Wobbly fish and people sucked up by hoovers: enjoy Rottingdean Bazaar’s latest project with Annie Collinge
In their latest collab, James Theseus Buck, Luke Brooks and Annie Collinge unite in a DIY-infused music video for synth band Audiobooks.
- 2 September 2021
- Ayla Angelos
You’re in a room, looking up at a giant mouth hung on the wall. It starts moving to the sounds of synth-pop band Audiobooks’ latest song, LaLaLa It’s The Good Life, pulsating as the camera zooms in slowly, until you’re right in the heart of the mouth. A wobbly piano now enters the frame, shortly followed by various jiving band members printed out on large fabrics. What you're observing here is the latest release from Rottingdean Bazaar, a familiar duo comprising James Theseus Buck and Luke Brooks who we’ve had the pleasure of featuring on the site a fair few times – the last being a food-themed series called Table for One, made for Luncheon magazine in collaboration with photographer Annie Collinge.
In typical Rottingdean Bazaar fashion, and in yet another wonderful collaboration with Annie (and production by Blink Productions), the duo’s latest directing project is a week-long creation of lo-fi moving image, capturing prints of people and objects as they dance to the sounds of the band’s latest single. It’s a welcomed switch-up since we last heard from the duo – especially as they usually work on still fashion imagery – but let’s just say they haven’t shied away from any new challenges; they directed their very first music video at the end of last year for Dry Cleaning’s song Scratchcard Lanyard, and this one is the second.
“We have been fans of Audiobooks’ music for the past couple of years,” James tells us of how they came to work together on the video. Earlier in the year, to be exact, they were making a Burberry editorial with Annie for Buffalo zine, and Evangeline Ling from Audiobooks was modelling. “On the shoot, we said that we would really like to make a video for one of their songs.” Achieving this goal, the proceeding video for Audiobooks took inspiration from this first meeting, where Evangeline was being photographed in a studio “wearing fashion which we then turned into prints on fabric,” says Luke. “After that, we spent time in Rottingdean with Annie photographing the prints in different positions and settings, like the beach. While doing that shoot, we realised that the fabric prints moved and wobbled in interesting ways which would lend themselves to film and also be able to be captured in a different way on film.”
As for the process, all parties – i.e. James, Luke and Annie – hung around Rottingdean Bazaar’s flat in Rottingdean (which is where they get the name). Shot on an iPhone in and around the flat, it took seven days to complete. “It was just the three of us shooting it, and we used our own bodies for the parts with real body parts and to make them move,” adds James. He was, in fact, the hand and leg model, as well as the “main dancer and mover” – “he has better musical timing out of the three of us,” adds Luke. They kept the team small so that they could work efficiently and with agility, especially since they were working with lots of materials. Additionally, they photographed the band individually in the studio beforehand to create digitally printed versions, plus other objects, before filming the movement. “We weren’t quite sure what would happen or how long it would take,” says Luke. “It was trial and error.”
By working in this manner, the video has been sprinkled with a charming DIY-aesthetic; a raw and rough-and-ready feel that perhaps wouldn’t have been achieved if it had gone through lengthy stages of planning. Somewhat reminiscent of a group of childhood friends coming together to play – but obviously much more skilled, refined and better in every way – it’s a complete joy to watch and absorb. From fake guns shooting out wobbly faces, wiggling arms and people being sucked up by hoovers, it’s a complete mash-up of objects and moments that couldn’t have been more Rottingdean Bazaar. Then, as the video comes to a close, the prints all start to collapse, before the ending on a beached fish slowly moving (gasping for air?) on the pebbled shore.
“Our work very often comes from focusing on a specific technical process or set of objects, and the physicality of them,” explains Luke. “In that sense, we are also left to reflect on it afterwards in terms of what it could mean or evoke, because that isn’t necessarily really clear to us in the midst of making. Or at least, often not until nearer the end when we step away a bit.” So if you’re looking for deeper meaning or logical reasoning behind this video for Audiobooks, then you might be in the wrong place. This is more a show of material exploration than it is a commentary on the world, so buckle up and rewind the video, yet again, and enjoy!
Directed by Rottingdean Bazaar and Annie Collinge. Styling was by Rottingdean Bazaar with still Photography by Annie Collinge. The team worked with editor Joe Walton, edit producer Amanda Jenkins at Whitehouse Post, colourist Andi Chu, post producers Tamara Mennell and Bruce Langfield at Black Kite, executive producers Laura Northover and Paul Weston, and producer Rosie Brear. Clothing was from Steven Philip Studio, Bottega Veneta, and Gladrags Community Costume Resource. With thanks to The Brighton Studio.
GalleryRottingdean Bazaar x Annie Collinge: LaLaLa It’s the Good Life, Audiobooks (Copyright © Rottingdean Bazaar x Annie Collinge, 2021)
Rottingdean Bazaar x Annie Collinge: LaLaLa It’s the Good Life, Audiobooks (Copyright © Rottingdean Bazaar x Annie Collinge, 2021)
About the Author
Ayla was an editorial assistant back in June 2017 and has continued to work with us on a freelance basis. She has spent the last seven years as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.