Wednesday, 23. September 2009 - 2:06 pm
Robbie Williams’ important comeback video has to send a message to both the devoted following and the waverers that their man is back, good as gold. So what better way of sending that message than turning to the director who created all those bold, cheeky, award-winning vids back in the day.
And Vaughan Arnell – on something of a comeback trail of his own, having kept away from videos for the past couple of years – supplies the properly big statement that was needed.
Bodies distils elements from some of those Robbie/Vaughan collaborations of old – Angels, Let Me Entertain You, Millennium, Rock DJ, Supreme, etc – into something that’s right for the times. Great locations, Rob looks great, and the old cheekiness starts to emerge on the wing of a crumbling jet.
And another, bolder offering from one of the most fruitful artist-director partnerships is on its way.
Prod co: Serious Pictures
Director: Vaughan Arnell
Exec Producer: Donnie Masters
Producer: Nicci Power
DoP: Nicola Pecorini
Wardrobe: Marcus Love
Hair: Oliver Woods
Make up: Gina Kane
Editor: Leo King at Cut & Run
Colourist: Paul Harrison at MPC
Online: Drew Downes at MPC
Management: IE Music
Manager (UK): David Enthoven
Manager (LA): Josie Cliff
Vaughan Arnell on the making of the video for Robbie’s Bodies
“I thought the time of doing Robbie videos was over. I was surprised to get the call for the new stuff, and then didn’t hear the track for ages. Then I heard that Trevor Horn was doing it, and he makes everything sound so massive I knew it was going to have to be on a big scale.
“It was interesting seeing Rob five years on from the last time. He was in good shape – much more relaxed than he used to be, in fact. We had specific points to hit – there’s a little bit of Steve McQueen in there, with the bike. What was great was that we had lots of the same old crew working on it.
“It was a two day shoot and completely mental. We shot at this airport in the Mohave Desert which they call the graveyard. It’s where they store planes, and basically it looks like an airport, and there’s a part where they break up planes. You can just land a Jumbo, roll it round on the sand and start breaking it up. What’s really frightening was pressing your finger into the fuselage of a plane with the insulation taken out, and the metal would dent. There was a lot of spooky stuff around.
“They wanted to keep the comedy angle down a bit, and that’s his real missus, Ida, in the beach buggy. And we timed it all so we only had half an hour to do the performance. We saved it for the wing-walking bit, and caught it at sunset.
“The whole point of the video is that everyone has forgotten about Rob, what he’s really about. And people have been comparing him with Take That, which is wrong. So you see him in the desert, all unshaven. Then he gets himself together.
“There’s certainly a lot riding on this – they [Robbie’s management] are paying for it themselves, they are really counting on it. So you’ve got to get it right.”