Director: Ryan HOPE c/o DBC - DRIVEN BY CREATIVES
Music: George Michael
Singer : George Michael
feat.: Kate Moss
George Michael apparently had good reason to release his new single: ‘white light’. The message of his song states that even if it is incredibly tempting to get your kicks from necking bottles and popping pills, he assures us that he can resist the ‘golden shot’ which would take him back into the light.
He was given celebrity support by none other than a celebrity with the addiction factor – in both senses of the word – the immortal Kate Moss. It is touching to watch how director Ryan HOPE has got the duo to battle their demons, consciously staging them in separate glamorous fights between love and death.
Desert, wind, skin and Kate over and over again. Nature, architecture, loneliness. And dancing, lots of dancing in the golden celebrity light. Dove meets raven, yesterday outshines today. The zebra as a natural incarnation of contrasts in a perfected world that is only an illusion. A dreamy symbiosis of Kate and Michael, plucked eyebrows and perfectly tailored suits, public ecstasy and an imagination run riot.
At the end there is no way back. And even when George plays with bits of pure light and Kate treads the line between life and death with a German (?) Euro at the end we are reassured: ‘This ain't the day that it ends’. And we are glad it ain’t. Please stay.
Ryan’s reel includes ‘Skin’ the documentary about the tattoo scene. ‘Paper Romance’ for Groove Armada, ‘Leave It’ for Bombay Bicycle Club, ‘I Blame Coco’ feat. Robyn for Caesar as well as a commercial for CORSODYL mouthwash. Quite a wide range ..... the OnePointFour site interviewed him:
Who are you and where do you come from?
I’m a film director originally from Sunderland. I moved to London five years ago after studying Fine Art in Leeds. I say studying extremely loosely. The only thing I was studying was the city’s relentless nightlife, really.
Last things first – George Michael, Kate Moss and a zebra?! How the hell did the White Lights promo come about and can you talk us through the development of the idea?
I was just finishing my first music video in LA when a commissioner called me to say George loved my reel and wanted me to do a video for him. I was quite surprised he would approach me to do a pop video for him as I didn’t really think I would be his style. Quite often when you get tracks in from huge artists they never come to fruition so my gut instinct is not to get too excited about them. However, this one became very real when I had a voicemail from him the next day. Pretty funny one too. I wrote an idea based around George’s experiences whilst unconscious on morphine when he very nearly died last year. The five minutes before he wakes up is essentially the pop video. It’s a bit of a trip.
And what was the shoot like?
The shoot was what I can only imagine it was like being on one of those proper old school 90s videos. I’m from the generation where we missed all that. It was huge and had everything. George is a proper artist too. A bit mad, a bit genius and a bit normal. The shoot was exactly like this. George nailed his takes like I’ve never seen anyone do. Kate Moss in the woods at 2am on 35mm was as rock and roll as you want to get really, so I made the most of it and so did she. She was brilliant. The first cut I did for George was way too dark, and even though it was the original idea, he decided to add more ‘joy’ into it. He had this idea of him surrounded by loads of hot Spanish looking people. He’s very specific on certain things which I had to work around, but I really enjoyed the challenge, and I always like working collaboratively with people who really care and who are talented, which he certainly is.
There’s a strong styling element that runs throughout your films – from Tinashe through to your latest for GM. What is it you enjoy about that attention to immaculate detail?
The only time I’m staying out of trouble is when I’m working, which is why I try and work all the time. I do get real satisfaction from nailing things properly. I’m a Virgo so it comes naturally being really anal. It can be really annoying for the people who work with me sometimes, as I tend not to be able to let things rest if I’m not happy with it. It’s always for the best though. There is nothing worse than looking at your work and wishing you had said something. I just don’t allow that to happen.
Behind the artists you work with on your promos there’s always a really intriguing range of supporting characters. How important is the casting process to you?
I love casting. It’s my favourite thing to do in the whole process. It’s so important. I feel I nailed the casting in my Mona and Bombay Bicycle Club videos. I watch them proud of the casting to be perfectly honest. To think the blind guy at the end of the Bombay Bicycle Club one will never see himself in the video really choked me on the day. Pretty amazing stuff. I cast most of the people for the tattoos in my ‘Skin’ film also, and got those guys from all over the place. Casting is the most exciting part of it all, it really is. It’s only then that your idea really starts coming together.
The full interview with Ryan is available on the website www.onepointfour.co .
'White Light' is out on the 12th of August and can be pre-ordered now on iTunes.