David Knight - 23rd June 2008

Quicktime movie

[pay]Norman Cook's record for innovative music video high-jinks is a merit badge to be cherished and maintained - even when he slides into a brand new, non-Fatboy Slim incarnation.

So it's a good move to hand the baton to Keith Schofield, who is being increasingly cherished himself for his ability to combine technical curiosity with an impish sense of fun.

And lo and behold, we have lots of naked young people, making things with their private parts. Well, the black bars that cover their bits.

It's a video to do full justice to Norman's recharged creative battery, and he also makes one of his best cameo appearances ever.

He certainly looks invigorated.

Keith Schofield on his video for The BPA's Toe Jam

"I was apprehensive about working with so many unclothed people. I don't think I've even directed a scene with two people kissing. But the project was never meant to be sexual. I pitched it as: 'It's about as erotic as a naked guy streaking through a football game.'

"We had a pretty low turnout for casting, but I was happy with a high percentage of people. We were basically casting on charisma and looks. The censored black bars are a relic of the 70s, and I wanted to capture that all-natural vibe from the decade. So we requested for no tattoos, spray tan, or silicon implants - which may have contributed to our low turn out. But I was really happy with the cast that we ended up with.

"The shoot went really well. Everyone got desensitized to the nudity pretty quickly. All the actors seemed to be having a really fun time; I actually had to ask them to bring down the energy for the party scenes, but good vibes all around.

"It helped that we had a rehearsal day - everyone was dressed in bikinis and swimsuits - so it was in many ways a warmup for the shoot day. I had diagrams for all of the shapes and letters; but it took a while to figure out how to exactly place everyone.

"Believe it or not, I really had a hard time coming up with shapes. In my treatment, I wrote 'the possibilities are endless'. But in truth there are a ton of factors that limit what you can do. People can only bend so far - and I didn't want to ask them to lie on top of each other for the overhead shots.

"One idea I had which was impossible to shoot was to have the entire group slowly spelling out the word FUCK, only to have the entire word censored out with one massive black bar.

"Working with Norman Cook was a lot of fun. I'm a huge music video nerd, and working with an artist who had been responsible for two of Spike Jonze's best videos was truly a thrill.

"It was Norman's idea to do the giant spinning black bar for his cameo, and to his credit, he did his entire cameo all nude. After the shoot, he gave the entire cast and myself tickets to Coachella, where he was playing the following night.

"All in all, this was a really great experience. I think was one of the few times that a video came out almost exactly as I wanted it to. It's been fun seeing it go viral so quickly - although I'm a bit perplexed why so many people would rip the embedded video and repost it - especially under pretentious titles like Censor Bar Art.

"I'm not sure a smiley face and stick figure count as art - patterns, shapes, sure. I wish they would at least give credit to the musicians - I mean, we're doing this to sell albums and concert tickets, right"[/pay]

Watch 'The BPA’s Toe Jam by Keith Schofield' here

PRO Credits


Production CompanyStreetgang Films
DirectorKeith Schofield
ProducerMarisol Aragon
Director of PhotographyBrett Juskalian
Art DirectorJason Lee
EditorKeith Schofield
Post ProducerCaviar
CommissionerJohn Hassay
CommissionerNew Selecta

David Knight - 23rd June 2008

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