The last time we featured London-based filmmaker Dan Emmerson here on It’s Nice That, he was showing us the gritty side of inner-city ice cream van rivalries. Today, he’s unfurling a large tapestry. Such is life.
Dan has been tapped up by legendary UK 2 Tone and ska group The Specials to direct the video for Vote For Me, the band’s brand-new comeback single. Best known for 1981’s still-eerie number one smash hit Ghost Town, The Specials recently reunited having split way back when in 1984.
Vote For Me sees Dan creating and curating a mixed-media moving mural of sorts. “The background was made up of photos that I took around London and stitched them together to make the tapestry,” Dan explains. “We then printed this out and my friend Frank Laws painted over them by hand and scanned back in.” He goes on to say: “The people were all shot against a green screen and treated with a layer of water based acrylic paint to texturise them.”
Always a socially-motivated, politically-concerned group, Dan says of the new work that, “This video documents the shame we are feeling as a society for ending up in the place we are in, politically and socially," and the video is dedicated to the 72 people who died after the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017.
When It’s Nice That asked Dan to unpack what he means by “shame”, he tells us, “Every other day you hear about another teenager being killed on the streets, communities being torn apart by disasters that could have been easily avoided, government cuts to this and that, a Brexit vote that’s divided the nation, it feels like as a society we are are ashamed of what a pickle we are in.“