Playlist: Christian & Patrick
Park Pictures' directing duo on modern day innovators, iconic film soundtracks and working with legendary musicians.
What’s the best promo you’ve seen recently and why?
Patrick: They’re not promos but more ‘musical films’ that caught my eye recently. Watching Andrea Arnold’s American Honey and Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight both have that quality and the feeling of a music video, but also much more.
Christian: AG Rojas directed a video for Run The Jewels, called Close Your Eyes (below). It was edgy, looked great shot handheld in black and white but also had a twisted sense of humour.
What’s the first promo you remember being impressed by?
Patrick: Pink Floyd - The Wall. It was really trippy, inventive and reminded me of the crazy manga movies I grew up with.
Christian: The first promo I remember being impressed by was Thriller; partly because I was already having nightmares having watched American Werewolf in London (at far too young an age) so was drawn to it like a moth to a light. But mostly because I thought John Landis was cool. It was the first time I remember thinking that music videos could be like mini-films. Plus it had an ex-rated screening at midnight. Awesome.
And what’s your all-time favourite music video?
Patrick: Par T One – I’m So Crazy. Once in a while, a music video come out of nowhere, and almost overtakes the music itself. The images burn in your brain forever.
Christian: I still love Fatboy Slim’s Ya Mamma by Traktor (below). It never ceases to make me smile and is a great example of how to keep raising the stakes with an idea.
What other directors/artists do you look to for inspirational?
Patrick: Not coming from a film background, I appreciate artists from different disciplines, people such as: Edward Yang, Malick Sidibe, Sergio Larrain, Studio Ghibli, Coen Brothers, Louis Khan, Oscar Niemeyer.
Christian: Current heroes are Lena Dunham and William Morris - both fearless innovators.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Patrick: Music from the film Arrival (below). I really like how the marriage of sound design and music creates the amazing atmosphere.
Christian: Gaika. Tribe Called Quest. Daniel Avery. Kendrick Lamar. Aldous Harding.
What’s your favourite bit of tech, whether for professional or personal use?
Patrick: My 35mm film camera – Not viewing every picture after taking a shot can be a blessing, not an anxiety. My stove top Mocha pot coffee maker - simple, timeless and rarely fails to kick start my day.
Christian: My bookshelf. I can put my favourite things on one side and things to read or watch on the other. I know it is a bit lo-fi but it is still genius.
What artist(s) would you most like to work with and why?
Patrick: We were extremely fortunate to have worked on several projects with Bjork right at the start of our career. It taught us many things; the energy and creative freedom she gave us was inspirational and is something we look for in any artist and every project.
Christian: The music I love and listen to is not always the type that I think would inspire the best film. I like to work with artists that have built their own mythology. Bat For Lashes is a good example, Bjork another one. Father John Misty looks like a dude - his lyrics are interesting and I can see his own visual universe developing around him. But I really like Aldous Harding right now. I find her music deeply moving, in particular the track ‘Party’. The lyrics are intensely vulnerable and seem to be about a human fear of being left out, abandoned or being unloved. They speak to the child in me.
How do you feel the promo industry has changed since you started in it?
Patrick: So much content is released on so many mediums all the time, subsequently rendering my attention span to less than a goldfish. The amount of stuff is overwhelming. I miss the urgency and anticipation that we used to get when a new video came out. It was a time to ‘marinate’ and appreciate the work.
Christian: It has changed commercially. I don’t think the music video is a vehicle for selling music in the way it once was. I thought Florence & The Machine’s The Odyssey, directed by Vincent Haycock was really interesting. She made her entire album into an hour long film experience, exploring themes in her life, past and present. In a sense she was not only inspiration, music and subject matter but also benefactor of this amazing piece of art, which surely has little commercial value. I thought it was really beautiful and affecting.
Florence & The Machine Never Let Me Go
Music videos have had a resurgence of late; where do you see the industry being in five years’ time?
Patrick: I am still waiting for my crystal ball to arrive from Amazon to tell me…
Christian: Who knows? Hopefully it gets really weird.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people won’t know…
Patrick: We are trained as architects. We always have a soft spot for a well designed space.
Christian: We are twins.