David Knight - 18th Feb 2015

Everything Everything frontman Jonathan Higgs continues the tradition of directing his band's own videos for the first release from their forthcoming third album. And this one for Distant Past is a great example of his distinctive development as a director. His visual work is designed, not surprisingly, to reflect the music. And also designed to make the viewer think. 

The 'distant past' is represented here by a extended fight sequence that incorporates surrealism, comedy and heartstopping suspense. And its between two quite different types of caveman. As Jonathan explains below, his characters represent different stages of Early Man - and the spectacular setting, Cheddar Gorge in Cheshire, is virtually another character in itself.

With Jonathan collaborating with executive producer Phil Tidy once again, the 'distant past' element is counteracted by a decidedly static, Kraftwerk-like band performance (with Jonathan sporting a very 'modern' haircut) - an extension of the band photo shoot. So another fine addition to the Jonathan Everything body of work. He will undoubtedly be keeping us thinking all year long.


"I wanted to create a strong contrast between the ‘past’ and ‘future’ scenes, to emphasise the primal nature of the past and the overly civilised future. I got the band to perform with as little movement as possible, and shot everything in the future on tripods and dollys. I also paused some of the frames of the cropped compositions to make the action totally stop.

"The past scenes were as frenetic as possible and handheld throughout. Only the cave scenes use a tripod, as if the civilisation is starting to happen. Without planning it we ended up creating a kind of sub-plot with the two cavemen actors. The dark-haired aggressor can be read as representing pure animal chaos, while the other one is the more advanced human – he has shaved at some point, he uses tools is in his cave. However, both have weapons, and the aggressor’s weapon (a rock sling) is much more advanced, and it’s he who appears to have the upper hand.

"The past scenes are revealed to be in the present, or future, by way of some modern appliances spotted in the forest. I wanted this to be a surprise so it was a challenge to make it subtle and obvious at the same time. Finally I wanted the conflict to appear to last forever, with no victor. I did that by having them run at each other, with no hesitation, and cutting to stars just as they collide."


DirectorJonathan Higgs
Executive ProducerPhil Tidy
Production CompanySquire
ProducerImogen Rigby
1st ADSam Le Page
Director of PhotographyDave Tree
Focus PullerAndrew Trewartha
GafferAndrew Harris
Hair & Make-upNicole Fairfield
DITKieran Hayhow
RunnerBillie Segal
RunnerNicolas Atkins
Fight Co-ordinatorMark Ruddick
Lead actorEd Gamester
EditorJonathan Higgs
ColouristJack McGinity
Post production companyRushes
CommissionerAnna Derbyshire

David Knight - 18th Feb 2015

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