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David Knight - 20th Sept 2017

Newly-svelte Sam Smith teams with long term collaborator Luke Monaghan to visualise the big comeback single Too Good At Goodbyes. And not surprisingly, it's emotional.

Sam Smith's heartfelt performance is intercut with dramatic vignettes, all variations on the main theme: the pain of saying goodbye. The strength of the performances - this was filmed with a combination of actors and non-actors - is underlined by the settings, and its resolutely British feel.

Smith is an international pop star who wants to keep it authentic, and once again finds a worthy partner in Monaghan to achieve that.   

Watch 'Sam Smith 'Too Good At Goodbyes' by Luke Monaghan' here


"My approach to this video was to get the viewer swept up in the human emotion that comes with a goodbye, whether it be through a break-up, death or the farewell to another year passed.

"In the scenes separate from Sam’s performance, I wanted the camera’s move to be a pull away from the subject, visually signifying leaving or a goodbye. I did a variation on that camera move for the ‘Writings On The Wall’ video for the James Bond film Spectre. I’m definitely trying to use more composed frames and camera moves, whilst still keeping the emotion and rawness that was in my earlier music videos; Ben Magahy did a great job in helping me on making that happen.

"Sam’s performances get better every video. Every time we work together he is better; and with his long time away from releasing music he’s definitely come back a more mature and all around better artist, so I wanted this video to reflect that and of course do justice to his comeback. We shot the video across four days in Whitley Bay, Newcastle and London; a rare treat to get that amount of time on a music video and I think it shows in the finished piece. A lot of the references were British photographers, it was important to me and Sam that the video felt British.

"A lot of the references were British photographers, it was important to me and Sam that the video felt British." Luke Monaghan

"The edit was all about finding the subtle and not so subtle moments between our cast and match-cutting them with each other; or having the different scenes bouncing off of each-other so even though we’re cutting between a lot of different scenes, they all feel as one because the stories and the emotion feels as one.

"With the casting, it was a proper mix. We cast a few actors; some real couples; a couple of models, and then Mark Prince for instance, a retired professional boxer; his story is one I’ve been aware of for a long time and when I heard the song; I immediately thought of his story and all he’s been through and I knew he could harness it for us in the video.

"Look out for the next video with Sam; I’m really excited about sharing that one too."


DirectorLuke Monaghan
ProducerMikey Levelle
ProducerTom Birmingham
StylistCharlie Casely-Hayford
Make-upCharley McEwan
Make-upJodie Hyams
HairPaul Edmonds
Director of PhotographyBen Magahy
Director of PhotographyCallan Green
1st ADChris Malin
SteadicamFabrizo Sciarra
SteadicamRick Woollard
Art DirectorJess Elcock
GafferMatt Moffatt
GafferAdam Bell
EditorSam Jones
Editing companyCut+Run
EditorPaul O'Reilly
Editing companyHomespun
ColouristRicky Gausis
Grading companyMPC
LabelCapitol Records
Production CompanyRiff Raff Films
Executive ProducerNatalie Arnett

David Knight - 20th Sept 2017

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