Jimmy Brown - 24th Nov 2014

Ian Pons Jewell takes the director's chair for the promo to Paolo Nutini's One Day, the latest single to be taken from his platinum album Caustic Love.

Ian's rather brilliant and lavish video is a homage to the classic Giallo genre of Italian erotic horror films – and heading up a large cast is none other than British national treasure Joanna Lumley - making her first ever music video - playing an intriguing nightclub singer, who has her own ways of attaining eternal youth.

We asked Ian all about the making of the video...

How did Joanna Lumley become involved to play what is for her, an unexpected role – and how did she handle the pressure of a music video shoot?

Ian Pons Jewell: We were always intent on getting a known actress for the main role, but it was Paolo's idea to try for Joanna Lumley as he's big fan. I was brought up on Ab Fab, so it was a surreal dream come true to work with her. She was an absolute pleasure to work with, but most importantly an incredible talent. She had never done a music video and expressed some nerves about singing the lyrics, but completely nailed it. It was nerve-wracking in the run up to the shoot as there was so much we had to get, mixed with this iconic actress coming for half of the full on day's shoot. But the whole production was handled incredibly by Residency, my US reps, and Sarah Tognazzi's next level producer skills. 

How did you come about the concept of the video, and how does it relate to the song?

The idea came about from the first listen actually, an image came to mind of an older elegant singer in a dressing room, singing to herself sadly in the mirror. After more listens the idea of her killing the young dancers to gain their youth was then worked in, using the classic Italian Giallo killer character as her servile hitman. I then worked closely with Dobi Manolova to write the characters in the lounge type area, with her also coming up with the beautiful visual idea of the aerial dancer which gave a much needed energy for that first chorus section. The characters were then fully brought to life by the amazing Ameena Kara Callender who is the costume designer on much of my work.

It was a very subconcious connection to the song, but I think it matches well with the final lyrics of "I'll be gone in a while". This really pushes the idea for me how this youthful appearance she is addicted to gaining is only ever temporary. I would also like to mention my incredible editor Gaia Borretti, who has cut all my work to date. She actually created a mood film for our initial pitch, with the murder sequence which she cut from old Italian horror films actually informing the final shotlist and shoot.

Why does Joanna transform into a younger woman in the latter point of the video? 

She transforms to a younger woman due to the murder of the aerial dancer. The intention of the montage of other murders was to try to show that it is a ritual, that there have been others, that it is perhaps a nightly occurance. Through wearing the necklace of the girl, she summons her youthful spirit to then transform to a younger version of herself in order to perform one song for the crowd. The backstory is that she is the singer who never ages, a sort of classy circus freak show act.

And this is the next video, after Iron Sky, where Paolo is not on-screen. How involved was he in the creative process? 

He was originally meant to be watching the performance from the back of the space, seeing him subtly in the scene, but was unable to attend the shot due to illness. Though he never stipulated a need for him to be in the video so it worked well either way. I felt incredibly free with the creative, but also due to Dan Curwin who was an absolute joy to work with. They overlooked everything in a very hands-off manner. I think if Paolo is into an idea, he buys into it and lets it fully develop without much interference. I think this is clear with the incredible Iron Sky video.

Paolo then wanted more a film look, so Sarah had the idea to get a 35mm print done of the first grade which was all digital, which added a lot to the final look. Ben Fordesman absolutely nailed the look with his beautiful cinematography and Luke Morrison at The Mill then did an incredible job going between the grade, printing to 35mm, then taking it back in for the final colour.

Credits

DirectorIan Pons Jewell
Production CompanyResidency
ProducerSarah Tognazzi
Executive ProducerMarieta Blaskova
Executive ProducerGaetan Rousseau
Casting directorLauren Hedges
Director of PhotographyBen Fordesman
SteadicamRichard Lewis
GafferDom Aronin
Costume designerAmeena Kara Callender
Stylist (Artist)Jillie Murphy
Production designerSarah Jenneson
Make-upLiberty Shaw
1st ADJames Dyer
Production AssistantLana Salfiti
EditorGaia Borretti
ColouristLuke Morrison
Grading companyThe Mill
Post ProducerSamantha Letzler
CommissionerDan Curwin
HairTerri Cappon
FlameMichael Sarabia

Jimmy Brown - 24th Nov 2014

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