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Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds 'Flying On The Ground' by Dan Cadan & Jonathan 'Scully' Mowatt

Rob Ulitski - 17th June 2021

Continuing their longstanding collaboration with Noel Gallagher, Dan Cadan and Jonathan 'Scully' Mowatt continue where they left off in the previous promo We're On Our Way Now , exploring the lives of lovers in a nouvelle vague-flavoured London, played by Matt Smith and Gala Gordon.

Flying On The Ground builds upon the enigmatic narrative of the previous video, with plenty of improvised scenes and visual nods to French-wave films A Bout De Souffle and Bande A Part. 

Whether or not viewers are familiar with the French new wave is less important than the compelling performances and suggestion of a plot combine to create something absorbing to watch. And certainly Noel Gallagher's cameo role in the film becoming more significant - particularly in the fate of the Matt Smith character.


This video reveals the true darkness behind the relationship between our protagonists.

"The response to our video for We’re On Our Way Now has been great, with a few folks quite rightly wondering where the story would go next - so here we are, concluding the tale. 

"As we all know, Scully’s latest brainchild was to pay homage to French New Wave cinema, with particular emphasis upon Godard’s 1960 classic A Bout De Souffle (Breathless). This video reveals the true darkness behind the relationship between our protagonists, played by Matt Smith and Gala Gordon and its tragic undoing - a blatant nod to A Bout De Souffle and Bande A Part. 

We snuck in a few cheeky moments to really doff our berets [to Godard].

"Those that really know their onions will recognise that we didn’t just shoot the videos in a 4:3 ratio and release them in black and white to emulate Godard, but snuck in a few cheeky moments to really doff our berets.

"The opening shot of ABDS is a close up of a newspaper called ‘Paris Flirt’, which is being read by a smart, suit-clad, Jean-Paul Belmondo. We got Jakob, the production designer, to create ‘Flirt Anglais’, the UK equivalent of that newspaper for Matt to read.

"Mark Anthony Bradley, the incredible costume designer, managed to get Tom Arena to make a bespoke suit for Matt that would be reminiscent of those worn by Belmondo. Mark then worked with Gala to reimagine the outfits worn by Jean Seberg. We recreated the iconic moment of Seberg skipping across the road in Paris with Gala in Notting Hill, albeit from a different angle. There are a few other nods and winks scattered throughout both videos.

"ABDS was apparently improvised on the spot and aside from having an in and out point, Matt and Gala were left to their own devices to improvise each scene within both videos.

"I love directing where you are able to collaborate with the actors so much that a new story might eventually emerge - and if it is better than the story you intended to tell, you gotta say 'fuck it' and dare to stay on that road until it isn’t. Matt and Gala took us down more than one of those roads.

"Regardless of the level of success they may (or may not) reach, there are very few artists who will genuinely continue to face, challenge and up their game. We have been lucky enough to collaborate with and shoot six videos for one that doesn’t know how to do anything other than that."

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Rob Ulitski - 17th June 2021


  • Director's notes
  • Narrative
  • Indie
  • Rock
  • French New Wave
  • sequel
  • Matt Smith
  • Nouvelle Vague
  • Black & White

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Dan Cadan
Jonathan Mowatt
Ayo Davis
Production Company
Executive Producer
Beth Montague
1st AD
Billy Payne


Director of Photography
Niels Reedtz Johansen


David Tyler


Art Director
Jakob Gierse


Mel Szabo
Mark Anthony


Lead actor
Gala Gordon
Lead actor
Matt Smith


Graham Hector


Dan Moran


Director's Representation


Sarah Mansfield

Other credits

Still Photographer

Tatjana Galic

Rob Ulitski - 17th June 2021

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