Rob Ulitski - 20th Jan 2021

Tom Jones takes a deep dive into the history of television, with a riveting promo directed by BWTV. 

Talking Reality Television Blues is Jones' first release in five years, and instead of the customary soulful pop banger, this one is a spoken word piece, backed by a blues-rock track, which explores one of our greatest inventions - and its extraordinary influence upon all our lives. 

“I was there when TV started - didn’t know I'd become a part of it," says Sir Tom. "But it could be that its power is to remind us how wonderful, crazy and inventive we are, but also how scary the reality it reflects can be."

Liam Achaibou and Ryan Vernava - aka BWTV - have taken up the huge challenge of visualizing the scope and message of the song and done an awe-inspiring job. Using a tried-and-tested technique, they encapsulate decades of TV history into a meaningful package that never loses its momentum, or relevance. It's a terrific achievement. 

Utilizing a mass of stock footage, they revisit the abundance of shows that have graced our screens over the decades. It's all there: game shows, dramas, news, and commercials through the decades sit side-by-side, examined under an analytical lens, and serves to both entertain and ask existential questions about our relationship with TV - and how our lives have changed since its introduction all those years ago.

The result being, of course, that a reality TV show star ended up in The White House. So it's appropriate that it's featured here on the day he leaves it.

BWTV: 

The video features a brain-melting number of shots and we needed every single one of them to get the tone right.

"Having grown up with Tom Jones’ music and knowing him as this huge cultural figure, being approached to make this video was surreal to say the least. We’re both huge video junkies so having the platform to create a pop-culture montage on this scale and to be released in this particular moment in history was a huge opportunity for us.

"We usually try and shoehorn in some thematic underscore to our stuff but with this track the message is being laid down loud and clear, no holds barred. It’s the final days in the bunker and nothing says ‘I love you’ more than kicking a man while he’s on his way out. We wanted the video to feel like it had a little piece of everything in it from the sublime to the absurd; the grotesque to the ridiculous and we did just that.

The dancehall is on fire but we’re still selling tickets to the disco.

"The video features a brain-melting number of shots and we needed every single one of them to get the tone right. After all there is humour in the horror of watching ourselves moonwalk towards a cliff edge one meme at a time. We’re starting to think the musicians who kept playing while the titanic was sinking weren’t being selfless or brave - perhaps they were just partying down and refusing to accept reality…

"This is one of the most important ideas we wanted to get across in the video. The dancehall is on fire but we’re still selling tickets to the disco. The people inside are still dancing and outside there is still a nice long queue to get in." 

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorBWTV
ProducerBWTV
EditorDan Davies
CommissionerJames Hackett
LabelUniversal

Rob Ulitski - 20th Jan 2021

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