The Mill

Run The Jewels "Close Your Eyes (And Count To F**k)" (AG Rojas, dir.)

Don't call it a comeback, but "Close Your Eyes (And Count To F**k)" marks the music video return of two of my faves: director AG Rojas and Rage Against The Machine frontman Zack De La Rocha. And it's one motherf**k of a return, presenting an epic and exhausting brawl between Cop and Kid that might not detonate on-screen, but could prove explosive as a nationwide conversation about police brutality rages on.

AG Rojas, director: "When Run The Jewels sent me this track, I knew we had the opportunity to create a film that means something. I felt a sense of responsibility to do just that. We had to exploit the lyrics and aggression and emotion of the track, and translate that into a film that would ignite a valuable and productive conversation about racially motivated violence in this country. It's provocative, and we all knew this, so we were tasked with making something that expressed the intensity of senseless violence without eclipsing our humanity. For me, it was important to write a story that didn’t paint a simplistic portrait of the characters of the Cop and Kid. They're not stereotypes. They're people - complex, real people and, as such, the power had to shift between them at certain points throughout the story. The film begins and it feels like they have been fighting for days, they’re exhausted, not a single punch is thrown, their violence is communicated through clumsy, raw emotion. They've already fought their way past their judgments and learned hatred toward one another. Our goal was to highlight the futility of the violence, not celebrate it."

Take That "These Days" (Henry Scholfield, dir.)

A tricky video boasting lots of in-camera effects that take you from a bed to outerspace and beyond... all without ever leaving the video set.

Henry Schofield, director: "we want it to feel a bit tongue in cheek, a bit unexpected"... So went the conversation at our first meeting and 10 days later I'm trying to keep a straight face as Mr. Barlow and Mr. Owen stroll onto set with ginger permed wigs, with Howard moments later looking like an uber-tanned auditionee for Towie. 

Besides their every-take-perfect professionalism and their great ideas... I gotta say, the guys are super down to earth and up for not taking it too seriously. Needless to say it was a brilliant experience working with them.

In one shot we're going from studio, to bed, to cheerleaders, to bathroom to kitchen...etc. Some furrowed brows and maybe a moment to two of "will this work" self doubt, but with a dream team of Katie Dolan as EP, Alicia Farren producing,  Mikey Hollywood on production design, Ashley Wallen killer-chroeographer and Ben Todd keeping an all seeing eye on aesthetic, we felt like an A-Team all ready to Macgyver like put it together.