Interview with Pola Esther of the ‘Bad Girls of The Big Bang’

Originally published on Bokeh on 10 August 2015

Brash, iconoclastic, and often outrageous, Big Bang are an enigma in South Korea’s plastic world of pop, where most music groups come in carefully prepackaged bundles devoid of emotion or attitude.

While a casual skeptic might insist that Big Bang are just as manufactured as say, Wonder Girls, these five boys do at least offer some semblance of individualism for their young and passionate fans across the world to emulate and adore.

The band’s desire to stand out and carve their own destiny has led them to pursue partnerships with talented artists around the world, rather than just local videographers and photographers.

Before the band embarked on their most recent world tour ‘MADE’, they sought out the expertise of director Dikayl Rimmasch, who channeled the film noir mood of his Beyonce/Jay-Z short ‘Bang Bang’ once more to create a cinematic film for the boys set in the hedonistic Southwest of the United States.

Edit: A previous version of this story mentioned that Rimmasch was producing a trailer for the world tour. Instead, Rimmasch made a short film that will be playing throughout the duration of their world tour during intermissions.

The most interesting images to come out of this blockbuster production however actually came from a side session titled ‘Bad Girls of The Big Bang’ that New York-based photographer Pola Esther shot during filming.

Rather than highlighting the five stars of the super group, Esther directed her eye towards models Stephanie Shiu, Gia Genevieve, TK, and Briana Michelle — modern day Charlie’s Angels that hunt, battle, and sort of strip dance their way through a short film that makes absolutely no sense.

We caught up with Pola through email to hear a few short thoughts about her experience during filming…

1) Hi Pola, can you tell us a little about music video shoots and how it was working on this particular set?

My experiences in the world of filmmaking have been very invigorating and inspiring so far. The pace of work is incredible! I love working with director Dikayl Rimmasch because his aesthetic and notorious creativity are extremely stimulating. This particular production had everything one can dream of: a giant water tank, mind-blowing car chases on the desert, an outrageous party scene filmed at Sheats Goldstein Residence in LA, and explosions of course!

2) Where did you get the specific idea to work with only the female models?

In my work I focus on feminine energy a lot, so it’s just a natural and constant fascination. One of my responsiblities was styling the female characters of the film, so I spent a lot of time with the girls involved.

3) Were you able to get any shots of the band?

The band had a large posse of videographers, photographers, and other individuals following them everywhere! I found it intriguing to make a visual story from a different perspective.

4) Lastly, could you perhaps list out the gear you used for the series?

My eyes and Canon camera :)

For more of Pola Esther, head over to her website!

All images have been reprinted with the permission of the artist.