Back story please. Where, when and why did you two hook up as a directing duo? Was it a particular project that drew you to work together?
Joe: We met through mutual friends and were both working doing stuff vaguely related to what we do now. Charlie was doing tour documentary stuff for XL and I was working as a camera assistant on features and lighting small videos and documentaries. Somehow Charlie managed to engineer getting sent a Prodigy track to pitch on. We’d talked about what we did and shared a lot of interests and ideas and we came up with a concept together. Obviously we didn’t get the job, and to be honest, I’m not sure we ever even submitted the treatment, but we just carried on from there. We had a year of having no idea what we were doing, getting ripped off and generally falling in and out of disasters before we really started working.
How do the creative dynamics work between you? Do you have different strengths and skills or do you both work together on the process simultaneously?
Joe: We’re both involved in everything really. There are areas where one or other of us will take the lead, but we’ll both be there and talking everything through.
We love your music videos and fashion films (see in Related Content) but we especially loooove your latest video for Chase and Status which breaks today. It’s a simple idea that takes you on a multi-perspective, multi-pleasure journey of their track. How did the various narratives evolve?
Joe: The video’s simply about that moment when music is completely amazing. We wanted it to feel like real people in real situations. The track has a throwback 90s London feel to it, we both grew up in 90s London and, for the most part, mined our own experiences and made them a bit more contemporary.
How did you find the characters?
Joe: We had ideas for the kind of people we’d like and we knew we wanted it to be as real as possible. We didn’t want models, or even really actors. The cast was predominantly real people, street cast, by Leanne Flinn and Sophie Dewey, and we let the people we liked colour the characters that ended up in the video.
Were there any major headaches with the production – if so how did you resolve them? Was it a short sharp shoot in London?
Joe: We shot over three days. There are always headaches. Our main issue going into the shoot was that we had very little prep time. This isn’t unusual but inevitably threw up some issues with scheduling, locations and cast. Audrey, the producer, and Sasha at Forever our production company did incredible work to get this video made, and we often didn’t know there were complications until they’d been dealt with. Forever were massively supportive as always, so it was all pretty smooth despite what we were trying to do. James Hackett the commissioner was also very supportive all the way.
What kit did you use?
Joe: Predominantly Alexa, with some 5d and GoPro footage as well. There are also some brilliant VHS archive shots in there.
You recently completed a short film for 55DSL in Italy. Did you have a hand in writing the script?
Joe: The script was completely ours. We had an amazing team in Rome who translated it into Italian for us.
What were the major challenges of the shoot and production?
Joe: The biggest hurdle was language. Neither Charlie or I speak Italian, and it was a first for both of us to direct actors delivering dialogue in another language. Again, we wouldn’t of got away with it without help from the Italian team. We rehearsed a lot and discussed what we were trying to convey with the actors, and they made it happen.
Where does your heart lie – music videos, short films or commercials?
Joe: Commercials and music videos predominantly. I’d love to shoot more short films. Ultimately features are the target.
Chase and Status, Count on Me