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How Hallucinations Spurred Daniel Wolfe’s Beautiful Paolo Nutini Promo

Behind the Work 8.4k Add to collection

Somesuch & Co. director on the symbolism and suffering behind his new video Iron Sky

How Hallucinations Spurred Daniel Wolfe’s Beautiful Paolo Nutini Promo

Daniel Wolfe has somewhat of a reputation for engrossing, cinematic, music video epics. Plan B’s Prayin’ and The Shoes’ Time To Dance, in which Jake Gyllenhaall plays a deranged serial killer, spring to mind immediately. After some time away shooting his debut feature ‘Catch Me Daddy’, the Somesuch & Co. director is back with his latest promo, this nine-minute bleak beauty for Paolo Nutini that was spurred by a hallucinatory vision of Jupiter. LBB’s Addison Capper caught up with Daniel to find out more. 


LBB> What did Paolo initially approach you with and how did it lead the final script?

DW> Paolo sent the track with no explanation. My brother and I listened to the song and discussed what imagery we wanted to create. As a child I stared at the planet Jupiter and had a vivid hallucinatory experience. A feeling of abject terror. In bondage to an omnipotent machine. When I heard the Chaplin quote [from the song] I remembered this clearly. So the video became a dystopian vision of the future as imagined by a child in the ‘80s. Or the thoughts of a talking goat we met while we were in pre-production.


LBB> At the beginning of the film the characters speak of an outer, terrorising experience. What were you depicting in those scenes and what kind of experiences inspired it?

DW> Suffering.


LBB> How did you capture the opening grainy, square shots?

DW> They’re not stock footage - we shot them on Hi-8. 


LBB> Can you give us a short round up of the overall narrative? Where does it stem from?

DW> A desire to to create visceral imagery. To create imagery which would allow the viewer to complete the video. To offer space for projection. 


LBB> There seems to be a religious edge to the story and some of the settings. Why was it important for that to be part of the film?

DW> We looked at spirituality, religious or otherwise.


LBB> You shot the film in Ukraine - why was it the perfect backdrop to the story? 

DW> We created the story while we were there. We reacted to place. 


LBB>  It’s quite dark in its script and content, but the colouring is bold and often bright - why was that aesthetic right for the film and how did you achieve it?

DW> As children we read ‘The Great Blueness and Other Predicaments’ by Arnold Lobel. I was looking at this again recently with my son. 

We love pale green. This colour features heavily.


LBB> I really love the kind of kaleidoscopic, colourful cloud-like shots that appear throughout the film (example 5:34). What do they signify? 

DW> Suffering. Beauty.


LBB> What were the most memorable and challenging times during the film’s production? 

DW> The casting process; spending time with people. Discovering what we wanted to capture of them. This was memorable.

The challenge was to shoot everything we wanted in two-and-a-half days. We managed this due to an excellent team on the Ukrainian side, and our relationship with Robbie Ryan, so we could move fast.


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Production Company

Director: Daniel Wolfe

Production Company: Somesuch & Co.

Genres: In-camera effects, Music performance, People, Scenic, Storytelling

Categories: Music video, Short films

Somesuch, Wed, 13 Aug 2014 15:40:42 GMT