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Coldplay 'Trouble In Town' by Aoife McArdle

Rob Ulitski - 17th Mar 2020

Aoife McArdle channels George Orwell's Animal Farm in her outstanding satire of our post-truth world, for Coldplay's Trouble In Town.  

In this fast-moving story an ensemble of anthropomorphic characters' lead interwoven lives on the mean streets of an anonymous American city. Tackling issues such as homelessness, racial and social inequality and police brutality, we follow members of the underclass as they try to survive in a spectacularly messed-up system. The use of animals such as foxes for these characters is an inspired choice, given their urban habitat and often desperate living situation, which is in total contrast to the wealthy politicians, represented (as in the Orwell classic) by pigs.

As the normal residents risk their lives day-to-day to just exist, we see the pigs on screen arguing and coming to blows with each other. This disrespect trickles down to the police and other positions of power, in a distressing setup that echoes real-life shootings of those such as Alton Sterling and other black men who were murdered by the police.

With Kiev standing in for this threatening urban landscape, DoP Mauro Chiarello utilises the neon glare of the city as a main lighting source, building upon the gritty urban aesthetic with a splash of garish colour. UK-based SFX company Millenium FX created each of the prosthetic masks on display in the video, a true testament to the creative team's talent and the incredible potential that exists in international collaboration.

But above all this is a triumphant return to music videos by McArdle in making a blockbuster-style entertainment without compromising her satirical targets.   

Proceeds from the song and video will be split between two charities: The Innocence Project, which helps to overturn wrongful convictions in the US; and ACFS, which is a charity for vulnerable children in South Africa. 

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Rob Ulitski - 17th Mar 2020


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Aoife McArdle
Alex Chamberlain
Production Company
Executive Producer
Saskia Whinney
Production Manager
Lucy Bradley


Director of Photography
Mauro Chiarello
Film Lab


Dan Sherwen
Editing company
Final Cut


Simon Bourne
Colour grade company


Millenium FX

Rob Ulitski - 17th Mar 2020

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