Rob Ulitski - 24th Apr 2020

Directing trio Crowns & Owls transport Octavian to a surreal wonderland in the hypnotic visual for Poison, negotiating a world between love, lust... and something much darker. 

Utilising four cameras - including the FLIR thermal camera - the visual is a tapestry of experimental setups, each shot in a stylised, hyper-exaggerated way. Turning traditional rap videos on their head, performance is still very much the focus of the video, yet Kaname Onoyama's mind-bending cinematography adds a standout unique flair and polish. 


“It was rad to build a world around this tune, and to have had the trust from Octavian to try something we’re not really seeing in UK rap videos. There’s some really nice themes going on in the song, but we focused on playing with the central idea of lust and imagining that as a poisonous substance.

"Using a custom rig we were able to use a dual camera system; one capturing reality whilst the other was simultaneously capturing a thermal version of the same shot. This allowed us to seamlessly slip between two worlds as we’re following the artists through a fever dream.

"The video was shot just before the UK Covid-19 lockdown, with post happening remotely during quarantine. We’re so thankful to all of the amazing individuals who helped this video come together during such strange times.”

This is the result of using four cameras - two Alexa Minis, a Flir thermal camera and an Insta 360.


“This music video, which we shot in one day, is the result of using four cameras (two Alexa Minis, a Flir thermal camera and an Insta 360) and many different setups and lenses. Crowns & Owls are a trio of directors/photographers, skilled both artistically and technically, and with a precise vision of what they wanted for this music video.

"It was very interesting to look with them for the right setups to make this vision a reality; and, in spite of the very little time we had to prep everything, I am hopeful that we managed to create something as crazy, disturbing and beautiful as they had in mind.”

PRO Credits


DirectorCrowns & Owls
ProducerGreg Smith
ProducerJavier Alejandro
Production CompanyNoir
Executive ProducerGreg Smith
Executive ProducerJavier Alejandro
Production ManagerDaphne Do
Production CoordinatorZoe Rose Davies
1st ADDaniel Smith
2nd ADMolly Fleet
Director of PhotographyKaname Onoyama
Focus PullerSilvio Bersani
2nd ACJomar O'Meally
SteadicamWill Lyte
GafferDanny Hayward
Art DirectorCiaran Linden Beale
WardrobeNicole Vernon
HairShamara Roper
Make-upMata Marielle
EditorBissane Kim
Editing companyPaume
ColouristJonny Tully
Grading companyBig Buoy
Post ProducerHannah Whitehall
CommissionerAlex Sossah
LabelBlack Butter
Other creditsSparks: Darren Pearson, Kieran Brown, Johnjoe Besagni Trainee: Dale Healy Trainee: Shaun Witherup Sound Recordist: Timo Saila Production Design Assistant: Murdo Hepburn, Olly Falcon Set Build: Alex Heyes SFX: Sean Harland Projectionist: Sonny Evans Designer: Mowalola Styling Assistant: Leo Motherlan, Loshh Aje Make Up Assistant: Maya Man Hair Stylist Assistant: Harriet Beidleman, Danielle Igor Manicurist: Nichole Williams Casting Director: Isabel Bush Cast: Eleonore, Esther, Neema, Jaz, Amelye, Susy, Chi, Georgia, Moyo, Miranda, Sheida, Lalauo, Jagan, Frankie, Naomi, Abbie Lee, Dibi, Abiola, Ann, Sienna Production Runners: Gulia Balsamo, Morgan Shaw, James Matthews Read, Joelle Saul Medic: Gurt Bance Sound Design: Denzel Baptiste @ Take A Daytrip Title Design: Ollie Shaw @ Catalogue Design Big Thank You To Panavision George Rumsey And BigBuoy JT!

Rob Ulitski - 24th Apr 2020

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