David Reviews

 It's the work, stupid.

Latest Work
    • Give them a game.This poignant short film looks at the plight of Italians of African descent who are effectively stateless because of Italy's refusal to automatically recognise as citizens those who are born there.
    • Papaya launch Young Directors CompetitionPapaya Films have launched the sixth edition of their Young Directors Competition.
    • Sweet DreamsA night club designed for sleeping - no, it's not the latest Millennial fad, it's the premise of this quirky ad for IKEA.
    • Lyft Your SpiritsA guy fulfils the dreams of many commuters in this entertaining ad for ride-sharing app Lyft.
    • This Is My Truth, Tell Me YoursThis excellent ad for the New York Times follows in the footsteps of previous ads, but its length enables us to appreciate in full the sheer effort that goes into producing a story.
    • The most offended a man can get.Gillette has received significant backlash for its new slogan, swapping 'The best a man can get' for 'The best a man can be'.
    • First contact.A welcome return for Babbel's resident spokes-alien finds Alexi in a spot of bother.
    • Boss Mentality Bosch breathe life into an old meme in this entertaining ad, which draws attention to their range of smart products.
    • Alan Friel joins Dark Energy.Dark Energy's ongoing talent search has now led them to seasoned filmmaker Alan Friel.
    • No WordsThe Truth Project has released this hard-hitting film about speaking out against sexual abuse.
    • Tonal TakeoverApple encourage customers to fully embrace colour with this visually arresting ad.
    • Prepare to try.This is a change of pace for the Beeb's pre-Six Nations advertising drive.

CRAFTWORKS

We have great news for fans of CraftWorks. 2019 will see it return in a multitude of different formats.

These will include several shows at BAFTA in London - the first being on Monday, February 11th.

Watch this space for further announcements.

There are sponsorship opportunites associated with its return, please contact Jason Stone on 0141 776 7766 if you'd like to know more.


Tesco
"100 Years"
30s
12 January 2019

While the rest of us look to the future with mounting trepidation, Tesco revel in past glories with this 30" commercial. Propelled by Earth, Wind & Fire's ‘September', the ad from BBH and directors The Sacred Egg plonks shoppers from the past hundred years into one of Blue Supermarket's branches.

From mods to roller disco divas, hair guitar bands and monochrome housewives, the cast wend their way through the weekly shop with varying grades and visual flourishes. However, it's the yellow on-screen discount stickers that threaten to steal the show.

The brand's sudden emphasis on price points show it's keen to wrest consumers from the sector's budget upstarts. Even so, we doubt that permits fans of ‘Quadrophenia' to peruse the aisles via moped.


Short Films
"Garfield"
12 mins 53s
12 January 2019

In this sweetly funny, thought-provoking film by Georgi Banks-Davies, a young woman (Mandeep Dhillon) wakes to find herself in a strange apartment in the company of a young man (Matthew Trevannion) she doesn't entirely recognise.

On second viewing, you notice there's a little bit of exposition in the audio snippets from the night before during the opening sequence, but these don't answer all the questions in the viewer's head... or, indeed, in its female protagonist's. She's trying to piece together the events that brought her to his apartment while maintaining a casual air and trying to ignore the harassment-level efforts of her brother to discover where she is and what she's been up to.

The dialogue riffs on the modern nature of identity, as they learn a little about each other and she tries to work out the extent to which they became acquainted the night before. She introduces him to the term 'coconut' - a painful accusation of cultural disloyalty, and he describes his plight as a 'ginger' - "the last remaining acceptable prejudice". There's a dance going on between them as they try to find a firm footing with one another. His is founded in the hope that she will value his kindness, hers a bid to discover the limit of her existing embarrassment and to avoid worsening it.

Georgi Banks-Davies has drawn super performances from her two actors with Mandeep Dhillon displaying the subtle anxieties of a young woman struggling to live her life without provoking the profound disappointment of her family.

Like all the best short films, it offers a glimpse rather than a rounded examination and it does so with sufficient intrigue to leave you wishing it was part of something bigger and that you would get to find out what happens next.


Refuge
"Mistletoe"
60s
11 January 2019

This clever ad for domestic violence charity Refuge offers a visceral demonstration of how a relationship can turn upside down. A woman relates her excitement about spending Christmas with her partner to the camera, only for the tone to shift dramatically when the script is reversed.

Bolstered by smart writing and a lovely, nuanced central performance, this makes for affecting viewing. Director Steve Reeves has struck just the right emotional tone, letting us invest in the protagonist's joy - which makes it all the more impactful when it turns to fear.


Family Action
"Monsters"
90s
11 January 2019

Support group Family Action make the demons we face real in this compelling commercial. A series of vignettes show seemingly happy families going about their lives - albeit with something unusual lurking close by.

It's only after a second glance that we understand the variety of monsters haunting them - stress, post-natal depression, and alcoholism. The charity insist these monsters can be beaten, but first they must be faced.

The mixture of animation and live action is well executed, as ever-morphing blobs hang spectre-like over the cast. Emotionally raw and carrying a valuable message, this film empowers those hesitant to confront their own familial scourge.


Short Films
"The Brave Heart"
9 mins 56s
11 January 2019

Bodily functions abound in Luca Schenato and Sinem Vardarli's witty animation, which sees a bloke's heart fight to avert corporeal armageddon. As captain, the heart must rally his fellow organs and muscles - although distracted brains, sozzled livers, and smoke-filled lungs threaten to derail his efforts.

Eschewing dialogue for indecipherable grunts and mumbles, Luca&Sinem's cautionary tale boasts plenty of clever visual cues (head versus heart rendered as a game of ‘Pong', for instance) and a gross-out finale which vindicates the demise of Smell-O-Vision. Who knows - it may even trigger some belated New Year's diets.


QUICK SEARCH

Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

Westlife
"Hello My Love"
3 mins 44s
16 Jan 2019
Time no longer feels like a linear experience... Westlife are back in the charts and it seems like they have never been away. Except, of course, for the fact that Ed bloody Sheeran has been writing for them, so they have Olympic sprint-speed lyrics against a bland and spongy melody. It's a pretty solid video though, with the lads against an arresting cliff face backdrop before being enveloped in a parachute.

Ward Thomas
"No Filter"
3 mins 33s
14 Jan 2019
Described as country-pop, the music by twins Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas is sincere and accessible - and Daniel Broadley's promo for latest track 'No Filter' portrays that sentiment. The song is a call to arms against the fake selves people are under pressure to present on social media, and this clip demonstrates that we're happier when we can be true to who we are.

Chaka Khan
"Goodbye Sadness, Hello Happiness"
4 mins 48s
9 Jan 2019
'Goodbye Sadness, Hello Happiness' has a real 70s vibe that Sam Pilling has worked to the max. Set in seedy motel-land, the night is full of working girls and their johns. A grimy phone box is a character in its own right; while bent cops, grifters and swaggering pimps all play their part in making the scene one to rival anything in The Deuce.

Troye Sivan
"Lucky Strike"
4 mins 06s
11 Jan 2019
Up-and-coming gay icon Troye Sivan muses on a summer romance in this wistful promo to accompany latest single 'Lucky Strike'. Directed by Emma Westenberg (who also directed Janelle Monae's groundbreaking promo for PYNK), the sun-kissed film shows Sivan frolicking on a beach before a surprisingly bloody encounter with a bartender.

Catfish & the Bottlemen
"Longshot"
3 mins 56s
11 Jan 2019
Catfish & the Bottlemen swap north Wales for South Shields in this monochrome promo for comeback single, ‘Longshot'. Director Jim Canty and DP Mel Griffith run with the track's title by filming the band from afar, emphasising frontman Van McCann and co.'s lofty position above the North Sea in their own personal festival tent.

Justice
"Heavy Metal"
4 mins 26s
13 Dec 2018
'Heavy Metal' isn't related to Ozzy et al in the slightest. It's more like Toccata and Fugue had a weird threesome with Gesaffelstein and mid-era prog rock, then boasted about it on social media.

Jorja Smith
"The One"
3 mins 32s
13 Dec 2018
The video for Jorja Smith's mournful new track 'The One' sees her locked in a cycle of passive misery as she vacillates between action and acceptance. Whoever the guy in her life is, he's evidently not emotionally fulfilling - but she'd rather take what crumbs he throw her way than strike out on her own. Come on, girl! Stop moping about in that depressing motel and pull your metaphorical socks up.

Ariana Grande
"Thank U, Next"
5 mins 24s
12 Dec 2018
It doesn't matter whether Ariane Grande's music is your thing or not - this is one of those tracks that's so lush and sinuous it'll seep its way into your consciousness and feel linked to the festive season forever... in the best way. There's a winning combination of deadpan sass and grace about it, and Hannah Lux Davis's all-star, big production promo has not only captured this but amplified it to the max.

The Prodigy
"Timebomb Zone"
3 mins 25s
10 Dec 2018
The Prodigy and director Paco Raterta's tour of the Filipino underworld continues with this bruising depiction of an underground fighting ring. Scored by the rave veterans' latest aural assault, ‘Timezone Bomb', Raterta's promo follows two combatants as they bid to survive long enough to confront their captor.

Blanche
"Moment"
3 mins 18s
20 Nov 2018
Belgian singer-songwriter Blanche gets together with a group of friends for some crepuscular goofing around in a neglected swimming pool. It looks like a lot of fun - if a tad on the chilly side - and later they warm up at a party while a very loose-limbed chap dances. The track itself is about not spoiling the end of a relationship, so evidently an amicable swim works wonders.

The 1975
"It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)"
7 mins 23s
5 Dec 2018
While The 1975's 'It's Not Living (If It's Not With You)' has that classic boy band sound, the promo gives it a welcome something extra that keeps us watching to the last. Warren Fu's direction turns Matty Healy's onstage jog into a trip and a half as the singer begins to hallucinate mid-performance; unsure whether he's having a mind-bending experience or everyone else is enjoying a joke at his expense... including his own doppelganger.

Daithí
"Orange"
3 mins 26s
5 Dec 2018
This engaging promo for Irish EDM artist Daithí compresses a long-term relationship into a three-and-a-half-minute music video, with director Locky McKenna charting a couple's tentative decline with deft economy. Set entirely in the boyfriend's front room-slash-kitchen, the narrative captures every nuanced relationship milestone.

Dermot Kennedy
"Power Over Me"
3 mins 34s
4 Dec 2018
Cuba's amateur boxing legacy provides the backdrop for this Dermot Kennedy promo, as a woman strives for respect from Havana's fighting community. Caught between her contemptuous peers and her feckless father, the protagonist must train harder and longer for her shot at personal glory. A rare Latin-Celtic triumph.

Model Man
"Ketones"
4 mins 34s
4 Dec 2018
Beatmakers Model Man consist of brothers Mark and Rob Brandon, and it's the latter who directs this beguiling promo for new track ‘Ketones'. Like a contemporary dance adaptation of ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly', eleven people are forced to compete in a Mexican stand-off featuring finger guns and some spasmodic bopping.

Friendly Fires
"Heaven Let Me In"
4 mins 20s
30 Nov 2018
Over seven years after their sophomore album, ‘Pala', St Albans quartet Friendly Fires break cover with this nimble music video for ‘Heaven Let Me In'. Shot by director Bison, the promo cast ‘Mamma Mia 2' actor Jeremy Irvine as a clubber still in the throes of late-night ecstasy… and, erm, possibly another form of ecstasy.

Brother Dege
"The Moon and the Scarecrow"
3 mins 24s
28 Nov 2018
One can imagine bumping into Brother Dege on a pitch-black night in America's Deep South. Wild man look and penchant for scarecrow-based album covers aside, Dege Legg also plays a mean but melodic slide guitar. The Louisiana native's talent is evident as performs ‘The Moon and the Scarecrow', with Colin Read's accompanying promo amplifying the track's searching tone.

The Streets
"Call Me In The Morning (ft Chip & Grim Sickers)"
4 mins 03s
27 Nov 2018
Mike Skinner is back, directing his own video for new track 'Call Me In The Morning'. While the song has all the hallmark sounds of The Streets, it also features rappers Chip and Grim Sickers whose verses add a different mood; laying on lyrics at a pace that makes your ears bleed... in a good way. Meanwhile, onscreen, Skinner is impossible to look away from. This is a promo that needs watching again and again.

The 1975
"Sincerity is Scary"
4 mins 01s
23 Nov 2018
Even a fall down a manhole isn't enough to put Matty Healy off his stride in this well-choreographed promo for The 1975's ‘Sincerity is Scary'. Drawing from classic musicals and the band's own established lore, director Warren Fu delivers an uptempo dance number as a rise-and-shine Healy hits the streets.

Brunswick
"ADHD"
3 mins 39s
21 Nov 2018
A healthy dose of neon ensures this promo for Justin Bieber lookalike Brunswick catches the eye, as does director Lu's knack for urban photography. Unfortunately, bleach-blonde Brunswick's EDM track fails to catch fire, straining for edginess with lyrics like: "I want that new sports car/So I gotta go fucking insane".

Jess Glynne
"Thursday"
3 mins 35s
21 Nov 2018
The promo for Jess Glynne's release 'Thursday' is very elegantly directed by Joe Connor, and gives the singer an aura of gravitas. The song - which was co-written with Ed Sheeran - has her boldly declaring to eschew make-up on Thursdays and to sit around at home in her sweat pants, drinking straight out of the can (though, not in the American sense).

Anne-Marie
"Perfect To Me"
10 mins 37s
21 Nov 2018
Hannah Lux Davies has done a lovely job of introducing the voices of people who aren't stereotypically beautiful into Anne-Marie's 'Perfect To Me'. However, Anne-Marie herself provides a problem. While singing about how comfortable she is with her physical flaws and pigging out on ice cream, she presents as a perfect specimen of a human being - so her acceptance of not having a "supermodel" body appears disingenuous to say the least.

Tom Rosenthal
"Forests"
3 mins 02s
21 Nov 2018
Director and animator Katy Wang brings her signature textural style to this promo for Tom Rosenthal's ‘Forests'. Set in a world where bears and dogs can drive and furry mountains bound across the landscape, Wang's three-minute outing is one of the more whimsical creature features you're likely to see. A mellow flight of fancy.

Easy Life
"Nightmares"
1 min 54s
19 Nov 2018
Easy Life aren't, er, easy to categorise. What is obvious, though, is that they're a very talented bunch indeed. Hailing from Leicester, they manage to incorporate all kinds of different musical influences into their sound and the result - far from being a confused mess - is gloriously catchy. Greg Barthes's promo for their single 'Nightmares' captures the band's strange charm.

Roses Gabor
"I Could Be Yours"
3 mins 41s
19 Nov 2018
Director Sophie Jones's sophomore effort with R&B singer Roses Gabor is another accomplished promo that lulls viewers into a halcyon scene, albeit one punctuated by some sinewy outbursts. While fans absorb Jones and DP David Foulkes's balmy visuals, Gabor's ‘I Could Be Yours' offers hope to an anonymous suitor as the sun fades.

Chemical Brothers
"Free Yourself"
6 mins 31s
16 Nov 2018
As the Chemical Brothers announce their ninth studio album, this lively promo pairs Tom Rowland and Ed Simon's latest track with an android rave… with only a solitary security guard to corral this technologically-advanced hoedown. As soon as the paranoid strains of ‘Free Yourself' kick in, Roboforce AI Labour Solutions turns into a factory dance floor.

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.