David Knight - 6th Dec 2013

The latest Bowie video from The Next Day is a powerful anti-war film, featuring over 100 clips of original archival footage from 20th century wartime, compiled and manipulated by British designer and director Tom Hingston.  

Hingston's video for I’d Rather Be High – Venetian Mix (Wasted Edit) - from the new deluxe version of Bowie's massively successful comeback album - is a revealing look at the total experience of the Second World War, including spectral, solarised glimpses of Bowie within the vintage film, in which raw combat footage is mixed with unexpectedly vibrant vignettes of merriment by soldiers and civilians, enjoying life to the full. 

And Tom Hingston's distortion of the footage - edited by Amanda James and Owen Oppenheimer  – also modernises it, and makes the revelry more relevant. All while Bowie sings: “I’d rather be dead or out of my head/ Training these guns on those men in the sand/ I’d rather be high.”   

He explains: “In early conversations, David and I discussed exploring archival footage that brought to life another side of war - footage that featured soldiers celebrating; young servicemen and women, in moments of jubilation - drinking, dancing and partying. These moments of total euphoria, juxtaposed with extreme violence, hopefully serve as a powerful reminder of the futility of war.”

Hingston is quick to express gratitude to the clips’ original documentarians, “The film is a testament to all of those fearless cameramen who captured those moments, without their bravery this film would simply not have been possible. In my mind, this is very much one film that is the work of over 100 film makers.”

PRO Credits


DirectorTom Hingston
ProducerJacob Swan Hyam
Director's RepresentationMartin Roker at Black Dog Films
EditorAmanda James
Editing companyFinal Cut
EditorOwen Oppenheimer
Editing companyThe Quarry
Production AssistantStephanie Werrell-Smyth
ColouristMarkus Lehtonen
ColouristYusuke Murakami
VFXMarkus Lehtonen
VFXYusuke Murakami @tom Hingston Studio
Other creditsResearchers: Sara Garcia Andersson, Matt Bowron, Jess Waterhouse Conform: Unit Post

David Knight - 6th Dec 2013

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