Singer-songwriter Raleigh Ritchie Writes and Directs ‘Hi Maintenance,’ His First Short Film

Fans of Raleigh Ritchie’s music know his artistic voice is vulnerable, drolly humorous, and keenly insightful on the workings of the human heart. He’s a romantic at heart, absolutely absent irony or cynicism. It’s one reason he – in song at least – spends so much time self-medicating with booze and pills when he’s not swimming in love or self-flagellating. (Fans of his music overlap with, but are not the exact same as, fans who know him as “Game of Thrones” character Grey Worm, which he performs under his real name of Jacob Lawrence.) It’s no surprise then that his debut filmmaking effort as writer and director is tender, funny (sprinkled with slapstick), and just left of center in sensibility.

Raleigh Ritchie, courtesy Rex Features

Raleigh Ritchie, courtesy Rex Features

In the entire six-minute clip, only one word is spoken: “Hi.” It’s through the multiple repeated utterances of the word, and the varied inflections that color it, that the entire course of a relationship is charted – from the couple’s first meet at a party to their cute, awkward courtship to the slow catalogue of disappointments that naturally accrue during the trajectory of a relationship. Ritchie plays the character He with the same winning charisma and shading he’s brought to all his music videos and Abby Wilson plays the woman who steals his heart. The short was inspired by the song “Coward” from his debut album You’re a Man Now, Boy. Check out the short and its “Making of…” below.

Top image courtesy Fiasco magazine.