Director Junior Martinez creates a poetic and unnerving music video for ‘Sweet 84,’ from composers Joe Wilson and Tom Kingston’s self-titled debut album.
LONDON -- Solomon Grey are composers Joe Wilson and Tom Kingston, known for, among other things, their score for Casual Vacancy, the BBC and HBO adaptation of J. K. Rowling’s best-selling novel. Following the success of their 2015 releases, Selected Works and Selected Features, the band released their self-titled debut album on Friday, March 18, 2016. For their track Sweet 84 the band wanted to work with a director who would be able to capture the feelings and emotions of the track. Trunk Animation’s Junior Martinez flew to London and met with the band and they quickly developed a great rapport.
“When we were writing Sweet 84 we got obsessed with our childhoods and the memories we still held onto,” the band commented. “Our parents watching the news, being held up on their shoulders, falling asleep in the back of the car and being carried into bed while sleeping, becoming aware of the wider world and its enormity.”
“It was wonderful working with Joe and Tom, both had loads of great ideas and references were soon bouncing off everyone and we were quickly in tune with each other,” Martinez remarked. “From this collaboration Richard and I put together a running script detailing the kind of shots we wanted to do and the guys were delighted with that and told us to go ahead. They trusted me a 100% which whilst daunting really allowed me to concentrate and totally zone in during the shoot.”
To capture the sense of unease that comes with the unknown Martinez directed the video from a small girl’s point of view. She is seen her happily playing and running around with her toys, while in the background there are ever-ominous signs. The TV is full of war scenes, flashing blue and red lights tint the landscape, and veiled camera angles obscure the view.
Martinez described that feeling, “As though you are in a fairy tale, the feeling that whatever is lurking in the background will rush out and eat you, but of course never does.”
Martinez used the depth of field, palette, and color grade to play and build on the suspense that lives within the action, always playing with this suggestion of danger and threat, rather than showing anything overtly dangerous itself. The small girl who stars in the video was a family friend.
“Working with her was great we allowed her innocence and sense of play to shine through, rather than directing I more than often just filmed her going about her play, by the end she was directing herself!” Martinez said. “Choosing how and where to place props it was like having a mini Kubrick on set. But this approach in essence allowed us to be the ‘dark presence’. I controlled the focus and lighting and brought in a lot of film references for each shot that aimed to give an overarching feel of unease.”
The video was filmed over two days in the mountains overlooking Martinez’s home city of Barcelona as well as in the streets of the city itself. Trunk producer Richard Barnett, along with director of photography Jon D. Dominguez, with whom Martinez has worked before on a number of projects, partnered with Spanish producer Mireia Jordán to help assemble the team.
“The team were amazing and worked so hard to achieve Junior’s vision, Barnett noted, “it was an absolute pleasure to work with them, and I can’t wait to do it all over again!”
The final piece is poetic and unnerving, like a collage, with a sense of peril and tension. Ambiguous and with a deliberate subtle narrative, it captures the sense of foreboding within the music. The band was delighted with the end result.
“He has done a great job of bringing to life what was in our heads when we wrote the track,” the band said of Martinez. “It mirrors a lot of what our own children's experiences must be now, and what they must be taking in from the world around them.”
Source: Trunk Animation