David Knight - 30th Mar 2020

Need a bit of a respite from the daily grind of going nowhere, and possibly not doing very much? Look no further than Yousef's bonkers video for Piero Pirupa - featuring the wonderful Shaun Williamson as a less-than-reliable anti-drugs spokesperson. 

Director and VFX expert Yousef - recently signed to Prettybird - has brilliantly gone to town with a series of increasingly surreal set-pieces, as Williamson - probably still best known as Barry from East Enders - succumbs to temptation whilst delivering the mantra constantly repeated through Pirupa's techno beast, while filming an anti-drugs PSA: 'Heroin kills, stay away from pills...' and so on.

In fact, with echoes of the British Prime Minister's announcement of the UK's lockdown, Williamson 'does a Boris' in being utterly unable to follow the advice he is broadcasting to a watching TV audience. In this case, he cannot keep away from sampling the various pharmaceuticals laid on the table before him. Just cheeky pill sets him off, and he starts bouncing around, gaining remarkable elasticity, seeing tiny versions of himself dancing on the table. Once they have been snorted back up his nose, then all hell - and his brain - breaks loose...

The real beauty of this video is its uninhibited freakiness, always pushing the envelope that bit further, in increasingly grotesque ways. Williamson is perfect in the part as the hapless presenter, but most of all this is a brilliant showcase for Yousef's comic imagination. And even if the anti-drugs message is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, by the end it still looks better to leave the drugs for when you're actually ill.

Watch the directors’ cut here


“We were commissioned back towards the tail end of December 2019 and worked on the video for about three months. We had an extended pre-production timeline whilst the record label, the PRETTYBIRD team and I discussed who would be ideal for the lead role, and Shaun Williamson seemed like a perfect fit. We had about four weeks’ worth of post-production working with freelance 2D and 3D artists across the globe. 

"We also had Shaun 3D scanned in London and then sent off the data to a team in the US who created a 3D character model of him that could be animated by our post team. The label team Amy and Lucy were incredible to work with: they really put their trust in us and pushed us to make things wilder.”


“We are delighted to have Yousef’s masterpiece drop during this crisis. It's a much-needed shot of humour and a message to boot. Inspired and entirely grateful for all the hard work Yousef, [producer] Jake River Parker and the teams put into this.”

PRO Credits


ProducerJake River Parker
Production CompanyPrettybird
Executive ProducerJuliette Larthe
1st ADSam Roffey
Director of PhotographyGuido Cavaciuti
Focus PullerNick Crew
SteadicamJames Thomas
GafferBenjamin Law
Art DirectorCharlie Stuart Grumbar
Hair & Make-upSonika Sunar
ColouristConnor Coolbear
Grade ProducerOliver Whitworth
Grading companyElectric Theatre Collective
Lead actorShaun Williamson
Director's RepresentationHands London
CommissionerLucy Rogers
Other creditsSpark: George Wright Spark Trainee: Oscar Whaley Sound Recordist: Robert Chen Production Runner: Yssis Mcken Runner: Callum Murdoch Director Character: Alasdair Shanks Producer Character: Darren Privett Production Assistant Character: Sabira Stanisavljevic Lead Compositor: Yousef 3D Scanning: Additive 3D Character Model: Human-Engine On set VFX supervisor: Matt Taylor 3D Artists: Dom Spall, Darri Thorsteinsson, Tyrone Doyle, Christian Whiticar, Matt Taylor, Mali Keena 2D Animation: Sven Stoffels 2D Artists: Shivam Solanki, Robin Zerner Camera Equipment: Panavision Lighting Equipment: Lawless Lighting Thanks to Hackney Studios

David Knight - 30th Mar 2020

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