David Knight - 20th May 2008

The video for The Fratellis' lead-off single for their new album features a colourful cast of characters (including a devilish guy whose face catches fire) led by the eccentric Mabel herself.

And all the while the band are performing on the ceiling, hanging like a bunch of hard-rocking bats. Although I doubt that's the proper group noun for the little blighters.

Luc himself takes up the story.

Luc Janin on making The Fratellis' Mistress Mabel video

"The brief was very open with just one main restriction: I was told that the band wasn't keen to do any kind of acting and wanted to be performing, exactly how they would be performing on stage.

"I wanted to have some kind of narrative but keeping it far away from the lyrics, describing a surrealist mood with a random and absurd combination of cast, wardrobe, set design, actions, colours and photography. This video was about creating an intriguing and fantastic world inviting the viewer's imagination to take the lyrics in new places.

"I prepared this video by creating the most non-sense possible, using random spontaneous ideas or even accidents and mistakes to deconstruct any kind of logical formulas that would instinctively come to my head.

"The casting was really the starting point of creating this strange world. I wanted to find interesting people that would dictate the characters. Then we made these unexpected combinations of clothes, props and set design to give them attitude and a story.

"I was looking for a way to make the band one of the characters in the scenes, integrating them while also giving them a parallel point of view. So, I thought I could have them standing upside down on the ceiling, which would give them a surreal aspect without having to ask them to do anything else than a straightforward performance.

"We had to build a rough copy of the ceiling on the floor and flipped it upside down in post-production. The fact that their hair for example didn't fall the right way didn't matter to me as nothing in that world was real anyway. So Jon, Barry and Mince would have their own gravity centre in the roof.

"This was really a new kind of work I was trying here and I must say, I really enjoyed it, so I might push it further in that direction again sometime soon."

Watch 'The Fratellis’ Mistress Mabel by Luc Janin' here


Production CompanyAnnex Films
DirectorLuc Janin
ProducerMalachy McAnenny
Director of PhotographyLester De Havilland
Art DirectorJulian Nagel
EditorJames Rosen
CommissionerBob & Tamara

David Knight - 20th May 2008

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