Oh hello Philip Andelman! Band and musician photographer extraordinaire and director of music videos for such greats as Beyonce, Lenny Kravitz, Norah Jones, Jay Z and Taylor Swift. Philip’s kindly taken a moment out of his predictably busy schedule to tell us about his favourite music video, so if you’re into a bit of 90s angst and classic, unrelenting Britpop, read on, dear reader. Then go and check out the rest of Philip’s work (including his scrapbooks) and you’ll probably have quit your job and go be a music video director by the end of the day.
Philip Andelman: Oasis – D’you Know What I Mean
Oh Gosh, you have _no idea_ what a stressful, loaded question that is! I agonised for days on this. It’s kind of a no-win situation here. On the one hand I could spend weeks trying to find the most obscure, artistic video that would have connoisseurs slowly nodding their head with reluctant approval. On the other hand I could be filled with brash arrogance and put down one of my own videos, something the (to-remain-anonymous) director who brought me up the ranks would do, so sure-footed that he’d begin every treatment he wrote with “THIS WILL BE THE GREATEST VIDEO OF ALL TIME.”
But the real problem finally came down to the fact that I have no favourite video. If I want grandeur, bravado, and bad-ass spectacle, I’ll re-watch Romanek’s video for Audioslave, if I want fondness for my favourite experience on the set of a video, I’d settle into the extended cut of Adam Yauch’s Beasties video, Fight For Your Right Revisited. Looking for a little pick-me-up? I’d want Spike Jonze and Roman Coppola’s Fatboy Slim video for Praise You. Up in Woodstock with a joint and an open evening ahead of me, I’d hunt down the entire canon of Andreas Nilsson. If I was looking for inspiration on for an upcoming job I’d revisit pretty much anything by Jonathan Glazer, and if I wanted a trip down the memory lane of my early adolescence, I’d try to track down Fincher’s videos for Madonna. Last year I watched Emily Kai Bock’s video for Grimes about 300 times which was only superseded this past year by Vincent Haycock’s stunning, hypnotic video-short Raffertie, Build Me up.
Oddly enough, the video that started everything out for me though was none of the above. It was a video that, until two weeks ago – when I heard Noel Gallagher rip it to shreds on an audio commentary – remained the most bad-ass video in my mind. I saw it for the first time when I was a sophomore in college and it was the first time I thought to myself, "wow, it would be really, really awesome to direct music videos,” It was Oasis’ video for D’You Know What I Mean and it was so majestic, operatic, and fully engrossing with its hundreds of helicopters, all the cool I-don’t-give-a-fuck-i’m-in-oasis looks to camera, and epic, destroyed landscapes. My whole body tingled every time I saw it. It was bigger than anything else I could imagine, the slow-motion plumes of smoke were so hypnotic, the extras so cool in their apathy. To this day I still use Liam Gallagher’s coat in that video as a styling reference. I just re-watched the video for the first time in a couple years a few minutes ago and now sadly the only emotion it elicits from me is stupefaction: How the hell did they make a seven and a half minute music video with just a bunch of helicopters and sad-looking kids?!