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ATO 'Monster' by Zhang + Knight

David Knight - 17th July 2018

Zhang + Knight launched their music video directing career with a video for London-based rapper ATO. Now they reunite with this ambitious epic that spans generations, takes us from English countryside to the city and back, and explores the idea of identity through a combination of myth and cold reality.

It starts on Dartmoor, with a boy discovering the giant stone head of an ancient black English king buried under the moor. The discovery comes to define his whole identity, as the legend of the king grows.

But as the boy grows into a man, and becomes ATO, he comes to realise that his recollections of the stone head actually stem from his childish imagination. His biggest discovery is really about himself.

 

ZHANG + KNIGHT:

“Most portrayals of black British people draw upon a very singular experience. It’s tower blocks and concrete, and almost entirely limited to London. Ato is one of our dearest friends and spoke candidly with us about the loneliness of growing up black in the Yorkshire countryside. So we wanted for Ato to have a childhood companion - a mythic English hero - as a comforting but ultimately imaginary presence.

“Making Monster really reminded us both why we love doing this. Everyone said that this production was straight up crazy with our shoestring budget, but we were very very lucky to have such passionate and talented collaborators. You know that it’s a labour of love when the art director’s mum is painting historical tableaus and your dad is printing them onto rotting bits of plywood from a skip. We’re so proud to have made this with such wonderful people.”

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David Knight - 17th July 2018

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  • Director's notes
  • Narrative
  • Hip Hop

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Zhang + Knight
Producer
Martha McGuirk
Production Company
Executive Producer
Production Manager
Alex Jefferson
1st AD
Tom Lancaster

Camera

Director of Photography
Ruben Woodin-Dechamps
Focus Puller
Rich Savage
2nd AC
Francesca Zucchini

Lighting/Grip

Gaffer
Peter Bishop

Art

Art Director
Zoe Klinck

Editorial

Editor
Ellie Johnson
Editing company
TenThree

Grading

Colourist
Daniel de Vue
Colour grade company
Glassworks

VFX

Post production company
Glassworks
Post Producer
Victoria Waterhouse-taylor

Other credits

Production Co-Ordinator

Hayder Hoozeer

Production Assistant

Natalie Steiner

Casting

Charlotte Lowdell

2nd Assistant Director

Darren Baba

Steadicam Operator

James Chesterton

Camera Trainee

Christopher J Orr

1st Assistant Camera (pickup)

Cristina Cretu

King Eke’s Head

Rod Vass

King Eke’s Head

Lois Vass

Historical Tablet Designer

Kate Klinck

Historical Tablet Printer

Ge Feng

Prop Delivery

Frank Luscott

Costume Designer

Taff Williamson

Styling Assistant

Sara Mtimet

3d VFX Artist

Julian Johnson

2d VFX Artist

Leanne Pletersky

Additional VFX

Ling Ling

Sound Design

Robert Ashton

Catering

Dawn Vooght (delicious Dartmoor)

Runner

Billy Langdown

Runner

Chantal Miles

Runner

Drew Graver

Runner

Ben Cohen

Special Thanks:

Luke Jacobs

Aleks Ugarow

Craig Game

George Rumsey

Matt Suddaby

Seraphine Tumbridge

Brenda + Joe Cunningham

John Dracup + Dracup Family

Kelly Amundsen

Shaylah Duncan

Stijni Mulder (warren Farm)

Jean Avery

Jonathon Ng

Dartmoor Annex

Panavision

Panalux

Wavend

David Knight - 17th July 2018

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