Work / Film

Oscar Hudson reveals (some) of the secrets behind his video for Loyle Carner

Director Oscar Hudson is back to testing his warping film and editing abilities in a new video for Loyle Carner’s latest release, Ottolenghi.

Set on a train, which looks like a classic (unreliable) Southern or South Eastern network model from the seat pattern, Ottolenghi switches from VHS footage filmed by Ben (Loyle Carner) on a real train before switching to a set built in a studio. The beginnings of the video developed from a “super simple” idea of Ben’s: he would fall asleep on a real train journey, and then “start to dream a train journey,” Oscar explains. “I wanted to do something that ‘woozed’ back and forth between dream and reality where details from real life get amplified and warped in the dream.”

But to actually make a short which morphs together both the real and imagined took proper planning, and a bit of trickery too. Oscar explains how the filming technique used “could be considered a version of something called ‘trompe-l’oeil’ — an old-fashioned production design trick usually used as a way of extending scenery,” he tells It’s Nice That. However, the techniques used can be more simply explained by the term “perspective trickery”.

This trick is built on the process of first “shooting a scene, printing out a 2D image of that scene, and then re-situating that 2D print back in front of camera so that it merges back together with the 3D reality,” the director explains. It’s a process visible once Ben has fallen deep into his dream inside the set built train design where the head of Jordan Rakei, who provides guest vocals on the track, appears peering through the window. In other instances, Oscar directs the video to switch from real life to imagined “by doing a kind of ‘physical-edit’ where you pick the last frame of a shot that you want to use as the transition point, print it out physically and then begin your next shot with that print in front of camera,” Oscar continues.

If you watch the video a few times you’ll also be able to spot other small editing details which bring the video’s different mediums together cohesively. Take, for instance, how even when filming inside the set built train, the world outside zooms past achieved by “using whirling brushes attached to power drills, a big model mountainside that slowly rolled along on wheels with little fairy lights set into it, and the occasional pole on wheel that gets yanked through shot,” Oscar points out. “There’s other stuff going on too,” he says, “but I can’t tell you all the secrets!”

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Oscar Hudson: Loyle Carner, Ottolenghi

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Oscar Hudson: Loyle Carner, Ottolenghi

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Oscar Hudson: Loyle Carner, Ottolenghi

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Oscar Hudson: Loyle Carner, Ottolenghi

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Oscar Hudson: Loyle Carner, Ottolenghi

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Oscar Hudson: Loyle Carner, Ottolenghi

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Oscar Hudson: Loyle Carner, Ottolenghi

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Oscar Hudson: Loyle Carner, Ottolenghi

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Oscar Hudson: Loyle Carner, Ottolenghi

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Oscar Hudson: Loyle Carner, Ottolenghi