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30th May 2023
Creative mash-up
Title of film: Overmono, Is U
Director: Rollo Jackson
Production Company: Somesuch
With a body of commercial work that spans Mercedes to McDonald’s and music projects including album artwork and teasers for electronic duo Overmono, Somesuch creative Rollo Jackson has evidently figured out a way to be everything, everywhere, all at once. Visually his work oscillates between high polish and raw lofi, straddling the divide with poise and confidence to blur the lines between usually distinct aesthetics. It’s precisely this that makes his output so compelling – an intriguing dance of image making between the elevated and the visceral. 1.4 spoke with Rollo to dig deeper into his distinctive creative landscape

A colourful background: Rollo Jackson on set

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background – how did you get into directing and image making?

Born and raised in London. 

I knew pretty early on that I was into films, but had no idea of the process and never studied it. It’s still a pretty opaque industry to enter. 

I worked at MTV for three years after an internship there, then left to focus on trying to direct and hustle jobs from record labels. I was most interested in music documentaries and videos. A few early projects like Tape Crackers and videos for Man Like Me, Hot Chip and James Blake got me noticed and then things picked up from there.

Who, what, and where do you draw your creative inspiration from?

Over a couple of summers as a teenager I saw Kids, The Idiots and Belly in the cinema which really made me think about how films could look and sound. They were all extreme in their own way, and that really appealed. Avoiding formulas in some way. I think that’s still my biggest inspiration. 

Art and music is as much what gets me excited as film to be honest, abstracted ideas. It’s hard for me to watch films and not just think about the process. 

Obongjayar, Message in a Hammer

There’s a really interesting duality to your work – the stuff that’s gritty / rough around the edges (Obongjayar for instance, see above) vs. hyper polished (e.g. Futureproof). But in spite of that there’s a clear fingerprint across your reel – the music video style bleeds into how you use camera moves and transitions across your commercial work, the focus on representation of marginal voices and experience, the way you mashup different media styles and formats. How do you balance these two sides of your creative output? 

I just like making things using tools or methods I am interested in, so in my brain there isn’t a huge contrast there, it’s just me. Hopefully that identity is continuous, it’s more just about what’s best for the idea with the means you have. But I tend to be most interested in the extremes of hifi and lofi and the different approaches they bring, seeing a carefully planned post sequence come off versus the spontaneity of pointing a thermal camera at something and just seeing what happens.


Palace Evisu ll

You’ve had a long running creative relationship with the Palace x Evisu collaboration – how did this come about and what is it about this partnership that keeps you coming back?

Palace are friends, friends with good ideas. The Evisu films are rooted in a specific moment of 90s/00s rave culture because those clothes were part of that. I know about that world and luckily Palace trusted me to shape these films with them in a way that hopefully doesn’t feel cliched but actually gives credit and acknowledges some of the artists from that era. So it’s a lot of fun but also about making something respectful. And mad. 


Palace Evisu lll

What is it about stills vs. film that interests you creatively?

Essentially, I make images; and formats are so blurred now that it just makes sense to think about making both, especially with doing more creative direction where I’m dealing with creating a whole collection of work. I like the simplicity and spontaneity of stills that the process on big commercials can kill. A still image can often be more pleasing than a whole film. Stills also have a more physical output, whether it’s record sleeves or posters, it’s nice to be able to hold your own work. The Overmono work I’ve done has been super fun because I’ve got to work in both directions.

Rollo Jackson’s artwork for electronic duo Overmono’s  album, Good Lies


Alongside the commercials / stills / promos you’ve also helmed shorts for the likes of Stormzy (Gang Signs and Prayer) and Ray Ban (Long Wave). What is it about these narrative pieces that draws you to more considered storytelling and characterisation?

Mainly it’s an opportunity to work with actors and focus on performance in a way that you don’t get so much in commercials, and in a different way to music videos – which is a whole new challenge and layer of filmmaking. There’s also a freedom to not work to fixed duration of a song or an ad – the actual film is the priority. Shots can breathe more, the world you’re trying to create is number one. You’re less compromised essentially, even though the challenge is bigger, it’s ultimately the most rewarding. And I just like watching things on big screens really loud so the more of that the better.

Do you have a go-to team you usually collaborate with – DoP / Gaffer etc? Anyone you’d want to shout out and share why you love working with them on your projects?

I have a great relationship with Bobby Shore, a DP who I’ve worked with a lot. We first worked together on the Stormzy film in Tokyo and we’ve since collaborated frequently, not only does he have an amazing eye but he’s also a good friend. 


Interview by Stephen Whelan


Rollo trying it on for size



Rollo Jackson website

Somesuch website





Palace Evisu III 

Director: Rollo Jackson
EP: Emory Ruegg
Producer: James Graley
Production Manager: Maya Bury
Production Assistant: Abigail Bryony

Location Manager: Titus Peñate
1st AD: Clara Paris
Runner: Hugo Foley
Runner: Peg McMillan
Runner: Gaby Almeida Duarte

Director of Photography: Fraser Rigg
1st AC: Sam Rawlings
2nd AC: William Crafts
Camera Trainee: Rosie Claxton
Stills Assistant: Joseph Barratt
Stills Assistant: Emily Almodovar
Sound: Clement Harper
DIT: Pete Banks

Gaffer: Riaz Ahmed
Spark: Anna Brooks
Spark: Shaun Witherup
Spark: Meg Sharp

Production Designer: Hugo Harris
Assistant Art Director: Grace Snellock
Art Assistant: Kristell Excell
Construction Manager: Jasper Levine

Stylist: Alexandra Soroka
MUA: Fyza Saleh


Edit: Trim
Editor: James Forbes-Roberston
Trim Producer: Pia Ebrill

Original Composition: Rezzettt

Sound Mix: Duffy Sound

Archive Material: nuthing sorted

Grade: Luke Morrison
2D Animation & Design:
ETC Junior Producer: Emma Hughes


Virgin Media, Hyped

Agency: VCCP
Creative Director: David Masterman
Creative Director: Ben Evans
Midweight Creative: Adam Sears

Exec Producer: Scott O’donnell
Producer: Tarquin Glass ‬‬‬‬
Production Manager: Max Harrison
Production Assistant: Becky Thompson
Casting Director: Road Casting
Location Manager: Paul Davies ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
1st Ad: ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬jez Oakley
Dop: Bobby Shore
Focus Puller: Sarah Rollason
Dit: Matt Cole
Video Playback: Nat Valente
Key Grip: Pete Nash
Sound Recordis: Filipe Pinheiro
Gaffer: Dom Palgan
Rigger: Mark Redmond
Production Designer: Bon Walsh
Assistant Art Director: Hugo Harris
Costume Designer: Peghah Maleknejad ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Make Up: Claire De Graft
Vfx Supervisor: Hitesh Patel
Editor: James Forbes-Robertson
Post-Production:Electric Theatre Collective

2nd Unit:
Director: Clint Trofa
Dop: Steve Roe
Focus Puller: Ant Hugill
Production Assistant: Bella Russell Flint
Location Assistant: Brandon Palmer


Obongjayar, Message in a Hammer

Director: Rollo Jackson
EP: Emory Ruegg
Producer: Chantal Gold
Music Video Rep: Andre Reid
Production Manager: Ester Viana
Location Manager: Calum Chisholm
Director's Assistant / BTS Stills: Talia Beale
1st Assistant Director: Josh Loftin
2nd Assistant Director: Daisy Smith
Runner: Zoe Gunn
Runner: Jack Lawrence
Runner: Sarah Dines
Director Of Photography: Fraser Rigg
Focus Puller: Ondrej Rybar
Clapper Loader: Aida Garcia
Camera Trainee / Driver / BTS: Ricky Casey
Sound Recordist: Declan Chew
Boom Op: Kelsey Rushworth
Gaffer: Simon Battensby
Electrician: Dan Howe
Electrician: Magdalena Rak
Electrician: Riaz Ahmed
Production Designer: Bon Walsh
Art Director: Rose Moya
Art Assistant: Muaz Mohammad
Art Assistant: Emily Murayama
Lead Stylist: Peghah Maleknejad
Stylist Assistant: Angela Qehaja, Ash Renshaw
Make Up: Vivanne Melo
Hair: Sherrie Warwick
Prosthetics: Lily Simmonds
Jewellery: Toby Mclellan
Covid Marshall / Medic: Julian Bailey
Casting Director: Coralie Rose
Casting Assistant: Bardha Krasniqi
BTS: Chandler Horsefield
Limo Driver: Russell Schacter
Drone Op: Barney Clark
Action Coordinator: Ronin Traynor