Liz Green - Bad Medicine

I've just completed a new music video, this time in stop motion!

The song is by the incredibly talented Liz Green, and is called 'Bad Medicine'.

We were asked to put together an idea for the song a couple of months back. I had a craving to get my hands into a bit more paper animation, and thought it would suit Liz's voice perfectly. I listened to the song on repeat until a story started to develop in my mind.

Almost all of Liz's songs tell rather wonderful stories. She refers to them as adult fairy tales.

Bad medicine was no exception, telling the story of a man neglected and worn down by the world. There was a sense of unfairness in the tone, and the lyric, "Every man wants more than he did before" which started the cogs turning. That sense of greed, and unfairness, coupled with the repeated line, "We've got no way out", made it clear this would have to end in tragedy.

I wanted it to feel raw, and earthy, and above all, without end. I didn't want to tell a story with a definite conclusion or happily ever after, but to show that pattern - a murder which would lead to another, and another...

To set the story in the Western frontier seemed a simple choice. It just fitted.

I joked that I wanted to make Deadwood in paper, and to some extent, that's what I set about doing.

As usual with animations, it was a ridiculous schedule, without much room for sleep. There's only so many times you can wish your hands where smaller before you have to question your own sanity.

Talking to a cardboard tree as the sun came up was a definite low point, but I think it was worth it in the end. Hopefully you do too.

But I was not alone in my struggles, and I'd like to give huge thanks to Glenn, Tobias, Clyde, Simon, Jason, Carly and Mr. K, who were all indispensable in keeping my sanity levels just about on the page.

Now here's some clips of people messing about with paper for a while.

The Leisure Society - Dust on the Dancefloor

A new music video! 

I met The Leisure Society at End of the Road Festival this year. And a lovely group of people they are too.

Their single 'Dust on the Dancefloor' was soon to be released, and having seen my little animation for the festival, they asked me if I might be interested.

Of course I was.

Time was fairly tight, and the band were about to go on tour with Laura Marling, so it was very much a case of working with what you've got. Luckily what they had was a couple of reels of Super 8 footage from their last summer tour.

So I came up with an idea of trying to lace imagery of them into the beams of projectors, with an old retainer type character trying to catalogue the footage.

I don't think the band entirely knew what the outcome was going to be, and to be entirely honest I'm not sure that I was either. Nonetheless, Nick and the band were all extremely trusting, and just went with it.

We shot the band in a disused office in Old Street, and then the rest in a converted dairy barn in Sussex. My father, David Brett, took the role of the projectionist; how handy it is to have a fine actor in the family.

The rest was literally smoke and mirrors.

Allo, Allo!

No! Don't run! It's not the police! It's Allo Darlin', a wonderful indie pop group from London! And yes, I went there.

For the past couple of weeks I've been working on a new music video for these guys. Which has meant many sleepless nights in a disused office block. And at last, my work is complete.


The video features a whole lot of cardboard, and I've been working with the same team behind my last video, Efterklang's 'I Was Playing Drums'. That also means I've been co-directing with Simon Taffe again.

Before I say any more, have a look at the video on Vimeo, or just below:

The shoot all started in Simon's kitchen, which on Saturday evening looked something like this:

And by Sunday evening, was looking like this:

From there we moved to a disused office block to build the rest of the set and costumes. The main tunnel ended running about 20 meters long, and was built, for the most part, by Clyde Cronin. When it was finished the only way to get from one end to the other was to crawl, which meant some pretty painful knees all round.


Not least for Elizabeth, who had to do more crawling than anyone. I seem to have a habit of putting my lead stars through arduous conditions, and this shoot was no exception it seems. Luckily I think nostalgia served as a pretty good anaesthetic here.


On the day of the band we were running behind slightly, and the guys were brilliant at pitching in; building the final bit of the tunnel while I continued to throw boxes and Ukelele's at Elizabeth.

The performance itself was filled with enough slapstick to fill a Laurel and Hardy sketch, with Heart's tripping over left, right and centre. I don't think the laughter on everyone's faces could have been faked, and I'm really glad a lot of the atmosphere on set made it into the video.

Screen shot 2010-11-18 at 13.47.01
Screen shot 2010-11-18 at 13.47.01

I have to give an extra special thanks to Leila Watts and Owen Davey, who gave up far too much sleep for me and Simon. And a standard, but still very special thanks to everyone else who gave up their waking hours to make this one happen. I really think it was worth it, and I hope it makes people smile when they see it.