The moral dilemma of Donnie Dix is very relatable. His struggle is the conflict between his belief in himself as a principled person and the harmful consequences of his actions. At the end of the day it’s about questioning the foundation for one’s confidence. In Donnie Dix’s case he imploded because he realised that he was more form than substance.
Director: Sascha Taylor Larsen (@satisfiedsascha)
Producer: Oliver Finley (@oliver_finley)
Director of Photography: Josh Herzog (@josherzog)
Editor: Sascha Taylor Larsen
Production Designer: Alexandra Ruggieri (@sweatticoat)
Art Assistant: Alyssa Franks (@a_list_of_ranks)
Costume Designer: Gaby Sprenkle (@gabriellalorensprenkle)
Assistant Stylist: Sevyn Rodriguez
Hair & Make-Up: Elena Kaleda (@elenakaleda_makeup)
Colorist: Alexia Salingaros (@alexia_films)
Casting Director: Cameron Debe (@camdebe)
1st AC: Cece Chen (@cecechxn)
1st AC: Sam Clegg (@sam_clegg)
2nd AC: Ike Oedel
Steadicam Operator: Calvin Falk (@steadical)
Gaffer: Alex Hass (@alexhassphoto)
Key Grip: Sam Wolff (@samwol_f)
Key Grip: Kat Woloson (@kat_woloson)
Stunt Coordinator: Gjermund Gjesme (@gjermspiration)
Music & Producer: Eivind Hannisdal (@eivindhannisdal)
Lyrics: Sascha Taylor Larsen
Lead vocals: Isak Heim (@isakheim)
Guitar: Bror Vegge Kolsrud (@elsmucko)
Vocals and Keys: Joachim Ose (@joachimose)
Vocals: Mariama Ndure
Vocals: Evelyn Hilleren Berger (@evelynhillerenberger)
Percussion: Geir Strande Syrrist (@geirssyrrist)
Violin: Odd Hannisdal
Viola: Anni Odenhall
Cello: Karin Hannisdal
Trumpet: Stig Espen Hundsnes (@trumpetdude)
Saxophone: Jørgen Lund Karlsen (@saxofonizt)
Trombone: Sigurd Evensen (@sigurd_evensen)
Greg Valenti (@gregvalentiofficial)
Christina Springle (@springlesprings)
Gjermund Gjesme (@gjermspiration)
Christopher Torem (@toremof_the_future)
Verena McBee (@mcbeellangelo)
Set PA: Blair Taller (@blair.taller)
Set PA: Miranda Manganaro (@miranda_mango)
Cargo Van Driver: Sean Cologan
Passenger Van Driver: Matt Wade
About Sascha Taylor Larsen
Sascha was born in Oslo, Norway to Jamaican-Canadian and Norwegian parents. In 2017 he completed a BFA degree from NYU Tisch Film and Television with a major in directing and editing.
Since graduation Sascha has written a feature length script for Lupi Pictures, worked as In-House Editor for the commercial production company JCB Haus, taught film analysis at Oslo’s leading High School in film and worked as Director’s Assistant to Kari Skogland on her production for Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. He is currently working as Development Executive at Skogland’s production company Mad Rabbit Productions.
As a Freelance Director, he has covered a wide range of narrative shorts, music videos and commercial work and has won prizes for best film, editing, cinematography and original score at international festivals in London, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Scandinavia.