Rob Ulitski - 28th Apr 2020

Will Robson-Scott directs an intriguing fly-on-the-wall promo for Isle of Dogs rapper Crunch, featuring Hak Baker. 

From the vantage point of a peephole in a block of flats, the video for Lucky Life depicts a range of characters going about their daily routines in and around the entrance of the building. 

Exploring the hustle it takes just to stay alive, the video shows friends hanging out, dealers meeting clients and police investigating a disturbance. It's a brilliant slice of life with an unfamiliar but very effective performance setup intercut through the action. 

The use of a fixed camera is inspired, showing the area as a social hub, where a diverse set of people mix and meet up. With life unfolding in front of the camera, the characters are presented without any kind of prejudice or notions about who they are or what they do, which allows viewers to come to their own conclusions, and project their own ideas into the video.

It's a brilliant and understated piece of work from the creative team, proving that the simplest concepts are quite often the best. 

WILL ROBSON-SCOTT ON THE MAKING OF THE VIDEO:

This idea was based on a New York Times piece I saw about a hidden camera in the South Bronx.

PN: How did you get involved with the project, and what did the creative ideation process look like between you and the artists?

WR-S: This is the third video with Hak, alongside photos and many hours spent in each other's company. Like all the work we've done together, the idea's journey from inception to finished product is long - very long. But this is what is nice about the work: the only people to please are me and him really. No outside voices which is a nice bit of freedom. With that though comes loads of favours from other people, so I'm grateful for everyone who has helped along the way.

Usually me and Hak will have a back and forth on ideas. This idea was mine and based on a New York Times piece I saw about a hidden camera in the South Bronx. We spent a load of time looking for the ideal location, and found one in the Isle of Dogs, where Hak and Crunch grew up. We also tested a load of cameras, from motion-censored cameras, hidden peephole cameras, ring doorbells - the list goes on.

It was shot just before lockdown, and has a slight weird resonance to how a lot of people are currently living their lives.

How did you approach casting this project?​

There wasn't really any casting. People were invited down - but we also just left the camera rolling.

The peephole/fly on the wall perspective is intriguing, given our current lockdown restraints. Did this project shoot after lockdown, and if so, how did you make it happen logistically?​

It was shot just before lockdown, and has a slight weird resonance to how a lot of people are currently living their lives; looking out, twitching curtains, waiting...

What do you hope people will take away from the visual on a creative and emotional level?​

The constraints of the creative were put in place by the execution. Once the camera was mounted, that's it really. I've never really even put a camera on a tripod before when shooting a video, so it did feel slow and static during the shoot. There's no specific take away emotionally. I just hope people enjoy the visuals alongside the tune.

In terms of lockdown, how do you think the music video production process is going to have changed once the restrictions are lifted? Do you foresee an immediate return to the old status quo?​

I think we are probably going to be in this self isolation limbo for a while. 2020 is most likely a write-off in regards to having a traditional shoot with crew, so people will have to somehow work around that. Animators and VFX people are gonna be busy, also people making domino-effect (Rube Goldberg) style videos, celebs singing awful, gag inducing 'Save The World' songs, etc etc.

I'm sure when this is all said and done there will an avalanche of jobs. And if the status quo is trying to make the production value look four times the budget, then I'm sure it will be a swift return to that. :) 

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorWill Robson-Scott
ProducerGloria Bowman
1st ADJerome Franc
Director of PhotographyShabier Kirchner
Focus PullerAndre Reid-McKinley
EditorKevin Corry
Editing companyThe Assembly Rooms
ColouristLuke Morrison
VFXRoss McDowell
Post ProducerOliver Whitworth
Other creditsRunner: Husni Haf Carpenter: George Bettles

Rob Ulitski - 28th Apr 2020

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