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10th March 2023
Fast track for slowthai
Title of film: slowthai, Yum
Director: Crowns & Owls
Crown & Owls film for slowthai captures the inner dialogue of the artist struggling with his addictions in an unflinchingly visceral way. From the opening shot of the artist clinging to his child, it’s a gripping and warped visual trip that’s perfectly fused with his lyrics.


What were the initial conversations like with slowthai? 

Yum is the first track on Ty’s new album UGLY – it’s this industrial purging of a lot of behaviours he’s jostled with in the last few years, before there’s a huge sonic and thematic shift in the record – Yum is just there to shake you by the shoulders and get you to pay attention. Ty wanted this thing to breathe, to have these long moments where you can drink in the anxiety of it all.

Please tell us how the treatment evolved – for instance what was behind your decision to use large landscape angles cut with close-up shots. 

That whole opening sequence was one we’d had in our heads for a while – but the layer of Ty holding Rain (his son) and the inner dichotomy of the wreckhead vs the responsible dad heightened the whole sequence. For us that sequence captures the whole concept and feeling of the track – the duality between states in the psyche and the push/pull of it.

The narrative of the song is quite clear, there’s discussions with therapists, there’s descriptions of hedonism – and all of these things we relate to heavily in our own growth as people so it really was a bit of a dream tune really – you’re only going to get to explore these themes with a song like this probably once in your career so we dug deep.

Really the loops of addiction are the guiding hand of the structure, the rotating camera, Ty ending up back in his therapists lap before being dragged off again by unseen forces, and it just repeats – just like addiction. We wanted to play heavily with references to psychology which is a big interest of ours.


To what extent was everything mapped out in pre-production?

This one was a bit of mix – huge sections of the video are figured out to the millisecond – but there’s a lot of gut decisions in this one too – we just knew we had to capture the intensity of the tune otherwise there’s no point in marrying a visual to this tune. With a song like this you’ve got to stay open to chaos.

Any major challenges and how did you resolve them?

Oh when isn’t there!? We had all sorts of things – the biggest was probably that the therapy scenes which form the backbone of the whole thing were shot in nowhere near enough time – we had some scheduling issues on the day which meant that whole sequence got really compressed and it was probably the most stressful moment on a shoot we’ve had, as we knew without nailing that scene we didn’t really have the crux of the concept in hand. Regardless we put our heads together and simplified coverage – got economic on it and somehow, somehow managed.


The colour grade adds a strong subliminal element …

Tim Smith @ Number 8 is truly a wizard – that being said there’s so, so much work that goes into palettes in our stuff, and it’s nice that people are recognising that we’re crafting a bit of a different look. We DP’d our own work for so many years that there’s a big confidence in our technical ability and to know how to get the best results from an image.

Jack Exton who DP’d this one with us was truly fantastic and such an invaluable member of the squad on this one – he really put the hours into this one. It’s a mad video to approach with visual coherency as there’s just so many scenes but we’re really proud of how everyone came together to get something tangible from it.

Are there any scenes that were cut?

Oh yes. We shot this in two days and we just didn’t stop shooting really. We were still worried there wasn’t enough up until about four days before the video dropped – scheduling squeezed us as it was just an absurdly ambitious shot-list but we knew we needed SO much. Sending Ty into a kebab shop alone with a spinning camera rig attached to him with no warning for anyone inside was a real highlight. That’s the best thing about him – we’ve put him through so much shit over the years – waterboarding him, pinning his eyes open, dragging him about floors of abandoned buildings, covering him in bird shit, tar and feathering him, to name a few – can’t believe he keeps asking us to go again at this point.


Behind the scenes on showthai, Yum shoot: 




Crowns & Owls website


Represented by:



Written and Directed by Crowns & Owls

ProdCo: Noir

Producer/EP: Javier Alejandro

Line Producer: Theo Hue Williams Co producer: Ella Kenny

Assistant Producer: Katie Hackett Production Assistant: Rebecca Cassin

DOP: Jack Exton

1st AC: Mike Linforth

2nd AC: Ky Brasey

Trainer / Driver: Mari Cruz

2nd Unit DOP: Will Reid & Jacob Ray

Tracking: Dan Lobo Pires

Gaffer: Greg Probert

Best Boy: James Leech

Spark: Tom Parkinson

Spark: Matt Simmons

Spark: Dan Burns

Spark: Leyt Said

Grip: Jem Mortan

Grip: Ian Jones

Grip: Steve Morgan

Production Designer: Lyndon Ogbourne

Art Assistants: Tristant Beint, Guy Water , Sophie Simpson, Jem Hidanko, Ed Thomas, : Raph Simpson

1st AD: Ty Hack

2nd AD: Rowan Hutchings Runner: Anna Patterson Runner: Maggie Curwin Runner: Cairn Mckenna

Casting Director: Hannah Ashby Ward @Lane Casting Assistant Casting Director: Steph Coles @Lane Casting Intimacy Coordinator: Robbie Taylor Hunt

Costume design: Frankie Noller

Styling Assistant: Alana Newton Styling Assistant: Drew Smith Hmu Artist: Karla Quinoniz-Leon Hmua Assistant: Cheryl Basoko Hmua Assistant: Catherine Munoz Hmua Assistant: Maria Toniolo Hmua Assistant: Soraya Phipps

Grade: Tim Smith @ No8

VFX: Pendulum (Big thanks to Ryan!) Rewind Sequence Post: Paume

Editor: John Holloway @ Edit Egg Titles: Elliot Elder @Uncanny