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Years & Years 'Palo Santo' by Fred Rowson

David Knight - 6th July 2018

Over the first two videos of the new album campaign Fred Rowson has explored the alternate universe that powers Years & Years' new album Palo Santo - released today (July 6th). And now, following Sanctify and If You're Over Me comes the accompanying short film - also named Palo Santo - that brings it all together.

In fact, this beautifully made short sci-fi drama, shot in Thailand, really is what the campaign is all about. It adds a new dimension to the story more broadly touched upon in the videos, of human enslavement by android masters, to provide round-the-clock entertainment. 

At the heart of it is Olly Alexander's role as entertainer-in-chief in this android world Palo Santo, and the prize property of an android apparachnik and ringmaster - a subtle and sympathetic characterisation by the Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm.

The previous videos are abbreviated in the film to give more room to the narrative, while there are some surprising cameos - the ominiscient voice that directs life in Palo Santo is provided by none other than Dame Judy Dench; there's also an appearance by Ben Whishaw. It looks stunning, courtesy of photography by DoP Jaime Feliu Torres, and superbly edited by Sacha Szwarc at Speade. 

Written by Alexander and Rowson - who have a long association of working together - the pace of Palo Santo never drops, as it flips seamlessly between character interplay and performance set-pieces, taking in moments of humour and pathos. It becomes a genuinely emotional ride. Ultimately it shows what an accomplished director that Fred Rowson has become.   

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David Knight - 6th July 2018

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  • Short films
  • Special projects
  • Pop

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Fred Rowson
Producer
Corin Taylor
Production Company
Executive Producer
Paul Weston
Executive Producer
Simon Nicholas
Executive Producer
Martha Kinn
Production Manager
Jack Bingham
1st AD
Inthira Sawantrat

Camera

Director of Photography
Jaime Feliu Torres

Art

Art Director
Siranat Ratchusanti

Wardrobe

Wardrobe
Nick Royal
Make-up
Emma Croft

Choreography

Choreographer
Aaron Sillis

Editorial

Editor
Sacha Szwarc
Editing company
Speade

Grading

Colourist
Lewis Crossfield

VFX

Post production company
Post Producer
Oliver Whitworth

Commission

Commissioner
Semera Khan
Label
Polydor

Misc

Make-up Assistant
Maxine Crew
Production Services
Indochina Productions
Production Supervisor
Mutita Na Songkla
Line Producer
Atchariya Pinitsanpirom
Sound design
Alex Bingham

David Knight - 6th July 2018

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