Wednesday, 13. February 2008 - 2:15 pm
“We lasted longer than most marriages,” says Harvey. “Our partnership ended amicably and we’ll always remain close friends – she’s like family. But it’s always exciting to start a new chapter, and we just wanted different things in the end.”
By the looks of things the move has had an immediate impact on his work. His first official solo outing is a noteworthy collaboration with Sugababes – a riot of fashion ideas, bursting
with energy, which really does redefine this now-
veteran girl group in their third line-up.
“I feel like it’s a new start for me,” he says. “I’m being seen in a different light and given great new opportunities to try new things. Being made creative director of a live show is fantastic. I feel like David Lachapelle creating Elton John’s Red Piano show – albeit on a smaller scale! I have been directing commercials and pop videos for around ten years, and it now feels really new and exciting for me again.”
Prod co: Merge@Crossroads
Director: Harvey B-Brown
Producer: Francesca Barnes
DoP: Adrian Wild
Art director: Tom Gander
Stylist: Cynthia Lawrence John
Hair: Paul Percival
Makeup: Karen Darnell
Telecine: Tom Russell at Prime Focus
Editor: Steve Gandolfi at Cut & Run
Online: Arman Kang at Golden Square
Commissioners: Carmen Montanez-Callan & Hermione Ross
Watch online: Quicktime movie
Harvey B-Brown on making the Sugababes’ Denial video
“I’ve always thought they were cool. They have a longstanding reputation of not smiling and just sitting there whilst quietly blowing people away with their amazing voices and polished harmonies. But in their new incarnation I wanted to redefine them, and find them a new image to match my perception of their cool personas. I wanted to try and find a unique look for the Sugababes without simply Gucci-fying them.
“What I discovered is that those girls are extremely style-savvy, and also extremely good fun. So my video was all about just that. I wanted them to really let go, I encouraged them to be bold and uninhibited, to be experimental and to enjoy dressing up in front of the camera. I found them a mountain of clothes – which I begged, stole and borrowed from everywhere – and I worked hard and fast with a small army of stylists, hair and make-up artists.
“My background is in fashion – I did a masters degree in fashion at the Royal College of Art (I’m practically a Doctor of Fashion!) – so I was in my element. We were creating amazing outfits out of
swathes of fabrics and anything that came to hand – including newspapers, plastic bin bags and even florist’s cellophane. A lot of the bigger more theatrical dresses were just whipped up on the day of the shoot.
“I shot the video like fashion editorial, using every inch of the studio, including the fire escape, the gantry and the loading bay. I even did a couple of shots with the girls in the storage cupboard where the studio lighting stands were kept. And whilst I was shooting one outfit on one girl, I would be getting the next outfit and set ready.
“It was like a manic production line. I made my entire glam squad set up their work stations actually inside the studio, so that no one ever left the set. It was like an amazing three ring fashion circus. It was mayhem because I was shooting film, Bolex, stills and even super 8, but there was a fantastic vibe on set.
“It’s so liberating to be a solo director. I was thrilled at how many set-ups I managed to shoot. And I think it allows me a closer bond with the artist. I’m so used to having a partner with me at a shoot that I now naturally embrace the artist on set with that same familiarity. I found that it actually makes them feel more involved. I guess that is another reason why I got on so well with the Sugababes.
“After that they invited me to become Creative Director for their Live Shows. I’m hoping to bring all the energy and glamour of the “Denial” shoot to their performance. I want the audience to enjoy the more playful side to the band that I uncovered. There are some BIG dresses and some really cool scenarios planned. Should be a lot of fun.”