David Knight - 24th Nov 2008

Hip-hop meets Dead Of Night in this excellent piece made on a shoestring by London collective hitbyatruck.

It features Canadian artist Josh Martinez recast as a ventriloquist's dummy, enjoying the same twisted relationship with a dysfunctional 'master' that has productively engaged filmmakers down the years - but still most memorably in the classic Ealing portmanteau chiller.

Just can't remember it quite happening in a video before though - although the singing dummy does recall Hype Williams' genius video for Blackstreet's No Diggity all those years ago. So hats off to hitbyatruck.

Even if they do take the genre into questionable territory with scenes of a sexual nature between man and object...

[pay]Josh Martinez
Grown Folks Music (Camobear Records)
Direction, camera, editing: hitbyatruck

hitbyatruck on making the Josh Martinez's Grown Folks Music video

"Most projects that we become involved with usually originate via friends or from word of mouth recommendations . We'd wanted to do something with Josh for a while, having been into the whole Canadian hip hop scene since the late 90's.

"We'd exchanged a few ideas previously but Josh had always been too busy to get across to the UK to film anything. With that in mind, and only a couple of hundred pounds to make the video, we listened to the track Josh supplied.

"There's a lot less posturing associated with the underground and more opportunities to take chances and to be playful. We felt a narrative association between the track's lament on the passing of time as a performer with the death of old music hall and cabaret entertainers in England. We like the idea of taking things slightly out of context and reinterpreting obvious themes.

"In some ways we wanted to convey the abusive relationship that exists between artists and the industry, but have a bit of fun with it at the same time. In the video this relationship presents itself as Josh, the abused doll, and the industry ('the man.') as the drunken abusive ventriloquist.

"We only had a day and a half over a weekend to shoot the video. One cheap camera, the 3 of us, and the doll. The couple of hundred pounds went on the hire of the doll and a couple of hours use of a working men's club. We drank a lot of vodka during the shoot and managed to persuade Truck associate James Turrell to don the wig as the ventriloquist."[/pay]

David Knight - 24th Nov 2008

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