A couple of weeks ago, my breadbin and fellow director Martin Stirling sent me an email asking if I’d be interested in making a video for a new band called Young Rebel Set. He’d made their previous video for their single Measure of a Man and he thought I’d dig the track.
I had a listen and found the song really emotive and beautiful, I’d also had an idea knocking around for a while about two teenage runaways that spend their last night together at an abandoned building and it felt like a really good fit.
The band have been building a lot of buzz including being championed by Steve Lamacq and 6 Music as well as playing several festivals and touring the UK so I was really interested in working with them.
I went in to the label for an initial meeting and spoke to Matty (lead singer) on the phone. We talked through what the song meant to him and I went away and started to adapt and amend my initial idea to fit his lyrical ideas as well as in a general sense trying to capture the meaning of the song.
I knew I wanted to make something cinematic and narrative based and the band and label were really cool with that. In fact they really put their trust in me and let me get on with it which was brilliant.
There wasn’t much money involved and in the end we shot the video for £1300, we pulled a ton of favours with help from 2AM as well as everyone that worked on the video for free. We cast two young actors, Florence Bell and Sean Hart through Curtis Brown and started making preparations for a weekend night shoot at a disused aerodrome in Essex.
We were given great support from Take 2 and Panalux and were able to shoot on the Alexa which was incredible and exciting for me as I’d been wanting to use it for ages now but had been waiting for the right opportunity.
I’d spoken with Ollie (DP) frequently about the look of the video, referencing Nestor Almendros and Malick, specifically Days of Heaven. I’d never attempted to shoot during magic hour before but again, had always wanted to. The excitement on set of watching the sun set and rise in front of our eyes was so much fun and really adds to the romance of the whole thing.
In the end it was a really enjoyable night, not without it’s challenges (as always) including being limited to a single take for all the fireworks stuff and running out of cabling length; but I’m really proud of the video and I think conjures the bitter sweetness and romance I set out to create.
The most enduring memories of that weekend, aside from the shoot, consist of me and the ever reliable Cole ‘Bad Behaviour’ Paviour (1st AD & van driver) driving around and singing Beyonce whilst chain drinking fat coke and slapping ourselves to remain awake. In total we were up for 34 hours and we really felt it.
Once again a huge thank you to everyone that gave up their weekend for this and made it happen. All the crew including the usual suspects and the newbies, 2AM, Take 2, Panalux, Curtis Brown, Flo & Sean, all friends and families, Itasca Locations, Ignition, Big Flame and Speade and MPC for killer cutting and grading work from Johnny and James. Oh and Sis & Bill for the use of their bicycles.