Rob Ulitski - 12th May 2020

Jacob Anderson's latest outing as musical alter ego Raleigh Ritchie has prompted this thought-provoking video for new track Aristocrats, directed by Anderson himself. 

It is a family portrait through British history, that switches through different time periods through appropriate costumes, from the times of the Crusades, to Victorian times and the 1960s. But in Aristocrats, this great British family are black, as Anderson laments the one-sided teaching of British history, switching out the overwhelmingly white British aristocracy with a more diverse set of characters.

Switching between periods, the barriers between the periods begin to break down. As the camera draws closer to Raleigh, these scenes become more confused and mixed up - a manifestation of the artist's frustration at being served up a skewed version of history.

Through motion control, DoP Joel Honeywell utilises simple tracking shots to bring the focus to the characters and costumes, punctuated by exaggerated closeups as the concepts builds towards its frenetic and haunting climax. Editor Jo Lewandowska cleverly intercuts the different setups to create seamless transitions, with the switch-up in pace in the final few moments a genius balance of tension and emotion. 


"I love my country, but I don't always feel loved by it. With this video, I wanted to explore this."

"British history is complicated, especially as a POC, and history is everything! It's what we learn from to help us build our future.

"Back in school, I didn't learn much about British history, aside from the country's victories and a version of some of its atrocities. Sometimes it's a confusing place, and although I love my country, I don't always feel loved by it. With this video, I wanted to explore this and my relationship to my own history and the history of those who came before me." 

PRO Credits


DirectorJacob Anderson
ProducerPrecious Mahaga
Production CompanyFRIEND
Executive ProducerLuke Tierney
1st ADSteven Eniraiyetan
Director of PhotographyJoel Honeywell
Focus PullerDaniel Lemon
2nd ACChristian Swaine
GafferBen Millar
Art DirectorAlexandra Toomey
WardrobeJodie-simone Howe
Hair & Make-upSara Bowden
EditorJo Lewandowska
Editing companyCut+Run
ColouristSimon Bourne
Post production companyFramestore
Post ProducerChris Anthony
VFX CompanyAnalog Studios
VFXFabio Zaveti
Other creditsVideo Playback: Trevor Kelly Sound Playback: Roger Cutting VFX Supervisor (on Set): Dan Hawkins Motion Control Operator: James Gillett Motion Control Assistant: Robert Legg Grip: Jim Philpott Grip Trainee: Peter Blewden Electricians: Bruce Melhuish, Maxime Hodgkinson, Luke Greenan SFX Technicians: Bernie Newton, Michael Taylor Art Department Assistant: Lady Devine R. Tugade Assistant Costume Designer: Veronica Johnson Costume Assistants: Hannah Olivia Newland, Yodea Marquel Williams Hair & Makeup: Chloë Dixon, Sophie Scott Runners: Joel Witter, Archie Trueger, Elizabeth Johnston, Merika Holmes Edit Producer: Maggie McDermott 2D Artist: Guiseppina Cataldo VFX Producer: Rose Nicholson Cast: Jacob Anderson, Ray Adedeji, Lola Ajayi, Thomas Huggins, Sinead Hunter, Munashe Johnson, Sarah Jane Martin, Verna Williams

Rob Ulitski - 12th May 2020

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