Object & Animal’s Kasper Häggström on his concept of taking “an absurd idea very seriously” for the ‘'If You Say the Word' music video
'If You Say the Word' is a 20-year-old, previously unreleased Radiohead track that is finally seeing the light of the day. Set to be released on the upcoming LP Kid A Mnesia, the promo for the song was directed by Object & Animal director Kasper Häggström, who you may know from his series of brilliant videos for Kelly Lee Owens, the last of which featured Michael Sheen and a toaster.
His film for IYSTW is an eerie but humorous affair in which a group of men travel around the countryside rounding up men in crisp black suits staring plainly into the distance. They're carted into the back of a truck, transported to the depths of London city centre, given a briefcase each and sent back to office life.
We spoke to Kasper about his inspirations and method behind making the video.
It puts an absurdist twist on a melancholic song
“As the song is quite melancholic I wanted to see if I could come up with something that felt different and unexpected. I wrote a bunch of different ideas until I finally ended up with this one. I wanted to make a parallel universe where we take an absurd idea very seriously. I’m very into concepts where people are unaffected by abnormal events.
The shoot was only two days
“The production was very short and quite intense. But also great. I think we all felt the weight of the band's legacy, making everyone a bit more focused. We only had two shooting days and a lot of different locations so we basically shot from sunrise to sunset both days.
Its look is inspired by Ken Loach
“As the song is 20 years old I wanted to make it as timeless as possible. We were able to shoot it on 35mm, making the choice of only using natural light much easier. My idea in pre production was to make the look as neutral as possible. A style my colourist, Julien Alary, likes to call ‘The Ken Loach approach’, where we shot on film, but try to steer away from the typical trends you see in a lot of films today. Even though we didn’t go full Ken Loach naturalistic, I’m still very happy with how it ended up.
There was an unexpected crew shortage
“This was shot during the holiday in the UK so it was quite hard to find available cast and crew. There was also very little time from getting the job to delivering the edit. I overcame this by basically having two brilliant people, my producer, Daphne Do, and my executive, Dom Thomas at Object & Animal, working 24 hour shifts up until shooting day to make everything effortless once we were shooting.”