Cat Velez - 27th May 2015

Welsh indie rock band Catfish and the Bottlemen's latest video is welcome return to the medium by James Canty, and features none other than Ewan McGregor as an unsuspecting victim of music theft, by Catfish frontman Van McCann.

After their initial, silent encounter in a hotel elevator, Van and Ewan find themselves occupying adjacent rooms - and when Ewan reveals himself as a talented songwriter, in the process of writing and recording a song, McCann is presented with an opportunity to rip him off...  

It's a delicious and entirely believeable scenario, beautifully directed by Canty - with a very appealing performance by McGregor.  


"So I don’t think think it’s a secret that Catfish frontman, Van McCann has a strong admiration for all things Ewan McGregor. After the band's fan appreciation film of him, Van and Ewan somehow connected and Ewan expressed an interest in being in their next music video and Van jumping for joy at the prospect.

"I received their song, Hourglass, with a brief that Ewan was to perform the song in a hotel, and that was about it.  We thought it would be fun to get Van into the video too, and by concocting a small narrative about musical theft, we ended up shooting the film in New York City where Ewan was living and finishing a stint in Tom Stoppard’s, The Real Thing, on Broadway.

"Ewan was really great to work with. He totally invested in the idea, and we knocked out a few changes to the idea, and then shot it over a few hours before he jumped on a plane to go back home to LA that evening.  We literally finished the last shot before bundling him into a cab. Van got some acting tips from Ewan for his cameo role and did really well.

"Ewan learned the chords to Hourglass with the assistance of a video tutorial filmed by Van back in London. Ewan has a strong voice and played the whole song ‘unplugged’ on acoustic guitar and we figured it would be easy to choose in the edit where the real track would drop in and out.  When the real arrangement comes in for the first chorus it’s actually quite difficult to tell the difference between Van and Ewan’s voices.

"Aesthetically the DoP Mel Griffith and I wanted to keep the look and lighting uncomplicated and classic, letting the performers do their work uninhibited.  I’m thrilled with the final thing and especially happy that Natalia Maus at Universal and the band went with a six minute version of the film!"

Photos: Clara McGregor

PRO Credits


DirectorJim Canty
ProducerChris Fondulas
ProducerJess Hoyt
ProducerBeth Montague
Production CompanyCaviar
Service CompanyUncle Benji
Director of PhotographyMel Griffith
Make-upEric Polito
StylistSam Spector
EditorMax Nova
Editing companyShellac NYC
ColouristDuncan Russell
Grading companyGlassworks
CommissionerNatalia Maus
LabelIsland Records

Cat Velez - 27th May 2015

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