David Knight - 4th Feb 2015

Ciaran Lyons explores the territory between stills photography and animation in his impressive two-part film Sleepwalker, which serves as a promo for two tracks by Hot Since 82 (aka Leeds-based DJ and producer Dan Padley), Restless and The Core.

With the influence of animation genius Jan Svankmeyer clearly evident, the clever bit is how, rather than sequential, the two parts form a kind of film palindrome. In the Restless video, a sleepwalker is pulled by a string through an urban hinterland, past dream images and a sleepwalking woman, towards a high-rise, and into that woman's bedroom. In The Core, the woman makes the return journey...


"Like a lot of freelance filmmakers, I've owned a DSLR for years, but somehow I'd managed to forget that it was actually a stills camera. I'd kind of put it aside as I stopped being satisfied with the quality of the video it produced.

"But then as I started getting into photography I found myself thinking: "Goodness me! These images look great!" It was like a lightbulb went on, and I started re-visiting the films of Jan Svankmajer, and other artists doing stuff halfway between film and animation. When a brief came in for a cool, atmospheric track looking for dark and unusual visuals, I thought: "yes".

"When it came to the story of the video, it had to be something that worked over two parts. The plan was for neither to be part 1 or part 2, but for them to be two narratively co-existent videos (reflecting how online audiences are likely to see them). Since photographing the city at night was such a large part of the video, I was interested in showing a route, or a journey, with the development in story coming simply from travelling in the opposite direction.

"The story is intentionally ambiguous, but roughly speaking, it's about two people passing from their own subconscious into each other's. The filming technique, the production design, and the locations were all chosen to help create an ambiguous world that lies somewhere between a dream and reality - vaguely familiar, slightly ominous, and with no definable time or place."

PRO Credits


DirectorCiaran Lyons
ProducerBeth Allan
Production CompanyForest Of Black
Production CompanyHalcyon
Executive ProducerJack Pirie, Alex Hylands-white
1st ADRory Stewart
Director of PhotographyMichael Sherrington
Focus PullerStruan Robertson
Art DirectorMoley Campbell
WardrobeLouise Allen
Make-upNicole Stafford
EditorBlair Young
ColouristOscar Sansom
VFXCiaran Lyons
Lead actorJen Farmer Male Lead - Rob Heaslip Halloween Kids - Reuben
Lead actorMartha Gizzi Suitcase Dragger - Jessica Arnold Tv Watcher - Rory S
Director's RepresentationHalcyon
CommissionerValentina Vistoli
LabelUltra Records
Other creditsSound Design - Jack Coghill Lighting Assistant - Sean Hind Camera Assistant - Struan Robertson Wardrobe Trainee - Jacqueline Mead MUA Assistant - Sharon Stephen Art Dept Trainee - Robbie Rossan Runner/Driver - Shaun Sutton Runner/Driver - Olivia Lyth

David Knight - 4th Feb 2015

Related Content


Mike Mago 'Outlines' by Ciaran Lyons

In keeping with the title of Mike Mago's latest dancefloor-filler Outlines, a greyscaled dancer (Ida May) enters a studio and proceeds to leave technicolor silhouettes around the room in …

David Knight - 1st Sept 2014


Slaves 'Sockets' by Ciaran Lyons

Shot in a tiny, claustrophobia-inducing flat and paired with some killer art direction, this video for Slaves' track Sockets is a wonderfully greasy and …

Cat Velez - 31st July 2015

Latest News