So it's summer, and the brief the label just emailed over is simple: go off and shoot a sunny, summery music video. By next week. And you're in the UK, and, of course, it's miserable and …
The Questionnaire: Sam Davey
Sam Davey, 33, joined OB Management eight years ago, and has been a very busy director's rep, righthand man to OB's head honcho Otis Bell, and a crucial (and largely uncredited) enabler of music video production in the UK ever since. Sam is a Essex boy, who grew up in Southend and now lives back in nearby Westcliff, and gets an awful lot of work done on the commute.
Education: A degree in Film studies and Communication studies at Cambridge (not the Cambridge)
Previous occupations: Post production sound assistant and runner. Inputs/outputs and all that technical stuff, not my forte. I did make a mean brew though.
Favourite music video of the past 12 months? Pretty hard to ignore ‘Iron Sky’. Wish I had a smarter answer than that.
"Favourite video of all time? Radiohead’s ‘Just’ still does it for me."
Favourite publications/websites: Promo News, you guys still delivering. Word is Cheap is a great platform for videos and insights. Nowness and er…BBC Sport, if I wanna switch off and just keep tabs on the darts scores.
Favourite food/restaurant: Current fave is the Italian Deli on Old Compton street for lunch. Duck Soup on Dean Street for dinner.
Favourite drink/drug: Heineken/Peroni or a nice syrupy red wine.
Last movie you saw (and was it any good)? Fast & Furious 7. My obsession with muscle-bound action heroes never wavers. Vin Diesel flies a car and everything.
Favourite directors: If we’re talking movies then Scorsese would be right up there. Video directors, always been a sucker for Keith Schofield and Dougal Wilson, but more recently Emile Sornin, clever bastard.
"I could name quite a few of my own guys, but I wouldn’t wanna inflate their egos too much, so I’ll leave it there."
Last gig you went to (and was it any good)? Yumi Zouma at the Red Gallery. Shoe gazey loveliness from New Zealand
Favourite bands/artists: Bruce Springsteen. There ya go.
Currently reading/favourite book: Swapping my time between Kim Gordon’s ‘Girl In A Band’ and Steve Martin’s ‘Born Standing Up’. I do enjoy a good memoir.
What was the first music video you worked on – and what were you doing on that job? I think one of the first vids I remember being a part of when I joined OB was Eran Creevy’s Utah Saints ‘Something Good 08’. That was the one with the birth of the Running Man in a Welsh working man’s club. Such a fun shoot, and I remember being blown away by Rani’s energy and presence on set, everyone just super relaxed having fun with it. Of course it may have been Girls Aloud ‘Sexy No No No’ instead. Mother was so proud.
Favourite job of the past 12 months: The nice thing about OB is that we get to represent such a mixture of directors, all with different styles and at different stages of their careers. For me I like videos that don’t take themselves too seriously – like Zac Ella’s Wiley, Emil’s recent Sheeran ‘Bloodstream’ with Ray Liotta. Oh really loved Georgia Hudson’s Glass Animals, good match that one.
What’s the next Big Thing you’re working on? Got a sexy one for Jack Garratt about to go into production with Andrew Donoho. Couple of promos dropping from a great new band called Astronomyy who I love. Emil and Ed Sheeran have a bit of a tear-jerker on the way for his next track ‘Photograph’. Never stops.
"What would most improve your life? Bigger budgets and more prep time."
Best moment, or fondest memory, of your career thus far? I guess the most gratifying part of my job is nurturing and developing talent. Finding that little gem or seeing something in a young director, then helping them grow through the ranks and make outstanding pieces of work. We’ve got 3 or 4 super talented guys who I can’t wait to see what they do this year.
"Worst moment? When my sidekick Kim Jarrett goes on holiday. Everything we do is a proper team effort."
Biggest frustration? Wasting directors’ time.
Person you most admire? If I didn’t say the big OB, I think I’d be out of a job. Making the move into repping 8 years ago, he taught me everything I know.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in music video production? Get out there, meet as many people as you can and immerse yourself in it. If you wanna be a director, make a video, no matter how rough and ready. Shoot an idea that’s unique and entertaining in some way, that’s what gets you noticed.
"Please no more powder paint, animal masks or ladies whose hands gingerly caress long grass. Oh, and no spacemen. Above all else, be nice."
Any hot tips on who will be the future stars in music video in the next couple of years – directors or otherwise? I’m afraid I’m not allowed to divulge that information.
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