David Knight - 16th June 2020

Chris Hopewell has directed the new video for Yusuf/Cat Stevens’ 2020 reimagining of his 50 year old ecological anthem Where Do The Children Play? (from the classic 1970 album Tea For The Tillerman) creating a disturbing vision of a world ruined by pollution and waste.

Two children are playing on a suburban street, when they are confronted by a sea of plastic bottles, and then transported to the heart of darkness - the city which has become the centre of an environmental disaster. The kids join up with the remaining residents of the destroyed city to begin the reversal of the process, to save the planet.

“Looking at the world today and the message in this fifty-year-old song, it looks like the world never grew up,” says Yusuf / Cat Stevens, who has re-recorded Tea For The Tillerman, for the generation that needs to hear the message more than ever.

And in creating his hellish vision of our world, Chris Hopewell has also practised what he preaches. In creating the video at Jacknife, his studio in Bristol, Hopewell has aimed to have the least possible impact on the environment: nearly everything you see in the video was made from recycled material and old plastic. It's a memorable work that mirrors the environmental message of the song.

CHRIS HOPEWELL:

I’d say that 90% of what you see on screen was made from recycled materials.

“We decided to make the props and scenery from recycled materials wherever possible, to minimise the production impact on the environment. We did a beach clean in South Wales to gather plastic debris and used it to make the ocean you see in the video. Our sea scenes were made from waste plastic washed up on our shores.

"All of the sets and practically all props were made from recycled repurposed and up-cycled materials. I’d say that 90% of what you see on screen was made from recycled materials, even the rostrum the sets are built on were recycled scaffolding planks and sets painted with paints from a local charity store.

"All materials used were then re-purposed or recycled when the video was finished. It was a slightly longer process than usual, but fun!”

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorChris Hopewell
Production CompanyJacknife
Production CompanyBlack Dog Films
Executive ProducerMartin Roker
Director of PhotographyJon Davey
EditorTom Weller
ProducerRosie Brind
Other creditsProducer: Andy Stewart Key Animator: Cadi Catlow Animator: Jacky Howson Animator: Paul Couvela Secondary DOP: Philip Powell DOP And Lighting Assistant: Harry Louie Jenkins After Effects: Stephen Ryan Key Puppets, Props And Scenery: Holly Jo Beck Sets And Scenery: Siobhan Raw, Joshua Hughes-Games Puppets And Props: Becky Prior, Louis McNamanara, Chris Addison, Alex Kolodotschko, Jonathan Minto, Chloe Moore, Spike Hopewell, Jo Garland, Bill Brind Costume And Puppets: Elaine Andrew, Lucy Roberts Storyboard Artist: Henry St Leger

David Knight - 16th June 2020

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