David Reviews

 It's the work, stupid.

Latest Work
    • A Flurry of RomanceA blossoming romance takes centre stage in this youth-focused ad for McDonald's.
    • Alone TogetherBose encourage customers to tune out the everyday with this classy ad.
    • The keys to success.Girls Who Code mark International Day of the Girl with an upbeat cover of ‘O-o-h Child' by the Five Stairsteps.
    • Education for LeisureYouTube take a phone's-eye look at the world with this personable ad.
    • A new Vision for Anna MacDonaldVision have signed up and coming cinematographer Anna MacDonald to their Emerging Talent roster.
    • Organised religion.Australia's DonateLife campaign think Jesus Christ is the man to kick-start organ donation down under.
    • Let the good times scroll.Three thumb their nose at technophobes with this excellent ad singing the not-so-humble phone's praises.
    • Biscuit swoop for Olof Lindh.Swedish director Olof Lindh has joined Biscuit Filmworks for UK representation.
    • Pulse think THE REST are a cut above.Pulse Films are pleased to announce the signing of directing duo THE REST for global representation.
    • Chicken foo yung?There's a useful ambiguity in the casting of this delightful ad for Tui and we're not sure how intentional it is.
    • Out of the mouth of babes.This affecting film for the ONE campaign continues the charity's bid to draw attention to the sexist elements of poverty.
    • Let's be Frank(lin).Director MJ Delaney brings her usual zest to this feel-good outing for the Global Girls Alliance - an initiative spearheaded by Michelle Obama and the Obama Foundation.
    • Ready or not, here they come.This ad for costume store Party City reminds spook enthusiasts to prepare for Halloween in advance.

THE BLACK BOX

ALICE:

Has anyone said we're wrong about awards?

JASON:

Literally no one.

ALICE:

So, everyone agrees with us?

JASON:

I expect so.

ALICE:

And they'll stop entering awards?

JASON:

Almost certainly.

ALICE:

What do you think they'll do with the money they save?

JASON:

I expect they'll buy unicorns.

ALICE:

Unicorns?! Oh, I've got you.


McDonald's
"It Must Be"
40s
18 October 2018

A blossoming romance takes centre stage in this youth-focused ad for McDonald's. Directed by Sara Dunlop, the film sees a group of friends spending a day by the seaside together... although apparently most of them are joyless sods who don't like ice cream.

One enterprising girl takes advantage of the group's reticence to stop for a cold treat, however, and uses the McDonald's app to order her dessert-loving crush a McFlurry on the sly. Such altruism leads to their eyes finally meeting, as an emoji reveals the charitable culprit. Sweet, but not saccharine.


Bose
"Café"
60s
18 October 2018

Bose encourage customers to tune out the everyday with this classy ad. When the hustle and bustle of a busy coffee shop becomes too distracting, noise-cancelling headphones allow a designer to mute the world so inspiration can strike.

The premise is skilfully executed by director Juan Cabral, whose restrained approach gives the film a deftly dreamlike quality. Only flashes of strangeness are shown - a raised foot here, a disappearing head there - until it becomes apparent that people are melting, floating away, or being subsumed by furniture.

Such striking imagery is augmented by canny editing and astute sound design, completing a thoroughly modern take on the 'alone in the world' meme. It also actually makes us want to check out the advertised product... which is always encouraging.


Girls Who Code
"Anthem"
3 mins 04s
15 October 2018

Girls Who Code mark International Day of the Girl with an upbeat cover of ‘O-o-h Child' by the Five Stairsteps. Eager to mobilise the next generation of female coders, programmers, and computer science whizzes, the organisation lend the Seventies soul classic a net-savvy lick of paint.

Director Kathryn Ferguson proves up to the task here, delivering a kinetic promo-stroke-awareness film with plenty of energy to burn. Her diverse cast also lay any insular or antisocial stereotypes to rest, throwing hoops and dance moves as well as tapping keys. Buoyant and in-your-face, it's a well-choreographed bid to narrow coding's gender gap.


YouTube
"More Than Views"
30s
15 October 2018

YouTube take a phone's-eye look at the world with this personable ad. Focusing on the platform's utility as a learning tool, we see users learn to bake, apply makeup, and even, er, pickle vegetables - all from the perspective of the video itself.

Given that the online world has increasingly become reliant on the site as a source for facts as well as entertainment (so much that brief outage inspired panic across the web), the ad's message is a canny move.

As grown ups grumble about so-called YouTubers and their questionable celebrity status - and various controversies - this focus on ordinary users is bound to strike a chord with some... and inspire the urge to learn a new hobby in others.


A new Vision for Anna MacDonald

Vision have signed up-and-coming cinematographer Anna MacDonald to their Emerging Talent roster.

London-born and California-raised, MacDonald interned at Panavision while studying in Vancouver. This practical experience of working within the camera and lighting departments naturally led to a deeper interest in the industry, and she was soon working as a focus puller on all manner of promos and television shows.


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Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

Elvis Costello
"Suspect My Tears"
5 mins 01s
18 Oct 2018
This noirish animation from director Mustashrik depicts a torrid love affair in shades of black and white. Set in a rain-soaked city where citizens fear to tread outdoors, the promo is a cocktail of brooding glances, flicked cigarettes, and fork-tongued villains. Paired with Elvis Costello's latest single, ‘Suspect My Tears', this monochrome tale engrosses with its dripping aesthetic and sketchy character designs.

Charli XCX
"1999 (ft. Troye Sivan)"
3 mins 29s
16 Oct 2018
Charli XCX takes us back to the 90s with a heady dose of nostalgia in the form of '1999'. From Jack and Rose astride the bow of the Titanic to Matrix-calibre bullet time, anyone over the age of eighteen will receive a pre-Y2K overdose thanks to this peppy montage of pop culture milestones. An affectionate time warp from director Ryan Staake.

twenty one pilots
"My Blood"
3 mins 52s
16 Oct 2018
When two young boys lose their mother, the bond between them becomes tighter than ever. The eldest protects his shy sibling from the bullying kids at school until - in their teens - everything comes to a head at a Halloween party where twenty one pilots are playing. Tim Mattia's promo confidently ticks the bildungsroman boxes that portray the experience of being a teenage boy in the US.

Au/Ra
"Emoji"
3 mins 58s
16 Oct 2018
Up-and-coming pop auteur Au/Ra makes a splash with this unnerving promo for 'Emoji'. Directed by Sophia Ray, the film's glitchy visuals create an uncanny atmosphere, as the sixteen-year-old singer applies her make-up in a seemingly normal manner... until things take a slide into the surreal. Those squeamish about technological debridement may wish to close their eyes at certain points.

Imperial Daze
"Always Settling"
4 mins 44s
16 Oct 2018
Thermal imaging and closed-circuit television turn this Imperial Daze promo into a techno-thriller. Flitting between grainy surveillance camera footage and walking heat signatures, director Nathan Sam Long weaves a tale of paranoia and urban detachment as a woman swaps town for country in mysterious circumstances.

Little Big
"Skibidi"
3 mins 12s
15 Oct 2018
Harlem shook? All flossed out? Fear not, meme-inclined readers - the latest flash in the pan dance craze has arrived courtesy of Russian band Little Big… and frontman-cum-director Ilya Ilich Prusikin has delivered a batshit promo to boot. Like a Cossack fever dream, this three-minute video constantly wrong-foots with its cast of snakeskin-shoed rogues, dancing alarm clocks, and leather-clad gang members.

Grace Carter
"Why Her Not Me"
3 mins 53s
12 Oct 2018
Brighton-raised songstress Grace Carter goes for a loaded walk on the beach in this James Slater-directed promo for ‘Why Her Not Me'. Depicted as a child, a teenager, and an adult, Carter walks the exact same route through her hometown as she pursues familial catharsis. To describe the setting as a character may be trite, but it applies here.

You Me at Six
"Back Again"
3 mins 08s
9 Oct 2018
Pop-tinged rockers You Me at Six reveal a hitherto unknown appreciation for ‘The Big Lebowski' in this video for ‘Back Again'. Set in Harringay's Rowans bowling alley, the promo sees bandmates Josh, Chris, Max, Matt, and Dan cosplay as some of the film's key players. Three-and-a-bit minutes of cinematic mirth.

Jon Hopkins
"Feel First Life"
5 mins 01s
9 Oct 2018
Maybe Jon Hopkins has a killer instinct for choosing the right people to make his promos, or maybe his music just inspires them to an extraordinary degree. Either way, we can't remember the last time we saw a video for one of his releases that didn't send tingles down our spines. And Elliot Dear's clip for 'Feel First Life' - another track from latest album 'Singularity' - doesn't buck the trend.

Billie Eilish
"Hostage"
3 mins 54s
10 Oct 2018
The slow smoulder of 'Hostage' is complemented by Henry Schofield's minimalist promo. In a white room, a young woman dreams of keeping her guy close at all times; she would crawl into his veins if she could. This young woman - Californian singer-songwriter Billy Eilish - is only 16, but she already has an accomplished pop album out, and her self-assurance is beautifully demonstrated here.

Kormac
"New Day (ft. Jack O'Rourke)"
3 mins 39s
8 Oct 2018
The latest track for Irish DJ, producer and musician Kormac (who looks like a healthier Bez) comes with an astonishing promo by William Armstrong. The clip is the third in the Made By Music series from Three, and is by turns deeply poignant and nailbitingly daring.

The Breeders
"Spacewoman"
3 mins 39s
2 Oct 2018
Ah, The Breeders. Critically acclaimed and commercially underrated since 1990 when they released their debut 'Pod'. This year's album, 'All Nerve', is their first for a decade - but there's nothing rusty about it. Kim Deal and Tanya Donnelly sound as fresh and deliciously unsettling as ever. Plus there's a bonus: the latest song from the album comes with a promo by Richard Ayoade.

Big Zuu
"Fall Off (ft JME)"
3 mins 32s
3 Oct 2018
Rising grime MC Big Zuu is fast establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with. New release 'Fall Off' is typically energetic and insanely busy, with an old-school video game undercurrent that director Harry Cauty has smartly picked up on. Using Street Fighter-style scenes in clunky boxes, Cauty has Big Zuu solidly jogging through urban vistas while fellow grime MC JME towers above the buildings behind him... good fun.

Beck
"Colours"
4 mins 23s
2 Oct 2018
One of the better songs from Beck's strangely underwhelming album 'Colours', the title track comes alive in an all-singing, all-dancing way - literally - thanks to Edgar Wright's extraordinary promo. It's a kind of big ol' Busby-Berkeley-style production... but with some notable differences. Not least the bodysuited chorus line flanking Beck and GLOW actor Alison Brie as they play air guitar and phantom trombone.

LOLÉ
"Thoughts of Us"
3 mins 27s
1 Oct 2018
LOLÉ aka Lauren Vietro's pensive wail on ‘Thoughts of Us' receives an atmospheric promo courtesy of director Rich Hall. Flitting between crimson haze and natural phenomena, Hall's video keeps viewers on their toes as debutant LOLÉ's rumination on a doomed relationship gathers pace. A cryptic, multi-hued fever dream.

Plested
"Ribcage"
3 mins 19s
27 Sep 2018
The video for Plested's 'Ribcage' picks up where 'Backup Plan' left off. The young man's ballet teacher knows his focus is elsewhere as he struggles not to be provoked by his hostile boss - who seems to take his aggression out on his daughter. These are assumptions on our part because the narrative is impressionistic rather than overt, and this restraint gives the pair of promos a grown-up subtlety.

Plested
"Backup Plan"
2 mins 48s
27 Sep 2018
Daniel Alexander Harris has created a love story in two halves for singles 'Back-Up Plan' and 'Ribcage' by the unusually-named singer songwriter Plested. In this opener, a young man who works part-time in the tense atmosphere of a family-run cafe lets off steam by honing his ballet skills. There is an attraction between him and the daughter of the cafe's owner... where will it go?

Gorillaz
"Tranz"
2 mins 54s
20 Sep 2018
Gorillaz perform another cut from their 2018 studio album ‘The Now Now' in this tie-dyed promo. Occupying directors Jamie Hewitt and Nicos Livesey's psychedelic void, the animated group - sans fugitive bassist Murdoc - riff on overindulgence with a mellow dopamine hit, turning Saturday night excess into a bouncy electro number.

Prince
"Mary Don't You Weep"
6 mins 41s
19 Sep 2018
Death is only the beginning if you're a popular musician, it seems. Elvis, Aaliyah, Michael Jackson… countless acts have, er, seen their work released posthumously, regardless of whether it's finished or not. Now it's Prince's turn to make a late tilt at chart success with ‘Piano and a Microphone 1983' and its first single.

Jon Hopkins
"Singularity"
5 mins 23s
18 Sep 2018
The title track of Jon Hopkins's first album since his acclaimed breakthrough - 'Immunity' - back in 2013, 'Singularity' demonstrates what a monumental talent he is in the field of electronic music. And what a pleasure it is to watch the promo Seb Edwards has made for this track: a spellbinding tour de force of visual trickery and caprice.

Calvin Harris / Sam Smith
"Promises"
4 mins 05s
18 Sep 2018
Sam Smith's new joint release with Calvin Harris draws from the intriguing subculture of voguing. Having originated in the Harlem ballroom scene of the 1980s, the exuberant dance is performed here by a colourful cast of characters, each with their own unique style... and all far more interesting than Smith himself.

KWAYE
"What Have You Done"
3 mins 34s
18 Sep 2018
Director Femi Ladi brings KWAYE's heritage to the fore in this dance promo for 'What Have You Done'. The clip comprises three distinct looks referencing key points in African history - slavery, the emergence of black funk and hiphop, and the mass migration fashions of the '40s and '60s. In Ladi's words, it's about rediscovering identity; and it's a neat showcase for the singer-songwriter's performance skills.

Ben Chatwin
"Knots"
3 mins 43s
18 Sep 2018
Ben Chatwin's thoughtful exploration of the natural versus the manmade is brought to life in Zak Emerson's promo for 'Knots'. Taken from the album 'Staccato Signals' - a title referring to those flashes of inspiration that make a creation greater than the sum of its parts - the track is mesmeric, and Emerson delivers a fitting vision that's half steely monochrome and half glistening, visceral flesh.

Born Dirty
"Get Up Get Out (ft. jstlbby)"
3 mins 36s
16 Sep 2018
The artist formerly known as DJ/producer Son of Kick, Born Dirty fuses hiphop, house, techno and Afro Beats - to name but a few influences - into big ol' club choons. 'Get Up Get Out' is an insanely catchy example, and director Matt Devine's promo observes that being of pensionable age is no barrier to belting out a banger... even if it means enlisting the help of a vintage tape recorder.

Hozier
"Nina Cried Power"
3 mins 55s
13 Sep 2018
Hozier has returned from his jaunt in the woods - or wherever he goes when he's not making music - with a new EP of powerful songs. Eponymous track 'Nina Cried Power' is a love letter to activism, paying tribute to the figures of protest who have paved the way for the current generation's political engagement.

Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.