Lea Thompson has always been at the top of her acting game, but she’s putting her experience up for competition on Season 19 of “Dancing With the Stars” to use in a new music video. Featured alongside Tyler Posey (from MTV’s “Teen Wolf”), Canadian electro-pop artist Riotron’s music video “Life Is What We’re Living” was directed by Alissa Torvinen, who also led the camera for award-winning videos by Phoebe Bridgers, Pink and Black Eyed Peas, as well as Melanie Martinez’s “K-12” feature, which has 100 million views on YouTube.
The video, which can be viewed above, follows the emotional story of a man who recently lost his mother and struggles to deal with their unresolved complicated relationship.
“The song was inspired by a good friend who lost his mother to cancer,” said Jeff Fettes of Riotron. “He was devastated but eventually found peace and even inspiration in his continued ‘presence’ in his life. He inherited this incredible sense of urgency to live. Death turned into life of a way that I thought was so beautiful. The video is a metaphor for her journey through the stages of grief, denial and anger to acceptance and hope.
The story is told through a choreographed and lyrical rendition that gives Thompson the opportunity to show off her moves.
“When I heard Jeff’s song, I immediately fell in love with it,” the actress said. “It was so haunting and yet hopeful. And then when I saw Alissa’s work, I was so interested in being part of this young director’s vision. thought what an exciting and scary thing to be a part of – dancing in a music video. It was great fun to explore dance in such a pressureless and deeply expressive way.
The fact that Thompson was a director herself made for a fruitful collaboration. Said Torvinen: “Lea is an amazing storyteller and director as well, but drawing on her own experience as a mother, she said, ‘I feel like my character needs a hug! And that was it. This idea came from Léa. This moment breaks my heart every time. I dare you not to cry.
Posey said the concept for the video “was something creative and artistic that I really wanted to check off my list. … My mother passed away as did my character’s mother. She was my best friend, my biggest support system, my good advice, my laughing boyfriend, my crying shoulder,” he told Variety. “I really resonate with my character and wanted to bring this story to life. It was and still is a huge loss for me and my family when she passed away. She was very, very special and I have so many fortunate to have been able to share my life with her.
The video’s opening shots, which take place at a funeral, were particularly emotional for Posey. “Re-living the funeral scene was a heavy moment for me,” Posey said. “I haven’t portrayed that in any project,” Posey said. “Also, I’m a huge Lea fan and was honored to share the set with her.”
The two actors “rehearsed the choreography rigorously for about a week or two before shooting for hours a day,” Posey said. “I had never practiced such intense choreography for a project before and I was so happy to do it with someone as strong-willed as Lea. Our instructors Jillian and Billy were also the best and I owe them everything.
“Life Is What We Live” is remixed by Mahalo, with an additional remix by DJ Paul Oakenfold slated for release this summer.