David Knight - 9th July 2009

A fully-submerged video for the idiosyncratic Wild Beasts by Graeme Pearce at Ruth Render. In fact, for all the underwater sequences down the years, it's hard to recall a complete performance done this way.

As Graeme points out below, he was impressed by the sync-swimming sequences in Friendly Fires' Jump In The Pool by Price James, among other things, and took it to the next level.

The effect is serene and claustrophobic; the band (apparently weighted down) do well; and health and safety was quite possibly a complete nightmare.


Graeme Pearce on making the video for Wild Beasts' Hooting and Howling

"I'd been keen to make an underwater video for a long time and the dreamy, flowing quality of 'Hooting and Howling' was the perfect excuse - not to mention it's lyrical reference to a river. I'd seen underwater promos before but nothing really performance-based.

"I came across an underwater dance company called Aquabatix, who had worked with the Friendly Fires, and was intrigued by their Sync Tank act which involved underwater gymnastics in a portable glass tank.

"But it was the claustrophobia of the whole thing that attracted me. Plus I had just watched The Prestige, that contains the scary water tank escape trick.

"I thought it would be great to have the band perform in a glass tank, like specimens on display. I wanted to give the feeling that they were trapped, or had always existed in the tank, so it was important not to show the surface or any coming up for air.

"With pockets full of lead, the guys did their thing, and we directed them with a mic and an underwater speaker that was also used for playback.

"Our main concern during the shoot was that our life guard had said if water hit the overhead 2.5K light it would cause the tank to instantly boil!"


Production CompanyRuth Render
DirectorGraeme Pearce
Director of PhotographyJoakim Olsson
Make-upSally Ann Nelson

David Knight - 9th July 2009

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