David Knight - 30th Oct 2007

Having made his UK breakthrough with an acclaimed video for Fujiya Miyagi’s Ankle Injury a few months back, Kiwi director Wade Shotter looks to be finally making his mark up in the northern hemisphere. He's created a one-shot wonder for Vincent Vincent & The Villains, and co-directed a double-video, multi-platform project for the Pet Shop Boys. Pet Shop Boys' Integral focussed on an issue close to the hearts of Pet Shop Boys' Neil and Chris. They believe that the proposed introduction of ID cards in Britain would be a gross infringement of civil liberties, and Shotter was recruited by The Rumpus Room and their production offshoot The Sweet Shop to co-direct a politically charged concept with Rumpus Room creative Jeff Wood and Lawrence Blankenbyl.

Firstly they created a highly pixelated video, including a Pet Shop Boys performance, which acts as a standalone video on mobile devices – and has intriguing new 'two-dimensional barcode' technology that can link to various websites of organisations campaigning against ID cards. Then they went back to make a more televisual version where the pixel video (rather like Shotter's Fujiya vid in some ways) is integrated into a succession of time-lapse landscapes of British, mostly urban landmarks. This was a big project which required the directors shooting for nine days on still and video formats. Its ingenuity is how it utilises technology which could be possibly stored and exploited on a person's national identity card. Rather scary – a bit like the directors workload. "We printed out the first video in book form before we put each frame into the second video – there were nearly 3,000 of them", says Shotter. He also encountered the State control that the Pet Shop Boys are complaining about, when he and his co-directors were told by police to stop filming at some "sensitive" sites.

Shotter's solo project for Vincent Vincent & The Villains is quite different – a thoroughly entertaining one-shot video featuring the wonderful human cartoon that is hula-hooping queen Marawa. The band met Marawa a while ago and it was their idea to put her in the video. But it was Shotter's idea that she effectively steal the show. "It resounded nicely with the song being called On My Own," he says. "I wanted to see all of her routine and the best way to capture that was a one-shot." He kept Vincent and co. busy though – they were recruited to operate the lyric strips that pop up at intervals in the clip. And Marawa's rock-a-hula-ing around 50 hoops at the end – just a few short of her (unofficial) world record she set recently on The Paul O'Grady Show.

David Knight - 30th Oct 2007

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