Creating the new video for the legendary Orbital was always going to be a challenge, with a very strong promo collection already under their banner. Add to this their eight year absence and the amount of airplay the track, 'New France' has received and the pressure was most definitely on. The story was supposed to strike a chord with the manchild in many of us who wants to relive the 'glory days' long after their life has found more substance and meaning.
Luckily for me, I had the talents of Hana Backland on my side. She built the puppet from scratch in a ridiculously short span of time on no money and some animatronic assistance from the good folk at Lunas Puppets in the states. The result was a fully realised, emotive puppet actor. Our little Lion holds his own against the dynamic Stuart Ellison & Dan Harvey, playing the duplicitous pair that lure him out to play.
Hana's skilled puppetry (with help from assistant Ali Allsop) really gave us an emotional anchor for the video and showcased her at the top of her game.
This marks the third music promo collaboration between myself and Joseph Henderson, the DOP, who totally nails the magical/kitchen sink aesthetic I love so much. Nick Pykett proved to be a great team player, Ad-ing, catering, providing locations - you name it.
We were fortunate to get assistance from Truro College, Half Inch Rails, Justin Heasman @ Sketchwork TV, Dogbite film crew and top filmmaker Brett Harvey - who produced a fantastic making of that Phil Hartnoll insisted was released side by side with the promo.
The reaction to the video has been amazing, with plaudits from my hero and music video maker and guru Adam Buxton, Guardian/Esquire film critic and author Micheal Holden, NME, Badass Digest, Pitchfork and an entry into Stereogum's top 5 global music videos of the week. I am needless to say, thrilled.
A special thanks to everyone who gave up their time - the reason I insisted on having end credits (never a popular move) was to pay tribute, in a small way, to your tireless dedication, boundless energy and inspired professionalism. I am in your debt...
Check out more filmmaking and puppetry from Hana Backland here --
Lee Trewhela did a great feature for us here --
Shot on Canon 5D Mark II
HDV Zombie short I made a couple of years ago for the Fleapit project that debuted on the propeller shorts channel. Re-graded with new VFX
Shot on a cold and rainy April night in London.
Shot, Cut and Directed - Brett Harvey
Visual Effects Editor - Nick Pykett
Camera Assistant - Liam McCormack
Massive thanks to John O'Regan and Ian Bucknole