David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

Latest Work
    • Tash Tung arrives at Blink.Blink have added director, photographer, and visual artist Tash Tung to their burgeoning roster.
    • That sinking feeling.Ubiquitous comedian Katherine Ryan gives an amusingly physical performance in this 60" Barclaycard ad
    • Gaia Borretti joins The Assembly Rooms.Talented editor Gaia Borretti has bolstered the team at The Assembly Rooms.
    • Charity run.There are echoes of the 'Lust for Life' sequence from the opening of 'Trainspotting' in this hard-hitting film promoting Action For Children, a charity which looks after the interests of children in care.
    • Pulse Films sign Finn McGoughPulse Films have signed director Finn McGough for worldwide representation.
    • The calm and the storm.This bracing documentary introduces Danielle MacGillivray: single mother, proud Hebridean, and MS sufferer.
    • Hard to swallowSubway bid to steal Extinction Rebellion's thunder with an ad that sees rival fast food outlets turn nasty.
    • Homespun Yarns directors announced.The three directors selected by Homespun Yarns to turn their pitches into films have been announced.
    • Nailed ItRap star Cardi B debuts magical nail-growing abilities in this slick commercial for Reebok.
    • Freedom to ChooseIt's rare for a shaving commercial to actually feature any hair, something Billie Razors intends to change.
    • Two signings in the mix at Jelly London.Jelly London have strengthened their ranks by signing paper craft expert Hattie Newman and self-taught animator Allen Laseter.
    • Aim higher still.Channel 4 harness the legacy of the Apollo 11 Moon landing to emphasise their own progressive mantra in this 60" commercial.
    • An honest brew.Honest Tea insist they're as wholesome as the day is long in this fetching animated commercial.
    • The itchy and scratchy show.In this commercial for pet product Itch… a cat's scratching habit causes problems but not in the way you might think.
    • One World, One CurrencyNew cryptocurrency outfit Libra Coin say they have a solution to worldwide strife: an accessible global economy.

SISTERHOOD

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Over the next few weeks, we are expanding its scope to include live events and an annual competition.

We're seeking sponsors for this so please get in touch if you'd like to help and associate your company with this vital mission.

VISIT THE SISTERHOOD.

Barclaycard
"Katherine Ryan"
60s
19 July 2019

Ubiquitous comedian Katherine Ryan gives an amusingly physical performance in this 60" Barclaycard ad, which reminds punters to think smart about spending money abroad or, well, pay the price at home.

Like a slapstick version of Margot Robbie's cameo in 'The Big Short', Ryan explains how paying by card with the local currency can help avoid adverse conversion rates... all while she fights to stay afloat on an inflatable toucan.

Her gradual capsizing is expertly drawn out by director Jeff Low, as the Canadian gamely struggles with her punctured "relaxation vessel". Static camerawork only amplifies how pathetic her situation is.

Of course, Ryan's humiliation serves a greater purpose - namely keeping Barclaycard customers in the black on their well-earned holidays.


Gaia Borretti joins The Assembly Rooms.

Talented editor Gaia Borretti has bolstered the team at The Assembly Rooms. The multilingual Italian editor has spent the last few years building a terrific reputation for her versatile skills, working across the full gamut of filmmaking including documentaries, music videos, features, short films and, of course, TVCs.

Originally a student of classical music and philosophy, Borretti has had a varied career which saw her working in pubs, bookshops, theatres and even training racehorses at one point.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Action For Children
"Choose Childhood"
60s
18 July 2019

There are echoes of the 'Lust for Life' sequence from the opening of 'Trainspotting' in this hard-hitting film promoting Action For Children, a charity which looks after the interests of children in care.

The opening shot is shockingly violent as a boy is thrown by an unknown assailant - presumably parental - into a hallway. What follows is a tale of escape, as the young protagonist dashes across the concrete walkways of a council estate as fast and furious as he can manage.

It's 'freedom' rather than 'life' he is choosing according to the voice-over, and it isn't followed by a litany of other choices, but it still feels designed to remind us of Renton's run through Edinburgh in Danny Boyle's 1996 film.

Deft camerawork and the heavy breathing of the boy adds to the drama, as he pauses en route to witness another distressed child living in the shadow of violence.

Joined by two friends, he eventually reaches an open area where a group of similarly aged children are playing football. This represents the life he should be living, and he raises his arms in triumph as much to celebrate this, as to mark the goal he's just scored.

There's a stark reminder at the end of how widespread such problems are... a child is moved into care every fifteen minutes. This serves as a damning indictment of parental neglect, and a reminder of the vast resources required to ensure there is a safe retreat for every child who needs it.


Pulse Films sign Finn McGough

Some commuters have it easier than others. Take Finn McGough, for instance - upon signing for Pulse Films, he discovered his house was only 1.9 miles away from head office. As perks of the job go, it's right up there with free stationary.

McGough is quick to point out his main reasons for joining, however, namely Pulse's reputation as a "brilliantly energetic and forward-thinking company" that juggles his three favourite disciplines: commercials, documentaries, and drama.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Multiple Sclerosis Trust
"Danielle"
15 mins 03s
18 July 2019

This bracing documentary from director Gareth Warland introduces Danielle MacGillivray: single mother, outdoor enthusiast, and proud Hebridean. She also suffers from a form of multiple sclerosis called relapsing-remitting MS, and a storm is slowly but surely growing inside her body.

The weather aptly plays a key role throughout the film, as MacGillivray blames the lack of sunlight in the Outer Hebrides for her illness. Meanwhile, Warland and DP Robin Asselmeyer make shrewd use of the rugged terrain and squally conditions to match her words.

Despite the grim subject matter, however, Warland and MacGillivray are at pains to show that life - in one form or another - does go on. Her tender interactions with her son and her long-serving horse prove this, and they all add up to produce a compelling portrait of a woman determined to ride out the storm.


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Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

CamelPhat
"Be Someone (ft. Jake Bugg)"
3 mins 33s
19 Jul 2019
Two brothers take parallel paths in life in this literate promo for CamelPhat's latest single 'Be Someone' - featuring the vocal stylings of indie darling Jake Bugg. Following a death in the family, the pair go their separate ways and begin careers which are as similar as they are opposite: one as a rock star, the other as a charismatic preacher.

*J*
"fReEsTyLe"
2 mins 05s
17 Jul 2019
This stripped-down promo for *J* track 'Freestyle' demonstrates that astute use of simple visual effects can produce impressive results. Director Zak Razvi uses light and shadow to great effect here, proving once and for all that reflective jackets can be both functional and stylish. Proof that sometimes less is definitely more.

Martin Garrix x Axe
"These Are The Times"
3 mins 11s
17 Jul 2019
Axe must think Martin Garrix's music stinks. After all, why else would a body spray brand (Lynx on the shores) partner with the Dutchman on his latest release? While this in itself would be a cruel-stroke-hilarious spin on patronage, the real reason is far more amiable. DJ Garrix is the latest artist to feature on the brand's music platform, with new single 'These Are the Times' receiving a promo shot by Ivana Bobic into the bargain.

Brittany Howard
"Stay High"
3 mins 46s
18 Jul 2019
Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard has tapped Terry Crews to star in this charming video for latest single 'Stay High'. A considerable change of pace from his Old Spice outings, the actor plays an all-American working man who gets through his commute home while lip-syncing to Howard's dulcet tones. Syncing is the promo's main strength, in a number of different ways, as director Kim Gehrig shows us a journey fully consumed by its soundtrack.

One True Pairing
"I'm Not Afraid"
3 mins 39s
18 Jul 2019
One True Pairing - solo project of Tom Fleming, formerly a member British art-rockers Wild Beasts - makes a splash with this artsy promo for 'I'm Not Afraid'. With a debut album described as being shaped by '"class frustration and self-despair", it's no wonder that Fleming's taut performance is met by director Ewan Jones Morris's equally moody visuals.

Freya Ridings
"Castles"
3 mins 28s
16 Jul 2019
A deconstructed grand piano forms the centrepiece of this Isaac Rentz-directed promo for Freya Ridings. The instruments appears as if frozen in time after a bomb's gone off inside, with wooden shards and contorted innards stuck in mid-air. This quirky design is accompanied by the singer and her red-and-blue entourage flitting between rooftops and the streets below.

Mark Ronson
"Find U Again (ft. Camila Cabello)"
4 mins 11s
12 Jul 2019
The latest cut from Mark Ronson's 'Late Night Feelings' receives a noirish, Kill Bill-esque promo courtesy of directing duo Bradley & Pablo. As guest vocalist Camila Cabello bemoans the one that got away, the accompanying visuals see rival bounty hunters converge on a desert bar called Club Heartbreak - which is also the name of Ronson's playlist of sad bangers.

Beach Baby
"Human Remains"
3 mins 36s
11 Jul 2019
This latest from Beach Baby ponders the idea that we are all just human remains waiting to happen. But as we see in Jamie Gyngell's video, one unfortunate soul discovers what a ghastly prospect this is when his own body begins to decay while he's still living in it. There's some neat effects in the clip, all the more effective for being simple (that thumbnail!) but we're left asking who are the menacing dudes staring from the sidelines even as the unfortunate victim finally deliquesces?

Editors
"Frankenstein"
4 mins 29s
11 Jul 2019
'Frankenstein' starts out sounding like a plangent plod-rock clunker - but suddenly it veers into unexpected territory and becomes a dancefloor banger with a nightmare beat... freaky, full-on and totally fresh. And Greg Ohrel's promo is in every way a match for it; tuning in to the sinister sexiness with the story of a jaded cop looking for bigger thrills than he's currently getting.

Sigrid
"Mine Right Now"
4 mins 34s
11 Jul 2019
Anyone who's had a shoot lurch from one disaster to the next will admire the resourcefulness on display in this promo for Sigrid's 'Mine Right Now'. The Scandi pop sensation opens the video by explaining that she couldn't make it to the shoot due to travel issues... so director Max Siedentopf stepped in. The artist appears at various points via FaceTime, although the director gamely flailing his way through various scenes is the real star of the show.

Ritual
"Using"
3 mins 30s
11 Jul 2019
US model and musician Cailin Russo graduates from her early appearances in Justin Bieber videos to this Sophia Ray-directed probe into social media addiction. Accompanied by Ritual's latest track 'Using', the promo sees Russo - herself a prolific Instagrammer - experience the dizzying highs and startling lows of life on a smartphone screen.

Headie One
"Back to Basics (ft. Skepta)"
3 mins 15s
9 Jul 2019
There's no shortage of hoods or cigars in this murky promo for Headie One and Skepta's 'Back to Basics'. Grime and drill forge an uneasy alliance here as the duo chart run-ins with the police ("Feds ask questions, I get evasive/That's "no comment" up in the station") and a shift in priorities, while director Hugo Jenkins laces the action with lo-fi menace.

Bat for Lashes
"Kids in the Dark"
3 mins 33s
9 Jul 2019
This dreamy promo for Bat For Lashes's latest single 'Kids in the Dark' mixes romance and nostalgia to good effect. Directed by the artist herself, the film sets up a mysterious boy-meets-girl (or possibly boy-is-hypnotised-by-girl) scenario, with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it flash of fang hinting at more supernatural motives. Subtle, sleek work with just a touch of looming darkness.

Bree Runway
"Big Racks (ft. Brooke Candy)"
3 mins 36s
8 Jul 2019
Bree Runway's latest collaboration with director Fred Rowson begins with a trio of statistics which indicate workplace discrimination is still alive and kicking in 2019. Using the struggles of BAME workers as a launchpad, the promo then offers an absurdist vision of Runway's one-woman cosmetics empire.

Stormzy
"Crown"
3 mins 39s
5 Jul 2019
Stormzy gets soulful on his latest track 'Crown', released on the heels of a stormingly successful Glastonbury performance. Appropriately, the single ruminates on the artist's meteoric rise to success, and what it really means to have all eyes on the 'king' of the UK rap scene. Director Charlie Sarsfield shows us Stormzy dressed in white, seemingly isolated in one unbroken shot before a choir of supporters is revealed.

The S.L.P.
"Favourites (ft. Little Simz)"
3 mins 56s
3 Jul 2019
A little Serge Pizzorno goes a long way, as demonstrated by this jerky promo for debut solo outing 'Favourites'. The mad-eyed Kasabian guitarist resembles a glittery dervish as he gyrates in front of a blank screen - ostensibly relishing the absence of his bandmates. We like that even guest vocalist Little Simz looks like she's had enough of Pizzorno's shtick by the end.

Ed Sheeran
"Beautiful People"
3 mins 48s
2 Jul 2019
Ed Sheeran and guest vocalist Khalid take aim at materialism in their new track 'Beautiful People', with the ginger troubadour rejecting a world of "Lamborghinis and rented Hummers" in favour of staying true to oneself. As Andy McLeod's accompanying promo shows, this credo extends to one's choice of holiday destination, too. Affable, tongue-in-cheek work.

David Kitt, Fehdah and Kean Kavanagh
"Follow the Sound"
4 mins 11s
1 Jul 2019
As part of Three Ireland's #MadeByMusic campaign, this summery collaboration by three Irish artists comes with a promo which demonstrates what can happen when you dig the music too much. The poor sap who's been looking forward to the first dance with his new missus is rightly beginning to have second thoughts before their vows have stopped echoing around the church.

Kazu
"Meo"
1 min 54s
28 Jun 2019
Eva Michon has created a film to complement the entire tracklist of 'Adult Baby', the solo album released by Blonde Redhead vocalist Kazu Makino. This trailer provides glimpses of its dreamlike, seductive atmosphere; mixing languorous shots of the singer with sweeping panoramics of Elba - that tiny Mediterranean island known mainly as the location of Napoleon's exile.

Mika
"Ice Cream"
2 mins 50s
28 Jun 2019
Mika attempts to stay cool in the summer heat (aren't we all?) with this quirky, camp promo to accompany latest single 'Ice Cream'. The crooner cuts a striking figure in a variety of distinctive outfits, modelling everything from satin tops to pastel-hued trousers as he struts along to the funk-tinged track.

Anna of the North
"Thank Me Later"
3 mins 30s
26 Jun 2019
Anna of the North turns traditional pop tropes upside down in this sweet, surreal promo for her latest single. Directed by Harry Barber, the piece sees the aforementioned Anna playing matchmaker for a hapless young couple - supported by her pal in an ice cream cone costume. Alongside singing burgers and toilets playing bouncer, it's a pleasantly weird ride.

Ed Sheeran
"Cross Me (ft. Chance the Rapper & PnB Rock)"
3 mins 35s
25 Jun 2019
Ed Sheeran, Chance the Rapper, and PnB Rock may get top billing, but the real star of this visually stunning promo is the woman who 'plays' them. Dancer and former gymnast Courtney Scarr transforms into the chart-friendly trio via motion capture, and the result is quite something.

Little Mix
"Bring That Bounce Back"
3 mins 12s
19 Jun 2019
Little Mix attempt to 'Bring That Bounce Back' with their latest music promo, directed by Charlotte Rutherford. The group embody 90s neon glamour as they occupy a fantastical doll's house done up like a kitsch, retro fever dream. From head-to-toe animal print to double denim and cowboy hats, the gang channel the big girl groups of yesteryear while infusing a modern truckload of attitude into proceedings.

Loryn
"Stand By (ft. Rudimental)"
3 mins 21s
18 Jun 2019
A well-travelled cricket ball is the star of this promo for Loryn and Rudimental's 'Stand By' - the official song of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Shifting between young and old, sand and tarmac, director Dan Henshaw and his round protagonist emphasise the sport's ability to transcend age, race, and background.

Kishi Bashi
"Violin Tsunami"
5 mins 39s
17 Jun 2019
This poignant animation is a visual interpretation of Kishi Bashi's new release - a thoughtful reflection on the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. We see glimpses of the concentration camps being built; isolated in this most beautiful of landscapes... and how indomitable the human spirit finally is as the harsh lights of the camp dormitories become lanterns floating upwards.

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.