David Knight - 30th Oct 2008


His latest, for Jeremy Warmsley is an effective dramatisation of the artist's song about German soldiers billeted with British families on the Channel Islands - invaded by Germany in WW2.

Ben captures a period feel in a rural setting - it was shot in Hampshire - but then keeps focussed on the triumph of love (and lust) between supposed foes, with a surprising lack of recrimination and hand-wringing.

"The song based on a book about the German invasion of the Channel Islands in World War 2," Ben explains. "Local British families were forced to accommodate German soldiers stationed on the islands. Inevitably some of the local women fraternized with the soldiers which was of course highly disapproved of by the local community. Jeremy wrote the lyrics to celebrate such fragile relationships in such uncertain times as a triumph of love.

"My idea was to portray a touching love story between an English girl and a German soldier staying in her family's house. I wanted to make it quite funny hence the 'sausage and mash' scene, facial expressions and the goose-stepping towards the end. I also felt that by sharing a joke with one another and by flatly mocking the war they isolated themselves from the very serious environment around them, as if they were conducting their affair within and impenetrable bubble."


Ben Goodger's video for Brown Trout Blues, made in the summer, sees Johnny Flynn playing three roles in three distinct ages in three stylised, theatrical set-ups: And Flynn is uncomfortable, and harassed, in each role.

"My idea was to make a video that took 'identity' as its theme with a comic, quirky interpretation," says Ben. "We decided to present Johnny as three hypothetical reincarnations of himself. Firstly as a one-man band type busker in Victorian England, then as a glam rocker and finally as a pregnant mum. I wanted the personas to be as absurd as possible.

"In each scene Johnny is hassled by the people around him and every scenario is unfitting in someway. The final scene is Johnny as himself alone on stage (although he starts off wearing the wig from the previous scene). The idea is that after everything he is more or less happy being himself 'I guess I'm happy as I am..'

"I chose to shoot on Panasonic Varicam mainly because of the excellent slow motion that the camera awards. This was particularly useful for the party scene to show close-up detail of out-of-control children. The change in pace also mirrored the rhythm of the song and gave it a surreal, strangely calm look.

"In the glam rock scene we used half speed playback with Johnny singing at half speed which when speeded up presented the surrounding action as chaotic double speed. This contrasted with some slow motion parts in the same scene. These changes of tempo were designed to create an impression of Johnny being out of kilter with his environment."


DirectorBen Goodger
GirlHolly Gilbert
EditorBen Goodger
Art DirectorBe
StylistAmeena Kara Callender

David Knight - 30th Oct 2008

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