David Knight - 5th Nov 2012

James Lees' video for Bloc Party's Kettling is likely to stir memories and probably mixed emotions in a good many viewers. It's a thrilling recreation of that classic playground favourite, now generally outlawed as being too dangerous: British Bulldogs.

Filmed with a group of kids from a south-east London school James captures all the excitement, aggression and fear that's associated with this downsized form of warfare - and, of course, the violence, and ensuing injuries...

"I liked how the band were very keen to not be too on the nose with the video for 'Kettling' - which obviously conjures images of last year's riots and the previous student riots," James explains. "So with this concept we tried to draw parallels whilst creating something that worked in its own right.

"I remember playing British Bulldog in my school playground and it was great reliving it as I researched the rules - stuff like having to grab onto someone for long enough to shout "British Bulldog 1, 2, 3!". I wanted to keep the kids young in the video but obviously this brought a lot of filming restrictions. We only had a few hours to film everything and kids at that age are prone to wandering concentration, so it was a real case of keeping the energy up and making sure they were always engaged and enjoying themselves.

"I love filming with kids, if you work with them in the right way you can get them to forget the cameras and reality of what is happening so much more easily than you can with adults. There is a total and utter belief and conviction in the task you have given them and it just becomes a case of ensuring you snatch the best moments.

"Particular thanks should go to my fantastic production team, headed by Abi Hodson and Melodie Roulaud who pulled everything together in under a week and helped secure such an awesome cast of kids. Thanks to Nathan Perry-Greene at Cut & Run for an amazing job and the many hours of watching slow mo and countless tweaks I insisted on! Finally big thanks to John Moule, the label and the band for making our life easier by being so cool."

Credits

Director of PhotographyBen Todd
DirectorJames Lees
Production CompanyOnesix7 Productions
Production ManagerMelodie Roulaud
Production AssistantRosa Rooney
1st ADKole Onis
RunnerRusty Cocks
Executive ProducerAbi Hodson
Focus PullerRichard Bradbury
Clapper LoaderTheo Berman
DITAsishana Daniyan
StylistSophie Emmett
EditorN
PostAnthony McCaffery

David Knight - 5th Nov 2012

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