David Knight - 16th June 2009

After his award-winning fake doc video for KT Tunstall last year, James Caddick has now made a real one for The Maccabees: about Chris, downhill racer extraordinaire. But he's not on skis.

It's all about the loony Gloucestershire tradition of chasing a cheese wheel down a steep decline - proper old-fashioned English eccentricity that warms the heart, and is a bloody good laugh to watch.

It's all beautifully captured by James, with a rewarding result.

James Caddick on making the video for Maccabees' Can You Give It

"The project came about with The Maccabees wanting to do a video about the Cheese Rolling in Gloucestershire. I think some bloke mentioned it to them at a gig in Bristol. Anyway I thought it was a great idea. I basically wanted to make a documentary/music video that showed this strange tradition in all its anarchic glory.

"I was thinking about references such as The Wicker Man and Kes. It needed to have narrative thread, a kind of doc drama element to make it into something more than a wacky clip about people tumbling down a hill. That's where the characters involved in the event came in. Diana, the cheese maker, Rob, the master of ceremonies, and of course Chris, the four times champion.

"Chris was integral to the piece. Our leading man (forgive the pun). We met him practicing running down the hill on a recce. I was stood at the bottom of the hill thinking that anybody who ran down it was crazy when suddenly this tiny figure came hurtling down at the most amazing speed. I rushed over and asked him if he was OK. We got chatting and he agreed to be filmed. Luckily Chris won this year again, so the film all made sense. He was a lovely bloke and a great hero.

"The film was shot on a number of formats: a Bolex Super 16, Super 8mm and an HD with a lens mount. Having different formats gave us a lot of flexibility and gave the film a texture and aesthetic that I felt was in keeping with the sensibility of the piece.

"It was a pleasure to make. The people I met in Gloucestershire were charming, the team who made the film with me were amazing, and The Maccabees were very cool and gave me a great opportunity and support throughout the film."

Credits

Production CompanyWarp Films
DirectorJames Caddick
ProducerSarah Tognazzi
Director of PhotographyJames Cronin
EditorSebastian R
ColouristJames Banford
CommissionerEmily Tedrake

David Knight - 16th June 2009

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