There was once a time when the music video director was the king of all he surveyed, with a filmmaker's toy box full of gear, exotic locations and armies of extras all lavishly funded by labels happy to recoup the astronomical costs from their artists' future sales. Those days have long been a thing of the past and nowadays directors are regularly required to work wonders on the tightest of budgets. Fully embracing the frugal nature of the promo budget Colonel Blimp director Jack King reunited with band To Kill A King to create the Yorkshire estate set, four-peice music video/drama My Crooked Saint; comprising Bloody Shirt, We Used To Protest, Family and Wrecking Crew:
I think with some of the band and myself being from Yorkshire meant that when we get enough money for one good video, we must make four videos with it, one for every song on the EP – and they all must be different, like four stand-alone music videos, but which also you could put together to make a 20-min short film. So myself and Ralph [the singer] set about writing something halfway between his brief and my pitch.
While all four promos are populated with shared characters and locations, I'm quite taken with King's free approach to the timelines across the films and the decision of not having them all depict the same span of time or follow on chronologically from each other. It's a technique which further strengthens their independence from one another while filling out the world as a whole by depicting alternate character perspectives on events shared across the quartet.
If you're familiar with the area or have watched Clio Barnard's astoundingly great hybrid documentary The Arbor, you'll know King captures the spirit of Yorkshire estate life perfectly, from the inquisitive neighbours to the working man's club karaoke.
The 'separate but from the same world approach' to promo making is something it'd be great to see more directors tackling. Is this something you've worked into projects yourselves or seen any good examples of?
Link: Promo News