Feature: Directing with Deftones
So as some of you might have spotted on Monday, I directed the newest video for Deftones. A bit out of left field for many I’m sure, because some might think that as soon as you get an offer like that you’re shouting from the rooftops. But for me it was much different.
This year, more than ever, I feel a tremendous responsibility to the professionalism within my job (I wanna take it to another level). It’s always been there, but I’m more conscious about my actions as a director and how they reflect on my company/myself. So when the emailed rolled into my inbox from the record label I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading, but at the same time felt so ready for the opportunity. Then within 24 hours it had been decided that the video was going to be shot in LA instead. I was still pretty high on the fact I’d been offered the job of and directing/producing a video for one of my all time favourite and most respected bands, so it didn’t sting that much. But then a week later the circumstances changed again and the job was back on in the UK. This is without a doubt a milestone in my directing career, however it’s just the start of some greater ‘personal plans’; it’s another run on a life long ladder.
Normally I have so much to say on something like this, but evermore I find that I don’t really want to say too much about these ‘special projects’ (naturally when the release comes I’ll always talk about the technical side). There are some things in life that really should be left to your own memories and this is one such thing. The world is fast becoming a much more transparent place with everyone wanting to ‘kiss and tell’ on anything and everything. I don’t want to be one of those people, and I don’t want to brag or put down in solid every little thing that went on in the day. But one thing I will say is that it is one of the most gratifying feelings in the world to work along side people you’ve respected for such a long time. It then goes off the chart when you see that the respect you give, is given right back. Deftones are the coolest band on the planet and not just for their music, but their attitudes.
The job was made possible thanks to my awesome crew who I had selected specifically as a compact yet able body of people who could turn up and knock out what I wanted. It was the first time I have worked directly with Tom Welsh (pictured far right) who is without a doubt one of the most skilled young cinematographers in the UK right now. He is a peer. I have utter respect for his work and his view points. He comes from the same place as me; pure passion for doing things right with a view point of trying to ‘blow minds’. Tom Griffiths (second from the left) originally wasn’t going to come due to his insanely busy schedule, but an hour long phone call to him a week before hand swayed him in. How could I not have my longest running team member and friend with me, DP-ing our biggest video? It didn’t make sense. It was amazing therefore to see him and Josh Mansfield working together to put into action the references and ideas I had for the shoot, and delivering them in one of the simplest yet best looking lighting setups they’ve done. Then there was Mark Forrer, a local guy, who I knew I could rely on to provide me with the specific shots I needed at 70-200mm. We had no idea what to expect from this shoot, I had around 5 days to produce it, but just like any other job we tackled it with the same vigor and determination.
The rest? I will not tell. Wait for the video. But for once I did actually feel like taking a little credit for this achievement. 8 years of hard work and belief in one’s self seem to have given us a great prize. Then to top it all off, a bunch of hugs and a “thank you dude, you’ve been amazing” from the band, was more than I could ask at the end of an already mindblowing day.
What a weird yet amazing job this is.
A few stills from the shoot will surface after the release. Until then please keep an eye on Deftones respective internet sites for further release information.
Attached photo setup by Tom Griffiths.