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Holly Walker 'Unsung' by Martyn Thomas

Rob Ulitski - 20th Nov 2023

Martyn Thomas draws the emotion from stripped-back 80s TV style performance by Holly Walker via lo-fi analogue visual effects. 

The video for Unsung features a wistful performance from the artist, captured through crafted, drawn-out shots. Thomas then adds distortion, glitches and colour saturation to the footage, a new take on vintage TV in-camera FX. 

"Throughout the whole creative process I was able to work really closely with Holly," says Thomas. "Having that collaboration with the artist, exploring ideas and ultimately defining the visual story we wanted to tell is essential to me.

"We established early on that we wanted to continue the lo-fi analog aesthetic we developed in our last project together. For Unsung I wanted to use video distortion to suggest the blurred, hazy nature of memory and nostalgia.

"We went deep on video refs from the 1970s and '80s. Madonna's Live To Tell intro inspired the opening shot; Blondie's (I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear, played a part in styling; the performance tone was The Carpenters' Superstar; even a scene from Dirty Dancing.

"Post production got really experimental, coaxing this idea of diffused memory into an almost physical form was a lot of fun. Manipulating the images in real time with circuit bent hardware like a Tachyons+ Vortex or a random kit from the internet, dubbing to VHS and filming an old CRT TV.

"There is a lack of control with analog glitching, so a lot of happy mistakes occurred - and now I have all this weird equipment in my studio."

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Rob Ulitski - 20th Nov 2023

Tags

  • Director's notes
  • Dance
  • Electronic
  • Performance
  • Collaboration
  • Glitch
  • Effects
  • Retro
  • Lo-fi

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Producer
Dan Matthews
Producer
Ellie Clapperton
Production Company
Director Shadow
Amelia Clarkson
Driver
Jonny Reid

Camera

Director of Photography
Darren Ladbury
Focus Puller
Jamie Oliver Lia
Steadicam
Filip Adamczewski
DoP Shadow
Olivia Crouch, Isaac Dunn
Camera
Focus Canning

Lighting/Grip

Gaffer
Krunel Saadrani

Wardrobe

Hair & Make-up
Naz Sonmez

Editorial

Editor

Grading

Colour Producer
Alex Carswell
Colourist
Danyal Kadir
Colour grade company

Agent

Director's Representation

Rob Ulitski - 20th Nov 2023

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