ATO 'Monster' by Zhang + Knight
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.”
|Director||Zhang + Knight|
|Executive Producer||Luke Tierney|
|Production Manager||Alex Jefferson|
|1st AD||Tom Lancaster|
|Director of Photography||Ruben Woodin-Dechamps|
|Focus Puller||Rich Savage|
|2nd AC||Francesca Zucchini|
|Art Director||Zoe Klinck|
|Colourist||Daniel de Vue|
|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|
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