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On Man 'Survive This' by Ian Roderick Gray

Rob Ulitski - 3rd Aug 2022

Ian Roderick Gray tackles body horror through a poignant lens, in his affecting promo for On Man. 

The concept for Survive This focus on John, a man who is ravaged by a gruesome mutation affecting much of his upper body. After waking to find it has grown drastically and painfully overnight, and believing it to be terminal, he decides to end his life and die on his own terms, much to the anger of his longtime partner. 

In the same vein as the previous collaboration between artist and director Worse Than It Seems - which saw a woman afflicted with an extra eye in her skin - Gray has a knack at tackling complex narratives and themes through body horror elements, and this is another project that knocks it out of the park. 

In a nutshell, the video is a powerfully moving and uncompromising depiction of assisted suicide, exploring themes of love, mercy, dignity and mortality.

I felt a responsibility to create a visual that would do justice to the haunting music.

"When On Man approached me to direct the music video for his latest single, I knew that I wanted to try and create another hybrid between drama and music video, but in a more refined way than our last effort," says the director.

"When he first played me the song I was overwhelmed. It was so incredibly raw and powerful and genuinely emotionally evocative. I definitely felt a heavy responsibility to create a visual that would do justice to the haunting music and to some extent, the song dictated the approach of the video.

"We bounced around some ideas and after reading an article about a tragic number of illegally performed assisted suicides that had occurred in France amongst elderly couples, some of whom were living with terminal conditions, I pitched an idea that was inspired by one specific story - and also from my experience of living with an illness. As a Type 1 Diabetic, this was also an opportunity to explore what it is like to live with a condition and how the condition itself can often be more of a burden for the people around you than for yourself.

"Survive This is a deeply personal music video to both myself and On Man - who added his own ideas and we wrote the script together. It has become one of the most rewarding projects I’ve been involved with."  

Rob Ulitski - 3rd Aug 2022


  • Director's notes
  • Body Horror
  • Assisted Suicide
  • Narrative
  • Black and white
  • Morality
  • Drama

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On Man
Executive Producer
On Man
Production Manager
Lorine Plagnol
1st AD
Alex Moffat


Director of Photography
Pablo Rojo
Focus Puller
Ollie Craig
2nd AC
Alberto Allica


Anthony Dias
Emily Waldron


Production designer
Alizé Speed
Suzi Battersby
Prosthetic Artist, Red Girl FX


Lead actor
Tim Bentinck
Lead actor
Christopher Fairbank




Jonny Tulley



Rob Ulitski - 3rd Aug 2022

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