Stripes music video Quinn Bentley
Quinn Bentley in "Stripes"

Juliet “Satya” Sullivan is the Rhode Island-based cinematographer behind the explosively colorful and impossibly cool music video “Stripes”, a new single from Rhode Island School of Design alum Quinn Bentley.

Sullivan grew up in The Philippines and is a 2020 graduate from Savannah College of Art and Design with a bachelor’s degree in Film and Television. She’s currently based in Providence, where she works on film projects as a cinematographer. She’s also in the process of getting her master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island.

Directed by Sarah Menasce, “Stripes” follows actress Madison Hullsiek as a young woman who wakes up after a wild night out and continues to relive it in her mind. Bentley, a New York and Paris-based producer and singer-songwriter, leans up against graffiti’d bathroom walls and acts as an omniscient narrator, watching from afar as Hullsiek’s character picks up the pieces of the previous evening.

Juliet Satya Sullivan behind the scenes of "Stripes". Photo credit: Rich Ferri
Juliet ‘Satya’ Sullivan behind the scenes of “Stripes”. Photo credit: Rich Ferri

Juliet “Satya” Sullivan on Making “Stripes”

Sullivan describes Bentley’s character as “the demon or the shadow that’s just following her. They never interact, she never sees him, but he’s just there.”

“It’s supposed to be up to you,” Sullivan says of the video’s narrative. “It may be she’s just doing this every night and she’s going into the cycle of bad decisions and just numbing — and the flashbacks are these moments when she was happier and almost more innocent and grounded with her ex-lover. You get tidbits of just that type of joy versus this destructive fiend where she’s just numbing.”

Sullivan’s job as cinematographer was to bring Menasce’s vision for the story to life through inventive camera angles and movements. The project was shot over the course of about six days with seven different locations, including an AirBnb, a convenience store, a park, a car, and two separate locations that make up the bathroom scene.

Juliet Satya Sullivan behind the scenes of "Stripes". Photo credit: Rich Ferri
Juliet ‘Satya’ Sullivan and Madison Hullsiek behind the scenes of “Stripes”. Photo credit: Rich Ferri

“I helped push those storyboards into three dimensionality,” she says.

The cameras she used were the Sony FX6 and the Sony a7S II — and she adds that the video’s excellent lighting was thanks to local Rhode Island gaffer Rich Ferri and the Aputure Nova P300c RGB LED Light Panel travel kit.

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“The mouth scene with the blinking light and he’s rapping and you can see his mouth moving and the motions of everything — that was not planned like that. It was supposed to be almost like a close up, and then we adapted it, we played with lights. Our gaffer, Rich Ferri who’s based here and who’s also a cinematographer, he just did magic,” Sullivan says.

“It was such a fun project,” she adds. “Even the car scene — just the BTS of that, when she’s driving, she’s actually driving. We have a rig, and there’s like me and two ACs. We’re walking by the car as she’s driving really slow, because we need to like adjust lights and we need to do a follow-focus. So it’s just very hands-on.”

A still from Stripes music video
A still from “Stripes” courtesy of Juliet “Satya” Sullivan

The “Stripes” music video won the award for Best Cinematography at the Prague Music Video Awards. It was also selected for Flicker’s 2023 Rhode Island International Film Festival, and was chosen as a finalist for Best Cinematography at the Canadian Cinematography Awards. “Stripes” was produced by Randy Marso and Alicia Napolitano.

Sullivan and Menasce also collaborated as cinematographer and director respectively on another film that played at Flicker’s in 2023 — a documentary short called “La Mariachi” about mariachi singer Veronica Robles. It won the award for Best Documentary Cinematography at the New York Cinematography Awards Film Festival in Sept. and aired earlier this month on PBS with plans to air again in April.

You can watch “Stripes” below.

Main Image: A still from “Stripes” courtesy of Juliet “Satya” Sullivan