Dec 2023 - April 2024
Dec 2023 - April 2024
Current - Aug 2023
How did you think of this? There's no profound answer as to how but as a trained dancer from childhood, I've learnt to see the movement quality in things. Anything that has movement can translate to dance, but the things that shouldn't or wouldn't be translated to dance is what amuses me most. It's a simple a case of - See the thing - dance the thing. and in this scenario the first time I saw a video on my feed from the infamous @Hydraulic Press Channel I immediately mimicked it with choreography and uploaded within minutes. It was a joke, an ironic take on performance art and contemporary dance, but it tickled my funny bone so that same day I filmed a handful of episodes to store in my content bank. Working in bulk is my specialty.
Why did you do it? Cause it made me laugh. I'm not that deep.
When did it start? The first Hydraulic Press Girl episode was posted to my TikTok in December 2020. I saw the Hydraulic Press Channel post a crushing video of a play-doh sculptured "2020". The movement was a fast oozy squash and given the year we had with the Pandemic I thought it was a brilliant send off to squashing away 2020.
How many episodes have you made? To date I (think) I've done 166. Although over the years I've had batches, that I forgot were filmed, that were accidentally deleted before posting so the actual number is a mystery.
WAIT, you have your own Hydraulic Press Machine? YES I do, most of my episodes (post 2021) are made with my own hydraulic press machine. This was always an inside joke with my niche audience that went too far but also, my content is part of my career and business is business; I've worked in the entertainment industry for 15 years and social media is just another element to the strategy. So with that, I knew I had to be careful about where this particular series takes me as originally I didn't own the full footage. I had an opportunity to make a custom hydraulic press video for a client so had to do to the right thing and buy my own machine! Of course I didn't splurge on getting an industrial grade one cause, I mean Google those prices. But I found a great mini one that worked for when I had to make custom squishes!
When did it go viral? I think it was the second compilation episode I made, posted to my tiktok in the first week of Jan 2021 that went mega viral within hours. From that, the original first episode picked up traction and of course, since I had footage in my content bank, I was able to post again immediately and ride that algorithm wave. I would say this is one of those fluke ideas that seems to get picked up with the algorithms across all platforms. To date I've accumulated over 1 billion views. The videos are constantly circling around on different websites and accounts. It goes even more viral when others post it!
"This should be in a gallery" ...is one of my most received comments. And it is with GREAT excitement, giddiness and some confusion that I get to announce that IT IS in fact going to be IN A GALLERY. But it's not just any gallery, and I still can't wrap my head around the seriousness of this all, it will be at the National Gallery of Victoria as a featured exhibition for their world renowned contemporary art exhibit, The Triennial (Dec 2023-April 2024). Like, guys....I can't express how crazy this is. This is the biggest gallery in the southern hemisphere. It's a leader in the contemporary art world. I used to take field trips there as a kid. This exhibit will be bigger and better than I could have ever imagined. I've been shedding tears and pinching myself for the last few months as this whole experience has been unfolding. Thanks to you all, this little tiktok video idea has become a monumental career highlight for me, the internet took it by storm and now the inside joke we laughed at together accidentally came true. Thanks for riding this journey with me.
Where have you been featured? Hydraulic Press Girl has officially been featured at TED TALKS 2022 as a video performance. Good Mythical Morning, Adult Swim Off The Air, Buzzfeed, Art for Silliness's Sake exhibit at UL, Netflix social media campaigns, Taller Marmo clothing campaign, The Morning Show channel 7, Adweek top 100 Creatives
Will you ever give it up? I dunno. Not any time soon.
How do you create the actual videos, what part comes first? If you've watched a handful of these videos you've probably noted I have an unnecessary wardrobe collection. I ain't a fashion guru in any sense but I absolutely love styling and so the wardrobe aspect actually comes first, sort of. If sourcing the Hydraulic Press video from the infamous channels, I select the videos based on what I can wear to color match, same when I need to choose object to squish with my own machine. i.e: "oh yes, I have a silver jumpsuit that matches that exploding CD" etc. I will note that I've only bought two clothing items deliberately for HPG use, everything else is sourced and repurposed from my random, every-growing costume collection, that includes my boyfriends wardrobe. THEN, I pack my bag with the costumes for at least 10 videos cause I love filming in bulk and once I'm at the studio ready to film I watch the Hydraulic object video 3-5 times to grasp the timing of the squish choreography (as a dancer this is just like watching a dance and visually learning the moves), then I film 1-3 takes of my performance, then I edit on my phone. I'm not fussy, which conveniently adds to the strategic low-fi approach of the whole performance. I also don't necessarily rehearse the movements, I just hit record and use my front facing camera as my mirror to think about it, then just go for it!
Does it hurt? It doesn't, but that's because I have full control on which videos to make so I'm not selecting videos that I know I can't physically pull off - these are all movements my body has done for the last 25 years. There are so many amazing Hydraulic videos out there that I imagine would be amazing performances but as I watch them I'm like, yeah that would require a backflip so nah...Although these do inspire me to create loopholes; like instead of training to fly away I can turn to my nifty freeze frame and key frame editing. I've only had one injury from one press video - a pulled back muscle from being a horse.
What's next for HPG? I've had a blast filming every single video so far and have been blown away at the overall response. But I don't feel a need to plan ahead, I'll just go with the flow!