David Knight - 3rd Dec 2020

Astrid Edwards, director and producer of music videos and other music programming for three decades, is still mixing things up.  

She has just been nominated for a Grammy, for her part in producing the spectacular Beyoncé video for Brown Skin Girl. By complete contrast, her video for Cornershop's I'm A Wooden Soldier is a real DIY effort: she directed, produced, animated, edited the video herself - and features in it too. 

The work is inspired by the cut-and-paste aesthetic of Sniffin' Glue and other fanzines of the punk rock era. With the help of designer Sim Tennant, Edwards uses stock footage and stop-frame collage animation to make the link between the politically-charged atmospheres of late 70s and today, to accompany a characteristic anthem from Cornershop's acclaimed album England Is A Garden, released earlier this year.

ASTRID EDWARDS:

"This particular film began under Brexit and was delivered just before our first lockdown. It is a little homage to the elements and themes of punk fanzine really... something close to mine and the band's collective teenage experience. I'd lurched into teenagehood on a steady diet of hand-stapled Sniffin' Glue, early ID fanzines and Spare Rib.

"With that and our current government in mind, I applied my slightly angry DIY punk ethic to the actual making of the video. This pretty much involved me creating original artwork, cutting it up then making photomontages of it by hand with good old-fashioned scissors, a scalpel, some glue and a lot of paper with the intermittent re-photographing or old school photocopy thrown in.

It was really freeing to go back to the punk basics of my youth... painstaking but fun.

"I then hand-animated it, shot it, appeared in it (as I didn't have the budget for a performer) and edited it together myself mostly frame by frame. I worked with the brilliant designer/animator Sim Tennant on some of the more complex scenes in AfterEffects with some re-augmented vintage footage chucked in.

"It was really freeing to go back to the punk basics of my youth and work like this. It was also really painstaking but fun - and much like the song, it felt apt and relevant to be working in that way at this moment.

"This is my second collaboration with Cornershop. Both films are quite raw but very different - what's great is that the band are always so trusting and supportive of my ideas - this one particularly so as it literally did come together frame by frame by frame. Analog for the digital generation..."

Credits

DirectorAstrid Edwards
ProducerAstrid Edwards
Production CompanyRockmother Films
Director's Rep (UK)Squire
DesignerSim Tennant
EditorAstrid Edwards

David Knight - 3rd Dec 2020

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