Kim Logan, Liam Jordan, Ana Vasquez and Nicole Marano teamed up to make the video as Jordan's senior thesis project.
“Couleur Café,” is a classic French love song — to coffee. It’s a tribute to the way a good cup of coffee looks, smells, tastes, and — above all — the way it makes you feel. Serge Gainsbourg wrote and recorded the tune in 1964. It’s been covered by Sebastian Vestae and other top-flight musicians ever since. Kim Logan loves it as well. The Sarasota-based chanteuse had wanted to do her own version for a longtime.
Early this year, she got a call from Liam Jordan, who was then a fourth-year student in the Ringling College of Art and Design’s film department. Jordan wanted to create a music video for his senior thesis project. But he needed a star. A professor suggested Logan. Would she be interested?
So they met. Jordan asked her if she had any song suggestions. Logan smiled. Yes, she did. “Couleur Café,” of course. She played him a sample on her iPhone. Jordan instantly knew he’d found the right tune.
Over several following meetings, Logan and Jordan brainstormed ideas for the video’s mood and setting. A Polynesian feel seemed right. Where else could they go but the Bahi Hut? The historic tbar on Sarasota’s North Trail is an authentic slice of American tiki culture, and a beloved hangout for Ringling College students and professors. Even better? It had been lovingly and faithfully renovated only months before.
Jordan lined up a recording session for Logan and sent out a casting call for two dancers. Chelsey March and Jamon Buie quickly agreed to lend their fancy footwork. Ana Vasquez and Nicole Marano, Jordan’s fellow film students, agreed to be the music video’s co-producers.
Filming began in March. Most of the shooting took place at the Bahi Hut. It was an excellent practical location, but too small for the dance scenes. To create these, Jordan dressed a set at the college’s brand new soundstage. “We were one of the first group of Ringling students to actually use the facility,” Jordan says proudly. The studio set had the same look and feel as the Bahi Hut interior. On film, the result was a seamless transition between scenes.
“Couleur Café” premiered at the Bahi Hut, naturally. The happy audience was a mix of regular bar patrons and Ringling College film students and alumni. That included Jordan, Vasquez and Marano, who had all just recently graduated. Logan was away on a singing tour, but sent her “positive vibes” in a happy text message.
The Bahi Hut hubbub became a hush. After a few technical difficulties, “Couleur Café” played on the flat-screen TV above the bar, to claps and cheers from the audience.
What they saw was a playful dream sequence that illustrated Logan’s sultry vocals with sensual glimpses of gliding dancers and surreal stop-motion sequences of dancing coffee beans, rose petals and seashells.
After the credits rolled, the patrons raised their mai-tais in salute. The trio of Ringling College film majors lifted their glasses especially high.
“I thought about ordering an espresso,” Jordan laughs. “But this is the Bahi Hut — and mai-tais seemed more appropriate.”
“Couleur Café” was also shown at the Ringling College Senior Thesis Exhibition; it will be available on YouTube later this month. For more information, visit [email protected]