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David Knight - 1st June 2018

Brett Simon has directed videos for all ten tracks on the new Snow Patrol album Wildness. The video for Soon was the first to be filmed, and also happens to be one of the most moving pieces of work in the medium for a long time. 

Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody wrote the song about his father, and the video is an insight into his family life, the emotional bonds between parents and son, and how generational responsibilities change over time. The brilliant use of home video footage - it begins with the moments when the teenage Gary leaves home for the first time - is the platform for the poignant comparison between then and now, and for a visible turmoil of emotions on the face of the 'adult' Lightbody as he watches these home videos with his now elderly father.

This great footage of the pair watching the videos on TV was achieved, as executive producer Matthew Clyde explains, with a real technical acuity, filming them through specially devised screens. It was important not only for this film, but setting a standard for all of the films that followed.

 

"We wanted to achieve a feeling of absolute intimacy between Gary and his Dad – a safe space, so to speak," says Clyde. "Brett had been testing shooting through teleprompters, but wanted to up the ante and see both the subjects AND the home videos that were being played to them, effectively through a change of focus shifting, from the footage to the reaction to the footage. 

"Portaprompt Ltd packaged a lightweight portable ‘Z’ system – two monitors conjoined by a diagonal glass, each monitor reflected in each side of the glass. Both monitors were able to manually fade to black so we could dictate the opacity for shooting through. It worked a treat. We were on our way."

And it was clearly a very moving experience for Gary Lightbody. He has written:

"soon is about my dad. three years ago he was diagnosed with dementia. i wanted to write a song that connected us both and let him know i was with him and would be always. the video we made for this (directed by brett simon) is me and my dad sitting together watching old home movies. filming it with him was one of the best days i ever spent with my dad and i’m so grateful he got to share in the day and spend some time in my world. it meant everything to me."

Credits

DirectorBrett Simon
ProducerMark Gillespie
Production CompanyIronage Pictures (hallions - Ni Service Company)
Executive ProducerMatthew Clyde
Production ManagerKate Brady
Director of PhotographyBrett Simon
Focus PullerPaul Christie
GafferBrian Livingstone
WardrobeDavid Hawkins
Make-upSharon Watson
EditorJacquelyn London
ColouristJonny Tully
Post production companySmoke & Mirrors
Post ProducerHannah Whitehill
CommissionerCarrie Sutton
LabelPolydor
RunnerBethany Sloan
Asst stylistCathy Prior

David Knight - 1st June 2018

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