David Knight - 19th Jan 2009

Alex and the boys are back, and they're in a bad way. In the video for the new album's first single directed by Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern - aka thirtytwo - you've rarely seen a pop group so inelegantly wasted as Franz Ferdinand. They're like a bunch of broken men who've been hitting the Tennants Super ever since they stopped touring the last album. Excellent concept.

Shot all over unsalubrious parts of LA, this tragi-comic essay of a bad trip works as an anti-intoxicants film almost as entertaining as the Egg PSA ("this is your brain, this is your brain on drugs..."). And of course it's a nostalgic journey down memory lane for some of us too. Including the lying in the tumble dryer bit.

They also went to the Mojave Desert and found the link between Franz Ferdinand and The Doors. Most perceptive.

Dylan and Will of thirtytwo on making the video for Franz Ferdinand's Ulysses

"The shoot was one of our most enjoyable promo experiences to date. We pitched an idea based around the type of filmmaking we love - proper run-and-gun with a minimal crew - and we were really excited when it got commissioned.

"It was a pretty fast and furious shoot, but it meant we had a lot more freedom than we have been used to. We took full advantage of that. We were able to improvise scenes and grab locations as we went along. A lot of our references were from the American new wave - we wanted the video to have that kind of looseness and spirit, but without becoming a pastiche. Hopefully we achieved that.

"The band were great to work with. We'd got to know them during a documentary we shot with them, so there was a truly collaborative spirit involved. The amount we got done wouldn't have been possible if there hadn't been. Yon Thomas, the DoP was amazing as well - we really hope to have the chance to work with him again.

"Highlights included securing our motel location for the fee of $38 complete with cockroaches; Will acting as a decoy for the launderette owner while we got our last few shots; and casting one of our dancers as she walked her dog past the location, just minutes before we did the shot. Only in LA."

Watch 'Franz Ferdinand’s Ulysses by thirtytwo ' here

PRO Credits


Production CompanyPulse Films
ProducerJamie Clark
Director of PhotographyYon Thomas
EditorMason Storm
ColouristThe Mill
CommissionerJohn Moule
ColouristAubrey Woodiwiss

David Knight - 19th Jan 2009

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