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Stormzy 'Sounds Of The Skeng' by Henry Scholfield

Ned Botwood - 10th Sept 2019

How do you spend the day with your cool Uncle Stormzy? You bring a notepad. Stormzy is a mentor in this typically ambitious video by Henry Scholfield, starring the artist’s real-life nephews. 

Scholfield has had a hell of a year. His videos are ubiquitous and his name has become shorthand for a specific brand of technical flair. You know when you’re watching one. Through his work on Vossi Bop, Boasty, IDGAF and New Rules, the director has developed a distinct visual syntax: a free-flowing approach to space, utilised through innovative transitions, complex blocking and choreography. This style has become inseparable from London, and has inspired a host of imitators.

With an exhausting location count, an innovative use of digital zoom, and a loose approach to speed, Sounds of Skeng seems to share the most DNA with the star-studded video for Boasty. Big budget grime videos are a hotbed of digital and practical effects, but the breakneck speed of this video is so impressive, even the famously feral YouTube audience have sat up to pay attention. A popular comment reads: “Director: Enough camera angles? Stormzy: AHHHH ISIT!!!!!” Quite. The video was shot by regular collaborator Kanamé Onoyama, and edited by Thomas Grove Carter at Trim.

HENRY SCHOLFIELD:

"When we were doing rehearsals for Vossi Bop I was watching Stormz with his two little nephews. He was explaining to them what was going on, educating them but also telling them how to behave themselves... He was kinda something this Uncle Junior… that’s what he is to them. So when this came along that kinda popped into my head… him telling them all about who Mr. Skeng is.

"Stormz and I wanted to make a visual that quipped on the lyrics and felt like a proper ‘grime video’, but with all the elemental ambitions of an old school Hype Williams clip. So it all kinda fell into place.

“Allyas and Omari (his nephews) were brilliant in a way it was kinda like art (or whatever!) imitating life, with Stormz giving them beats, direction and keeping them on track and in check. They had a lot of fun… we all did!”

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Ned Botwood - 10th Sept 2019

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  • Director's notes
  • Pick of the Day
  • Grime

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Henry Scholfield
Producer
Nick Hayes
Production Company
Executive Producer
Daniella Manca
Executive Producer
Polly du Plessis
Production Manager
Laura Thomas-Smith
1st AD
Daniel Smith

Camera

Director of Photography
Kaname Onoyama

Art

Art Director
Liz El-kahdi Brown

Wardrobe

Wardrobe
Terri Higgins
Hair & Make-up
Karla Q Leon

Editorial

Editor
Thomas Grove Carter
Editing company
Trim Editing

Grading

Colourist
Jonny Thorpe
Colour grade company
Glassworks

VFX

VFX
Glassworks
Post production company
Glassworks
Post Producer
Duncan Buxton

Commission

Commissioner
Dan Curwin

Ned Botwood - 10th Sept 2019

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