Stop! Don’t read a word of this article! Do yourself a favour and click on the video thumbnail first and discover ‘Ground Zero’ in your own way. Once you’ve done that, then yes, scroll down for a deconstructive chit chat between singer songwriter Uncle John and it’s director, John Clay.
‘Patrick seemed to relish his role as the driving force (literally) he’s a young guy and has a confidence I wish I had when I was his age. Adam brought a sweetness and vulnerability to his role which worked so well against Patrick.’ – Uncle John
What are your learning experiences of being on the video shoot?
Uncle John: Working on a professional shoot for your own music video is quite something. Watching how the storyboard comes to life from behind the camera rather than the performing side was so new to me. Observing how camera shots and angles were set up and staying close to the storyboard vision but then the freedom for everyone to have input with suggestions and also the environment makes you look at how things could work.
Expand upon the roles of the dancers in the video. How does the end result sit with you?
Uncle John: The dancers were super organic. There wasn’t a dance routine, they just followed their feelings after getting to know the track. But they got it. They became this great little story. They acted and moved so well.
It’s amazing how much of the freestyling made it into the final cut. I really appreciated the amount of takes they were willing to commit to create signature moments to fit the song, all brought to life by Shogo’s camera work. We used dancers and physical theatre in the majority of the video. In your opinion, tell us why this is effective for ‘Ground Zero’.
Uncle John: They tell the story of the relationship dynamic I’m singing about. Patrick takes the role of the aggressor/controller and Adam the more vulnerable role.
Tell us about an aspect of each performer’s contribution that surprised you at the shoot.
Uncle John: Patrick seemed to relish his role as the driving force (literally) he’s a young guy and has a confidence I wish I had when I was his age. Adam brought a sweetness and vulnerability to his role which worked so well against Patrick. Then he would throw some moves to counter Patrick and it was so intuitive. Then there were the outside shots with Sid up in Hampstead. He just blew us away with his character acting skills. The scene in the car with him was brilliant. His presence was immense as soon we started shooting. Then in between shots we would all be laughing so much. His energy was boundless. I’d love to work with them all again in the future.
So many top behind the scenes moments to recount. If I may say so, the casting was the key to the video being true to the concept, and Shogo Hino’s cinematography was an invaluable glue between the dance moves and the music. I really hope your fans get a kick out of it. Thanks for your time here in this interview, and a big shout out to Iggy Crespop of Jumping Sofa Studio for providing such a massive space to work in.
Uncle John: Honestly John, your vision was seen through to the end. Thank you. Shogo just had that great eye for those illicit shots. And a shout out to Iggy Crespop for location. What a space!
‘Ground Zero’ is out now (via Bandcamp and other sharing platforms).
God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.