LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Fans of the 80s are in for a treat: aerobics are back on fire in the new T. Soomian music video “Can’t Hold My Love” shot by a Russian cinematographer Lidia Nikonova. The video hits the nostalgic sweet-spot with juicy visuals and Paige Elkington’s energetic performance as an aerobics instructor.
“I became involved in the project through its writer-director Edgar Obrand, with whom we shot a number of music videos and commercials. He came up with the idea of a touching friendship between two people bonding over their love for aerobics,” she recalled. “I grew up with my mother’s aerobics VHS tapes and was always fascinated with the shiny outfits and The Flirts-like sound tracks. Edgar also was a big fan of the 80s aerobics videos and so we went down a very deep YouTube rabbit hole of obscure Soviet and Japanese aerobics videos, Jazzercise and Jane Fonda Workout tapes. T. Soomian and his team were onboard with the plan and so we went full Miami Vice mode on it.”
The newly-released video follows a very relaxed guy walking down the street until he finds a poster with actress Paige Elkington as an aerobics instructor. He finally meets her in person, which then triggers a life-changing experience for both of them.
“In order to emphasize the significance of their encounter visually we opted for very expressive lighting full of lush colors and pop lighting gags,” she said. “Another important part of the visual design was a slightly vintage texture of the image. We went for older Hawk C-Series Anamorphic lenses sourced from Keslow Camera Los Angeles so to give the images a little more halation and distortion.”
The end result is a stylish music video with a cinematic feel from the cinematographer whose roots lie with photojournalism and independent filmmaking.
“Lidia brought a great energy and amazing visual quality to the music video,” says director Edgar Obrand. “She’s very creative and has spent days researching the right look for the project. We all are very excited to share the results.”
Having worked on a variety of films and music videos in the past, it’s Nikonova’s work on the Weeknd’s music videos from his new album that has earned her much acclaim and attention.
Born in Moscow, Lidia has lived and worked across the world, shooting narrative films and documentaries. Working as a news photographer in Australia, France and the UK, she exhibited her documentary photography with much success. But it was in Sydney where she found a real appreciation for cinematography at a university course on philosophy in film.
Upon graduation, Nikonova decided to come to the U.S. and pursue cinematography. She has gone on to work on films, documentaries and music videos, sharing her passion for creating mood and tone with her cinematic high-quality visuals. Her recent work includes such films as “If This Is Wrong,” from director Chelsea Woods and “The Day That,” from director Dorian Tucker.