Colonel Blimp signs 'God View' director Billy Lumby
David Knight - 13th July 2015
Billy Lumby, one of the most exciting new directing talents working in the UK, has joined Colonel Blimp for music videos and commercials.
Lumby has directed the acclaimed short films God View and SAMUEL-613, which mix drama and comedy with groundbreaking technique. God View (above), shot entirely from above using a specially designed bodyrig, has won awards at several top film festivals (including Clermont-Ferrand and Seoul) and was then bought and broadcast by Canal+.
His latest film SAMUEL-613, commissioned by Dazed magazine and produced in association with UK Jewish Film, is the story of a young man's rebellion from London's Hasidic community, which gave Lumby unprecedented access for a drama. Featuring non-professional actors, Yiddish dialogue, and magic realist sequences, the film has won this years £10,000 Pears Short Film prize.
A Londoner who has previously worked as a creative assistant for the likes of Harmony Korine, John Hillcoat, Derek Cianfrance and Oscar-winning editor Angus Wall, Billy Lumby has talked to Promo News about how God View was made, and how moving to Colonel Blimp gives him the chance to achieve an as-yet unfulfilled ambition to make music videos.
PN: Now you’ve joined Colonel Blimp, what sort of projects are you most interested in doing?
BL: I'm an experienced treatment writer for commercials, that's my background, so it makes sense to try my own hand at making them now. Videos are the thing that really excite me though. I've wanted to make some promos for a while but always got sidetracked by my short films - they've taken up a lot of time and energy.
Can you do things in music videos you couldn’t or wouldn’t do in your films?
Absolutely - it's a different kettle of fish. You use music in a film to help the story, whereas I love the idea of a piece of music inspiring and being the main driving force behind a video. It's an amazing feeling watching any promo where the music track and the visuals completely gel together, and especially when the combination is least expected.
I want to make narrative and technique-driven music videos that really buzz people. It's an opportunity to be more visual, more abstract and expand my repertoire. Fingers crossed you'll be seeing a few weird and wonderful things.
Regarding God View, is the Tony Hill who built the rig for the film the same guy who worked on Cabaret Voltaire videos years ago?
Indeed. Tony is an artist and filmmaker who has built quite a number of amazing rigs over the years. Put A Short History Of The Wheel into YouTube if you want a real head-fuck trying to work out how something was done.
With God View, I conceived of the rig and the post-production involved myself. I did prototype tests, looking like a weirdo walking around Hackney Central with a camera on the end of a 4m pole. DP Brett Turnbull and I then did some lens/distance tests, and finally Tony brought his expertise on board to build it. The actor who wore the thing ended up looking a bit like ED-209 from Robocop.
• Watch Billy Lumby at Colonel Blimp here
David Knight - 13th July 2015