• Charon1

    Still from Charon

  • Charon2

    Still from Charon

  • Charon3

    Still from Charon

  • Charon4

    Still from Charon

  • Charon5

    Sketch from Charon

  • Charon6

    Sketch from Charon

  • Charon9

    Behind the Scenes from Charon

  • Charon10

    Behind the Scenes from Charon

  • Charon11

    Behind the Scenes from Charon

  • Charon13

    Poster from Charon

Music

David Wilson, John Malcolm Moore and Keaton Henson: Charon

Posted by Will Hudson,

It’s not often you get a music video crediting three different directors but judging by David Wilson, John Malcolm Moore and Keaton Henson’s latest work it might become a little more regular if the results are anything to go by. The video, Charon for Keaton’s latest release is out today and we caught up with the three of them to find out more…

Hello David, John and Keaton, the music video’s co-directed by all three of you. How did that come about?

Keaton Henson: Well, me and John have been working together on my music videos for a while now, and I’d always had this idea in the back of my mind. I introduced John to David while working on The Japanese Popstars “Let Go” music video and after a while thought I’d mention the project him.
David Wilson: Keaton had a very clear idea in his head of what he wanted to achieve, but he wasn’t quite sure how to achieve it. I initially met up with the both John and Keaton to just discuss the practicality of the project and see how I could help. Our creative input just spiralled that day into a project that completely consumed us all. We managed to create the animatic for the piece within an afternoon; it just seemed to flow out of us, and that’s when we decided we needed to make this piece as a three-person team.
John Malcom Moore: Me and Keaton initially talked to David just to ask for some advice about how to get the project up and running properly, so when he came back to us and wanted to be involved it was such a great moment and got us really excited for the project.

The star of the video (a puppet) is great! Where did you find him?

DW: The puppet was made by Jonny Sabbagh. I’ve known Jonny for ages via Blinkink, the production company I’m signed with. His work’s amazing. He’s spent the past decade churning out iconic puppets, from the Volvic Volcano, and Lily Allen’s little brother Alfie, to an army of Cadbury Chocolate Fingers. For me, there was no one else that could have done the Keaton puppet justice – it had to be him! Not only did he agree to it, he also managed to churn out our puppet in only two days!  The complexity and detail of the puppet’s outstanding, from the tailor-made shirt, to the individually controllable eyebrows!
KH: It’s incredible and the key to the videos tone and quality. It was amazing how much we all began to treat him like another crew member, the second he came out of his bag on set he was immediately treated like the talent and fussed over.

What was the hardest part of production?

DW: This was my first project both producing and directing for a good few years, so, for me the sheer organisational aspect was pretty full on, especially for a two day shoot! I’d say the hardest part of the shoot was getting to the locations. Day 1 involved lugging equipment by hand into the middle of the woodland, with the temperature being approximately -1ºC, and then day 2 involved lugging the same equipment up 4 flights of stairs to the interior location! We definitely earned our bacon sarnies those days!
JMM: The two shoot days were definitely pretty full on. Doing all the puppeteering in that freezing weather whilst wearing a blue screen suit was pretty gruelling. But seeing the results we were getting was so worth it.

Keaton, you’re both a musician and an artist, how did your art affect this video?

KH: Its crazy, just watching the finished product we all agreed that even if subconsciously, the video looks and feels as if you’ve just stepped into one of my drawings, it shares a lot of the themes of my work (the forests, melancholy and death) as well as having the lead character rendered in my illustration style, but even just the muted colours and angles feel like one of my drawings. It felt like the next logical step from the drawn collaboration with David for the “Let Go” video, into blending our skills to a story in a 3D settings.

Also, was it hard working on the video as a co-director when you wrote the song?

KH: I think its important for me to have a say in most creative decisions regarding my music, the songs are so entirely personal that the idea of handing them over to someone else entirely would bother me. I think once we’d made the decision to make it and started work, I kind of had to separate myself and pretend it was someone else’s song, otherwise I would’ve turned into nightmare client and over analysed every decision.

How does the video relate to the song?

KH: Well the song is about two things, loneliness, and eventually, death, so we felt it was important to explore both narratives without making anything too self indulgent (hence replacing me with a somewhat cuddlier puppet version). There is a shot where the characters documents are all neatly laid out, and if you look closely there is a suicide note which essentially consists of the songs lyrics which is how I think of the song in the video really, its his parting words to the world, or perhaps the person who made him feel this way.

Wh-300

Posted by Will Hudson

Will founded It’s Nice That in 2007 and is now director of the company. Once one of the main contributors to the site he has stepped back from writing as the business has expanded. He is a regular guest on the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Film View Archive

  1. List

    The Serpentine Pavilion is one of the most eagerly anticipated fixtures on London’s cultural calendar and once again COS have created a beautiful film featuring this year’s creation. It’s the work of Chilean architect Smiljan Radić, whose shell-like cylindrical structure rests on quarry stones; seemingly at once both spawned from a prehistoric past and/or dropped from a future galaxy.

  2. Gplist

    When Gilles Peterson flew to Rio in January, he didn’t just gather a bunch of his Brazilian music heroes into one studio to make the album Brasil BAM BAM BAM. Oh no. He also made his first feature documentary.

  3. Main

    Err, where has Jenny Lewis been for the past few years? She could have been running some sort of underground, political guerilla group, or designing jewellery, or maybe she was just locked in a cupboard. What I’m getting at is that it just doesn’t matter in the slightest – because she’s back with a totally killer video that she’s directed, and we all know that 99.9% of the time a brilliant, timely music video is the perfect solution to a difficult comeback.

  4. Main2

    Considering Kate Moss’ notorious silence throughout her career, it’s exciting to hear her actually spill the beans on what it was like to be photographed on Camber Sands beach with Corinne Day, or be painted by Lucian Freud. Similarly it’s equally thrilling to hear Lily Cole speak of being photographed by Terry Richardson underwater for the 2012 Pirelli Calendar.

  5. List

    As artisanal skills go, the world of ceramics is one of my favourites to peer into, and it’s as much because I know I’d be as useless as Demi Moore if I were plonked in front of a potter’s wheel as it is about the beauty of the craft itself. Whatever admiration I have for potters has just been magnified tenfold by this wonderful short film by North Sea Air about French ceramic brand Astier de Villatte. Founded by Benoît Astier de Villatte and Ivan Pericoli 18 years ago, the pair pride themselves on their traditionally-inspired handmade ceramics, and the authentic olde-worlde aesthetic that inspires everything they do.

  6. List

    It’s no secret that Studio Swine are forever pushing boundaries in the world of product design, taking uncommon materials and putting them to universal use. But their latest project is extremely unusual, even by their own standards. For Hair Highway the pair ventured into the heart of mainland China to the epicentre of the global human hair trade. There they acquired enough human hair to use it as the basis for a number of luxury bespoke objects – the carefully-maintained strands preserved in deep amber resin, creating stunning patterns and textures. To top it all off they’ve made this lovely film to document their journey, the people behind this strange trade and the finished products themselves.

  7. List

    London-based artist Aleksandra Mir has been busy over the past month investigating the process of drawing in a collaborative experiment that invites participants to contribute to a giant collage of the London skyline, rendered entirely with Sharpies. The process of creating the work was part of the exhibition itself, with Aleksandra and her team engaged in drawing everything by hand during the first days of the show. But for those that missed it there’s also a beautiful time-lapse film of the process, providing context and insight to this giant piece of collaborative draughtsmanship.

  8. List-2

    It is a universal truth that Andrew Telling plus extraordinary cyclists equals fantastic films. The London-based filmmaker is a regular fixture at Rapha HQ, heading out on the road at the drop of a hat to produce stunning films that showcase both the brand’s expertly-made wares in action and the thrill of cycling itself. In honour of this year’s Tour de France, Rapha sent a team of cyclists out across Yorkshire to take in the sights and sounds of the race’s latest leg. Unlike this weekend’s Tour activities however, the pace on this ride is a leisurely one, drinking in the English countryside and stopping for the occasional pint of ale and piece of cake. Nevertheless the film-making is as beautiful as we’ve come to expect from Andrew, creating simple, satisfying narratives around what is essentially a leisurely weekend jaunt.

  9. Main

    If you’re working on your summer bod right now then you can either look away or take some inspiration from the guys in this music video. Some people are into the whole muscle thing, but I can tell you now that for me this is way more terrifying than it is a turn-on, I mean look at them! The shoulders of these muscle-men are the width of a small truck and their waists are teeny tiny, giving them a strange Donkey Kong look about them. Odd, but intriguing.

  10. Main

    The description of this video reads: “A dancing egg wreaks havoc when people can’t take their eyes off him.” I mean as far as concepts go, that’s pretty strong. Basically a guy in an egg costume (note to self: purchase an egg costume) goes around distracting people as they get on with their day. It was created by directorial duo A Very Successful Business quite literally for a laugh. “We created it just for the fun of making it, and to add a bit of surreal silliness back into the world,” co-founder Dulcie told us. Sure, this isn’t a video that’s going to go down in the top ten music videos of all time lists, but it made every single person in the It’s Nice That office laugh, and surely that counts for something. Well done, egg-lads!

  11. Main

    “This generation is not afraid, pay attention” – what a line to end on! This short film directed by the rather talented William Williamson takes a close look at residents of Lahore, Pakistan and contemplates their different, individual methods of expressing themselves through their clothing. From the transexual Hijra to confident policewomen in shiny new uniforms, this wondrous few minutes takes you on a powerful journey to loud, messy, jangly Pakistan and into the lives of people who are on the cusp of realising a fashion revolution. We take for granted what it means to express ourselves through what we wear, and it’s informed, intelligent films like this that are needed to remind us just how powerful that expression can be. Read a fantastic interview with William over on Dazed Digital.

  12. List

    I fear I’ve referenced this before, but one of my Desert Island Discs would almost certainly be Baz Lurhmann’s strange spoken-word track Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen. I like it for many reasons, not least the opening phrase “Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’99” which to a Midlands teenager felt exotic and American and important for ways I couldn’t really define.

  13. Main

    “There’s nowt as queer as folk” begins this video created by Tate Britain to promote their spectacular exhibition, British Folk Art. The show has received critical acclaim for its curation, taking thousands of folkloric objects from the 1700s until now, and filtering them into a truly humbling exhibition that teaches you more about the underlying tone of our country than any history books ever will. From Morris Dancers to hen parties, and from leather Toby Jugs to tapestries woven by injured soldiers, these artefacts are a charming and often rather funny glimpse into what makes us all weird and British.