Rob Ulitski - 11th Oct 2021

Hak Baker faces up to addiction, in Jon E Price's reflective promo for Irrelevant Elephant. 

The party is over, and Baker is shown hanging around his flat, seriously hungover and drowning in apathy, as an animated elephant begins to invade each frame. 

Starting off as a carefree, colourful character, the elephant - who appears when Hak thinks about taking to the booze again  - soon distorts into an unwelcome and menacing presence.

As his addictions take hold, the artist has to find the inner strength to take back control.

JON E PRICE:

It's always an enjoyable collaborative process [with Hak] and this is our most ambitious project to date.

"The video for Irrelevant Elephant is a product of the last 18 months. It symbolises the sometimes desperate times we’ve all endured, in this case looking to the bottom of a bottle for escapism and not putting it back. It’s a playful and brilliantly understated performance from Hak who lays bare his own relationship with alcohol in a truly honest way.

"An early reference from Hak was Dumbo’s Pink Elephant Parade and really the catalyst for the video’s concept. We liked the menace, the surrealness and the charming nostalgic style. But rather than a straight up animation, I wanted to take the Max Fleischer-esque style and overlay it to our own live action drama.

"I liked the idea of the elephant in the room becoming more of a nuisance, physically sharing and occupying the same frame, always looming. What at first seems harmless, once you scratch away at the surface, darkness lay beneath, and in our case, the party's over and addiction will rear its ugly head.

"Hak’s music is so lyrical, laced with personal stories and anecdotes so I wanted the use of an elephant to have a visual and emotional meaning rather than just something fun to look at.

"Myself and Producer Jack Filtness worked with US-based illustrator Bryson Williams and Leeds-based animator Prathik Poojary. It was great developing the look and characteristics of the elephant and how it would move and occupy space. Bryon has a great sense of identity in his work so it was really exciting to see him apply this to the elephant and then Prathik to eventually bring it all to life.

"Hak’s music, ethos and definitely his live shows are punk, no doubt about it. Individuality, DIY ethic and anti-establishment is deep rooted in his music and that’s why he’s such an exciting artist. His music is raw and colourful, so bringing it to life with film is always an enjoyable collaborative process and Irrelevant Elephant is our most ambitious project to date."

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorJon E Price
ProducerJack Filtness
Production CompanyRiff Raff Films
Executive ProducerTom Berendsen
1st ADChris Mears
Director of PhotographyHarry Wheeler
Focus PullerEmmy Robinson
2nd ACMax Openshaw
GafferLee Partfit
Art DirectorJenny Gardiner
WardrobeLewis Munro
Make-upLucinda Worth
EditorDave Davis
Editing companyTrim Editing
ColouristRich Fearon
Grading companyBlack Kite
Post ProducerJade Deene
LabelHak Attack Records
Other creditsIllustration & Character Design. Bryson Williams Animation Director. Prathik Poojary Production Assistant: Steve Charalambous Grip: Michael Farrell Playback: Chaz Northam Data Wrangler: Jack Peters Spark: Dax Sharkey Spark: Kev Roberts Art Assistant: Lydia Reed Art Assistant: Daniel Miles Styling Assistant: Louis Holsgrove Runner: Phoebe Mulvihill Medic: Richard Hayward Edit Producer. Tatyana Alexandra Sound Designer. Marcin Pawlik @ 750mph Engineer Producer. Martin Critchley

Rob Ulitski - 11th Oct 2021

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