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24th September 2021
Business as usual?
Title of film: Radiohead, If You Say The Word
Director: Kasper Häggström
Production Company: Object & Animal
As the world gets back to normal, many of us are contemplating our return to the office with trepidation and dread. After months of working from home, the prospect of the daily commute, shoehorning bodies used to the soft, sloppy embrace of sweatshirts and trainers into sharp-edged power suits, and venturing back to an urban environment, feels as alien as a voyage to the moon. Kasper Häggström’s brooding new video for Radiohead’s new track If You Say The World, which sees unlucky employees rounded up in the woods, taken by truck to the city and released into corporate slavery, brilliantly evokes this transition – but, as he tells 1.4, there’s more than one way to look at it.

 

 

The video is an unsettling watch from the beginning. What sparked the initial idea and how far were you given free rein by the band to develop the concept creatively?

My Executive Producer at Object & Animal, Dom Thomas, sent me the song and there was no brief whatsoever. We only had a couple of days to deliver a concept so I just started writing everything that came to mind. I initially had three different ideas that I presented to Scott Wright at XL recordings where we decided that this idea would fit the song the most. Usually I’ll just think of different scenes and scenarios that I find interesting and then try to build a story around that. With this one it started with the scene of the suits being dropped off by a truck in a business district and then I worked my way backwards from there.

 

 

The narrative feels very timely, given how the government and some businesses are effectively forcing employees back into the office after working from home and enjoying a slower pace of life/connection to nature during lockdown. It feels like we’re being dragged back into a corporate environment that we’re no longer equipped to deal with. What messages were you aimimg to convey in the video?

Haha I mean that’s a pretty good take. Personally I like to keep it as open as possible for the viewers to interpret for themselves. First of all I wrote it because I found the concept funny and visually compelling. I think that’s what the band liked about it as well. I like videos where the concept is easy to understand yet the meaning behind it is open for interpretation.

 

 

 

The moody colour palette and brooding aesthetic are quite David Fincher-esque, did you draw on any particular filmic influences?

It’s funny with inspiration. When you say David Fincher-esque I can clearly see the similarities, but I must honestly admit that I don’t really have any relationship to Fincher. My biggest source of inspiration aesthetically is (and has been for the last 15 years) Jonathan Glazer. So I guess this is me trying to put on my Glazer-pants.

 

The contrast between the verdant countryside and the cityscape is striking – where did you shoot? Tell us a bit about the production process and how the shoot came together. Were there any specific challenges?

We only had two shooting days. One in a farm an hour outside London and one in the business district in The City Of London. It was also shot during the summer break in the UK so finding cast and crew was quite challenging. Once we had everything sorted out the shoot went pretty smoothly.

Even though I only had the morning of the first shooting day to explain what we were doing to the actors, they all did an amazing job.

Actually I only really explained what we were doing to the farmers and one of the suits (the one with glasses) and as we filmed the first shot of him running away, all the actors were watching and sort of picked it up from there.

 

 

 

How far did this video push your film craft in a new or different direction? 

It’s a tricky question as I don’t really reflect much on my craft as a filmmaker, but being surrounded by immensely talented and competent people I have come to realise that the best thing I can do is try to be an unfiltered version of myself. That being said, my Norwegian upbringing has given me very firm and polite boundaries to what I can ask of other people.

 

What’s your favourite part of the finished film?

I honestly think it’s just the fact that we managed to do it.

 

What are you working on at the moment? 

Long story short: An ad here in Oslo.

 

Interview by Selena Schleh

Object & Animal website

 

Credits

Radiohead, If You Say The Word  

 

Record Label: XL Recordings

***

Director: Kasper Häggström

Production Company: Object & Animal [www.objectanimal.com ]

Executive Producers: Dom Thomas & Morgan Clement

Producer: Daphne Do

Commissioner: Scott Wright

 

DOP: Daniel Voldheim

1st AC: Jason Dully

2nd AC: Joshua Dadson

Playback Operator: Von Adams

Grip: Fric Lopez

Stunt Coordinator: Jim Dowdall

Precision Driver: Derek Lea

 

Wardrobe: Kate Forbes

Wardrobe Assistant: Rachel Santoro

 

HMUA: Nicola Svensen

 

1st AD: Joe Mulvihill

Set PA: Reagan Clare

Runner: Djamel Adina

 

Edit Company: ZED

Offline Producer: Harriet Cawley

Offline Editor: Dominic Leung & Kasper Häggström

 

Post Production: Bacon Oslo

Post Producer: Eli Sandal & Øystein Dyb

Online: Markus Tangre

Comp: Vebjørn Rakvaag

Colourist: Julien Alary

 

Sound Technician: Andreas Waag Martinsen

 

Film processing and scanning: Cinelab UK

Camera rental house: Panavision

 

Storyboards: Temple Clark

 

Casting: Hammond Cox Casting

Farmers:

Andrew Turner

Henry Miller

Paul Field

 

Suits:

Akira Koieyama

Ali Brice

Amanda Bright

Andre Squire

Anthony Shuster

Conor Kennedy

Geoffrey Breton

Hugh Skinner

Marilyn O’Brien

Sean Baker

 

Special Thanks:

Magne Lyngner (Bacon Oslo)

Michael Cox (Hammond Cox Casting)

Misbourne Valley Locations

City of London

Gonzalo Herrero Delicado

Javier Gil-Casares

Mathilde Friis

 

 

 

If You Say The Word – INSTAGRAM Credits List

Artist: @radiohead

Track: If You Say The Word

Record Label: @xlrecordings

***

Director: @flammekasper

Production Company: @objectandanimal

Executive Producers: @dom________________ @dutty_pictures

Producer: Daphne Do

Commissioner: Scott Wright

 

DOP: Daniel Voldheim

Wardrobe: @kateforbescostume

HMUA: @nicolasvensen

1st AD: @joe_mulvihill_ad

 

Edit Company: @zed.video

Offline Producer: @littleneng

Offline Editor: @dominicleungcuts @flammekasper

 

Post Production: @baconproduction

Colourist: @julienalary_color

 

Film processing and scanning: @cinelabuk

Camera rental house: @panavisionofficial

 

Casting: @hammondcox

Farmers:

@bestie79

Henry Miller

@paulfield88

 

Suits:

@akira_koieyama

@twicebrice

@amandabrightactor

@andre_squire

Anthony Shuster

Conor Kennedy

@geoffrey_breton

Hugh Skinner

Marilyn O’Brien

Sean Baker

 

Special Thanks:

Magne Lyngner (Bacon Oslo)

Michael Cox (Hammond Cox Casting)

@misbournevalleylocations

City of London