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David Knight - 11th May 2018

Joe Connor has directed a classic pop video for Sam Smith's Pray, filmed in one of the most spectacular locations seen in a music video for a long time.

The video begins with Sam Smith travelling in a classically stylish speedboat - soon revealed to be speeding across the beautiful Lake Como in Italy. From then on, the video takes place in one of the grandest houses on the shores of the Lake.

Performances by the singer and rapper Logic are captured in its exquisitely furnished rooms, together with supplementary performances by dancers as Connor starts to subvert the perfection of the location with memorably bold imagery. As Connor explains below, after the powerful lyrics of the song his inspirations came from Edgar Allan Poe and Caravaggio.

This is the second video that Joe Connor has directed for Sam Smith, with the previous one for One Last Song shot within London's most iconic theatre, The Palladium. But that seems like a mere aperitif to the breathtaking majesty of this one.

JOE CONNOR:

"It was a pleasure to create this for Sam on our second collaboration.  My starting point was an abstract take on Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, a parable that tonally is reflected in the lyrics to this powerful song. 

"Shot beautifully by Patrick Mellor on the shores of Lake Como we adapted each image to feel like a Caravaggio painting, deep and rich in tone, polished off by George K at MPC.

"It was an incredibly complex treatment to pull off and Chief’s MD Colin managed to create the right landscape for me to construct these images."

Credits

DirectorJoe Connor
Production CompanyChief Productions
Executive ProducerColin Offland
Production ServicesHappy MC
Service ProducerDom Murgia
Production ManagerMichella De Rossi
Production ManagerGeorgie Winter
Director of PhotographyPatrick Meller
EditorIan McLaughlin
Editing companyChief Productions
ColouristGeorge K
Grading companyMPC
Director's RepresentationAlexa Haywood at Free Agent UK
CommissionerJohn Moule
Other creditsLA UNIT: Chris Cottam

David Knight - 11th May 2018

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