David Knight - 26th Oct 2020

He started directing music videos for his own band a mere 40 years ago, and Kevin Godley is still experimenting with the artform. 

Godley has recorded a new album called Muscle Memory - his first ever solo album, in fact - and directed the video, while in lockdown at home in Ireland. By directed, we mean he did literally everything himself. It is completely self-made, and very much an experimental piece, as this pioneer of the music video medium demonstrates he is still fascinated by new technology, and pushing boundaries.  

But in a way, this is also strongly connected to those early works he created with Lol Creme for their band Godley & Creme, and their first videos for other artists, like Visage's Fade To Grey. The subject is the same as it has been in so much of Godley's music video canon: the human face. In this case it is his own - like in one of his most celebrated videos, for Godley & Creme's Cry.  

As he explains below, shooting and editing everything himself was a journey of discovery that included some happy accidents. Kevin Godley is still experimenting - and in some ways he's also come full circle.

KEVIN GODLEY:

The stuff that shouldn’t have happened yielded as many decent visuals as the ones that should.

"I’ve been spoilt rotten throughout my video-making career with access to great DOPs, crews, studios and editors, and here I was in lockdown mode with none of the above, let alone a budget.

"I wanted to make a film to go with a track from my first ever solo album (yes, I wear two hats) so what could I do? Forget the whole idea or jump in and learn on the trot? I went for the second option which initially was difficult. Having no one to yell at but myself, I soon learned that yelling back wasn’t an option. So I bit the bullet, shot everything on my iPhone X, and edited on Adobe Premier Pro.

"The thing is, if you’re as technophobic as I am, stuff happens that shouldn’t and stuff doesn’t happen that should but, as I’ve learned to trust my own processes over the years, the stuff that shouldn’t have happened yielded as many decent visuals as the ones that should.

"Who said 'A little knowledge is a dangerous thing'? Well they’re wrong. If you persevere for long enough you’ll know less than when you started but maybe, just maybe, you’ll make something instinctively instead of accurately and it won’t look remotely like anything else. Expecting A Message is just that…a pairing of accident and design that somehow works, with myself as more guinea pig than performer."

Credits

DirectorKevin Godley

David Knight - 26th Oct 2020

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