Rob Ulitski - 24th June 2021

Jake Dypka directs a stirring portrait of everyday life at an English seaside resort, in his promo for Brighton-based duo Memorial's version of A Hero's Death. 

Filmed in Skegness on the East of England coast - in and around the local Butlin's holiday resort - and shot in a documentary fashion, a static camera captures snapshots of seaside experiences, framing different characters in their own thought-provoking vignettes. 

Dypka combines observation of holiday-goers with prosaic still lives, capturing a world that feels as if it has barely changed in decades. Meanwhile, the Memorial duo are lowkey extras on the Crazy Golf range and elsewhere.

With lovely cinematography from DoP Arthur Loveday, the approach owes something to the hyperreal aesthetic of Martin Parr, but with much less of the photojournalistic cruelty. Dypka gained the confidence of his subjects, who gave their permission to be filmed, and the result is a magical marriage of craft and naturalistic performance.

It stands out as one of the best of its kind in a long time - for a lovely cover of the Fontaines DC song.

JAKE DYPKA: 

I had a plan but nothing was guaranteed without the willingness of strangers.

"When Agile sent me the amazing cover Memorial had done of Fontaines DC A Hero’s Death I was very taken by the music. I wanted to do something for them but I also knew I would have to relinquish my usual directorial desires of control and come up with something that was achievable. It was important to me that it wasn’t only achievable but also a joy to make.

"In many respects this brought a kind of freedom to the idea. I have long since had a strange addiction to visiting the old seaside resorts of the English coastline and I felt like something in that space might work for the mood of the music if I could find a way to approach it. I took what control I could and left the rest to chance. Which as it happens was a lot.

"I had a plan but nothing was guaranteed without the willingness of strangers. As it happens people were extremely willing to participate. I only got two No's across the whole shoot and my faith has been firmly restored in humanity."

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorJake Dypka
ProducerAyomide Alli
Production CompanyAgile Films
Executive ProducerPrecious Mahaga
Director of PhotographyArthur Loveday
Camera AssistantJoel Breakwell
WardrobeRosa Dias
EditorJake Dypka
ColouristRichard Fearon
Grading companyBlack Kite Studios
Director's RepresentationOB Management
CommissionerLucy Rose
LabelReal Kind Records

Rob Ulitski - 24th June 2021

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