David Knight - 16th June 2008

Keith and Chris from We Are Scientists have what looks like uncomfortable fun playing Jack and Ennis from Brokeback Mountain, rounding up small yapping Pomerianian dogs instead of sheep.

It comes from DADDY, the Dublin-based duo at Red Jam Productions, who also made that very fine video for Jape's Floating a few months ago that was in-booked for this year's D&AD Awards.

Even Ang Lee probably wouldn't be too offended by this version of Brokeback with the Wicklow Mountains filling in for Wyoming. But unfortunately what with all that Pomeranian-wrangling there ain't too much time for any homo-eroticism. Shame.

DADDY are Mike and Enda, and DADDY stands for Design Animation Design Design Yay. Honest, it really does. Their new website at www.teamdaddy.com should be open any time now.

DADDY on shooting the video for We Are Scientists' Chick Lit

"The band wanted a video where they were cowboys wrangling a large herd of tiny dogs. Pomeranian's were quickly chosen due to their reputation for being yappy, egocentric, annoying, bat-faced prima-donnas. This in some way reflected the theme of the lyrics - trying to deal with an annoying bitchy character.

"We worked on various scenarios and discussed them with the band, starting off with wackier stuff and then slowly coming back to a straighter storyline letting any funny stuff come from the fact that they were playing it fairly straight and just getting on with the humdrum of dog rustling. I suppose kind of Brokeback crossed with Crufts.

"Once we were happy with a general storyline we started to try and find a suitable location. The DADDY camp were obviously rooting for sun-bleached Spain or Italy where all the spaghetti westerns were shot. We daydreamed of the Sergio Leone style skies, big blue canvas' framing our weary filthy cowboys. That hazy dream bubble was quickly popped by time and budget constraints. We ended up shooting in the freezing cold, randomly wet and very windy Wicklow Mountains just outside Dublin.

"At first we thought it would be ridiculous trying to make Ireland in winter look like arid mid-west plains, but after a scout up a mountain and across a river to the expansive area we nicknamed named the 'blond bog' we were (almost) convinced. In the meantime Red Jam our producer worked hard and recruited all the Pomeranian's in Ireland which came to 10. None of these were trained in any way.

"We had a one day shoot which was long and tough with LOADS of set-ups to get through. We had no idea how the horses would react to the dogs and vice versa or if when let go the dogs would just run away (they did).

"The band were amazing on the day, tackling the icy gale force winds like super-beings, zen-like they mentally and literally pretended it was a midwestern sun blessed plain to make it through. We saw them meditate in their trailer at lunchtime. In true lead actor fashion they lied about their horse handling skills, which added to the fun, watching them sink into the bog, totally scared shitless and laughing at each other when it was their turn. The night-time stuff around the campfire was great too. We Are Scientists are funny!

"Back in our slightly less windy studio, we got to work animating the 250 strong Pomeranian herd. This was created lord of the rings style using crowd simulation software. It turns out digital dogs are more random than real ones. They pissed all over our desktop and chewed our jpegs to bits but eventually we tamed them and a couple of weeks later out popped this video."[/pay]


Production CompanyRed Jam Productions
ProducerMary McCarthy
Director of PhotographyRuairi O'Brien
EditorAlistair Redding in Yard Media
ColouristErik Goodbody in Windmill Lane
CommissionerCarole Burton Fairbrother

David Knight - 16th June 2008

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