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Maxïmo Park 'I Don't Know What I'm Doing' by Leopold

David Knight - 1st Dec 2020

Amitay Leopold delivers a strong visual metaphor in his video for Maxïmo Park that may prove to be a test for serious vertigo sufferers. 

The promo for I Don’t Know What I’m Doing features lead singer Paul Smith climbing a ladder - into the sky. When we join him he is already unfeasibly distant from the ground and suffering the trials and tribulations of someone stuck between a rock and a hard place. And his only option is to keep on climbing...

It is a fine analogy of the emotions we feel - such as fear, anxiety, guilt - when faced with the inevitable consequences of our often hasty actions. In the case of Smith, he says the song is about becoming a new parent, "which we’ve tried to put across in our new video via the more abstract notion of an endless ladder!”

Of course, Paul Smith was not required to ascend miles above terra firma in order to create the metaphor - it was actually achieved in a London studio, with greenscreen. But he still gives the impression he has been climbing a ladder for weeks, and still has a long way to go. 

In fact, director Leopold says that the point of the video is essentially positive: Smith may be on a ladder, but he's looking up to the stars. Well, the moon actually. “Uncertainty can easily send us spiralling downwards," he says. "We show the opposite: climbing up as a way of escaping a situation. But even that is not an easy task. So what is preferred, to stay and confront life - or avoid it?”

David Knight - 1st Dec 2020

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Angelica Riccardi
Production Company
Executive Producer
Alex Bedford
Executive Producer
Ben Parkin


Director of Photography
Brendan Harvey
1st AC
Loren Fillis
2nd AC
Rick Casey


Matt Markham
Matt Wood


Quelle Bester


Myles Bevan
Colour grade company
Time Based Arts


Sean Sprey
Prolifica Inc


Production Assistant
Tom Davies

David Knight - 1st Dec 2020

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