Video for Blow monkeys new single - oh my
Thanks to Jon Ingham, Steve Hyslop, Larry Oliver for their patience and enthusiasm. It made the whole project so much fun to work my mates.
The concept is the dodgy preacher/Snake oil salesman is leaving town before he is lynched, hence he is regretful at the beginning ‘oh my lord, what a fool ive been’. The Tabasco Twins (Steve came up with the name as we were filming) follow him and tie him up on the tracks to meet his fate. I did plan several endings and twists but I decided to keep it really simple, a snapshot of a bigger story.
I wanted the band footage to fit into the story naturally, so they appear when the preacher zips the bag up, in the poster at the station, in the window on the train journey and again in the poster at the end.
Its intended it to be a bit Coen Brothers meet the Freak Brothers. There are a couple of cartoon-like edits which made me chuckle, where the preachers hat goes down and fills the screen with blackness, then the Tabasco Twins enter the Den and a crack of light splits the darkness, then again The preacher screams and the camera zooms into the darkness of his mouth then the Tabasco Twins turn on a light in the darkness.
The end scene with ‘the cast’ singing in the posters with the band had to be included, we had such a laugh filming that bit and I wanted to include an element of fun so that the video wasn’t taken too seriously.
I wanted it to look timeless, or at least not modern, so I contacted Dean Forest Railway to seek permission to film their steam trains for the video. They were really helpful so that was the key location sorted. Next I asked a friend of mine, Jon Ingham, if he had a bowler hat and would he help me out in the video, he didn’t have a bowler but did have a top hat, but that was ok with my vision, I thought he could be a bit Isambard K. Brunel.
I also had an idea that the main character should be dodgy and the first time he is waiting at the station he is going on a journey, the second time he is waiting to die! So I went over to Jon’s with my suit (which Jon has now stolen!) to take some stills to make up a wanted poster! When I get there jon put the top hat on and it looked ok, but when he put on a different hat Dr. Robert B. McKey was born.
Next I made up the wanted poster, printed a load of money, sorted the old rope and ordered us a couple of tickets for the steam train.
Larry Oliver and Steve Hyslop are both mates of mine and I knew I could trust them to do their own wardrobe and create their own personas for the other characters, Steve (right hand side in Tabasco wanted poster)dresses like that everyday anyway so it wasn’t a big deal for him!. We shot their part separately due to timings and availability, I did a stand in part in the hat and suit as they followed took up pursuit.
It seemed right to shoot in black and white and add the black bars top and bottom to make it more cinematic. The clip at the very beginning was shot from the back of a train in Spain about 8 years ago, I ran it backwards to give the impression of a train moving forward.
The band were filmed in a rehearsal studio in London, The rest was filmed in the Forest of Dean (the wild west), which is unique because of the unspoilt beauty in the forest itself and its beautifully distressed industrial landscapes. I knew that the steam train station had great scenery and the shots with the Tabasco twins were shot behind Larry’s light restoration workshop, which i knew would deliver some good shots too. The Den, Larry’s workshop, is magnificent. Larry restores vintage lighting and makes his own contemporary stuff, so it’s like Aladdins cave in there.