David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Trophy ScarsThis poignant film from director Paul Hairston takes an emotional look at one man's journey to turn his life around.
    • Move your feet.Fourteen different animators show what dancing means to them in this fun piece out of Seed Animation Studio.
    • How do you like me now?Emma Willis finds herself in an identity crisis in this clever promo for Channel 4's The Circle.
    • Day trippers.This commercial for South Western Railway encourages punters to head into London for a day trip to remember.
    • Chair-brained scheme.This beautifully judged satire from Norwegian classifieds website Finn targets brands who turn conservation into a sales opportunity.
    • Welcome to the club.A trio of sisters chart the rise of ten-times major champion Annika Sörenstam and women's golf in this lilting commercial for MasterCard.
    • Walk this way.Cadillac have their best foot forward in this single-minded commercial.
    • Ride of Your LifeThere's a unique perspective to this short film which is sure to grip audiences from the start: that order and chaos can exist simultaneously, and even be a thing of beauty.
    • UNIT think long-form with Duncan Cook.UNIT have described post-producer Duncan Cook as "the obvious choice" to help expand the TV & Film department at their new Berners Mews headquarters.
    • Taking Sam Pilling's pulse.Sam Pilling is a director with a great future, having already set out his stall with a number of brilliant films.
    • Style and SubstancesHip lip balm brand eos bring a little magic to their manufacturing process in this fantastical film.
    • Different strokes for different folks.McCain's occasionally controversial 'We Are Family' campaign returns with another warm portrait of domesticity.

SISTERHOOD

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Sisterhood is free to join and free to view.

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.

South Western Railway
"Great Days Never Leave You"
40s
22 August 2019

This is such a lovely idea – kudos to Alicia Job and Jess Watson at Engine – and it's been beautifully executed by Don & Nic at Outsider. It encourages punters living south west of London to use the advertised railway to make a day trip to remember. This notion is brought to life by depicting characters from the places they visit as a growing cavalcade joining in the fun.

It's been delivered with a great deal of warmth and humanity, making it a feelgood film which has a good chance of persuading people to do what it advocates. (Of course, as the long-suffering users of this railway will tell you, persuading more people to use their trains is not exactly the brightest idea… there is more agony and suffering on a daily basis at South Western's London terminus then there ever was at the battle which gave it its name!)

But let's not be churlish, this is a super piece of work and fully deserving of its five stars.


Finn
"The Chair"
67s
20 August 2019

This beautifully judged satire from Norwegian classifieds website Finn targets brands who turn conservation into a sales opportunity. Or those who ask questions like: "If a chair could speak, what stories would it tell?"

Set in a lush Nordic forest, the ad muses on the humble chair's place in the world with increasing absurdity. Like a circular economy gone mad, the unnamed brand envision trees that lead to chairs that lead to, erm, tree-in-a-chairs.

That the ad just about manages to string you along for sixty-odd seconds is testament to directors Matias & Mathias, who nail the furniture maker's highfalutin tone before flipping the script in understated fashion. A first-rate salute to second-hand goods.


MasterCard
"Sister Surprise"
77s
21 August 2019

A trio of sisters chart the rise of ten-times major champion Annika Sörenstam and women's golf in this lilting commercial for MasterCard. Bookended by sequences in the girls' native Ireland, the film explains how Sörenstam and her sister Charlotta made the most of one particular childhood present: a set of golf clubs.

This Irish-Nordic crossover is neatly handled by director Dominic O'Riordan, who cuts between TV footage of Sörenstam in her prime and the girls' present-day love for the sport. The affecting way these two timelines meet is marred only by an abrupt burst of the brand's corporate jingle at the end.


Cadillac
"Crew Ready"
60s
21 August 2019

Cadillac have their best foot forward in this single-minded commercial, which draws attention to the marque's spacious new XT6 SUV. Directed by Anthony and Joseph Russo, the ad acknowledges that the "stone cold, never blink, walk in slow motion" posses of America need adequate seating on the road… and by gum, they're going to give it to them.

Riffing on the kind of hero shot featured in copious actioners, comedies, and heist movies (including the Russos' own ‘Avengers' movies), the brand use models, martial artists, and armed robbers (helpfully accompanied by a ‘Do Not Attempt' disclaimer) to show they respect strength in numbers.

The ad more than does the job in this respect, and will likely inspire confidence in the target market. That said, another outright gag or two wouldn't have gone amiss.


Short Films
"Beautiful Chaos"
75s
21 August 2019

There's a unique perspective to this short film which is sure to grip audiences from the start: that order and chaos can exist simultaneously, and even be a thing of beauty. Director Fernando Livschitz uses a combination of clever editing and canny VFX to explore the proposition, turning an ordinary theme park into a surreal wonderland.

Fantastical elements creep up on the viewer here, as what seems to be a normal rollercoaster loops back on itself in an infinite spiral, big wheels within big wheels change direction at will, and air time on another ride is taken very literally. Add in an upbeat soundtrack and shots of the park's visitors, and this has us coming back time and again to try and figure out how they did it.


QUICK SEARCH

Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

The 1975
"People"
2 mins 52s
23 Aug 2019
The 1975 are in fine form on latest single 'People', with the raucous track serving as a call to action for those dim enough not to realise the world is literally on fire. The accompanying promo opens with a warning for those with photosensitive epilepsy... and its necessity becomes apparent after only a few strobe-spattered seconds.

Beabadoobee
"She Plays Bass"
3 mins 29s
23 Aug 2019
Eighteen-year-old singer-songwriter Bea Kristi aka Beabadoobee has talent to burn, as this in-your-face promo for 'She Plays Bass' confirms. Blue hair clashing against a red backdrop, Beabadoobee reveals her crush on the eponymous bass player as the camera rotates to convey her world turned upside down.

slenderbodies
"Arrival"
5 mins 44s
22 Aug 2019
The intriguing duo slenderbodies continues to carve out their own groove with latest track 'Arrival'. Savannah Setten directs the accompanying video; the second she's made for them after the haunting 'Belong'. It's set in a high security prison in Ukraine, and the grim, diminished environment ensures any sunlight that comes through the windows or shines over the yard only sharpen the pain of what these young men have lost.

Bree Runway
"All Night"
3 mins 34s
22 Aug 2019
Bree Runway may describe herself as that "weird black girl", but she's calling the shots in Tash Tung's erotic, fetishistic video for 'All Night'. Beautifully lit by Jordan Buck, this minimalist clip has Runway in total control of her own sexuality as she sets her sights on a guy who evidently isn't going to get much sleep in the small hours.

Tino Kamal
"VIP"
3 mins 12s
21 Aug 2019
Model-turned-rapper Tino Kamal's latest promo has a sci-fi vibe which relies on the heavily-tattooed artist's visage remaining distinctive through several layers of VFX... which, indeed, it does. Performing in what initially appears to be a smoke-filled void, a digital version of Kamal acts as a computer-generated chameleon.

Janice
"Hearts Will Bleed"
2 mins 55s
20 Aug 2019
Woozy Scandi pop proves it still has a place at music's high table thanks to Janice's latest release 'Hearts Will Bleed'. Like iron dressed in the finest of velvet, this is a tune whose softness caresses your cheek before punching you in the gut with a killer beat. To seal the deal, director Freshteh has filmed a sinuous promo choreographed by Matilda Fleberg.

Belle Mt.
"Origins"
3 mins 35s
21 Aug 2019
The neo-soft rock of Belle Mt's 'Origins' comes with a hand-drawn meditation on the future of our species. Indeed, our entire planet. A mature couple who happen to be scientists with the technology to populate other planets (is it a good idea?) take a rocket 'arc' through interstellar space scattering seeds and babies willy-nilly.

Mystery Jets
"Screwdriver"
5 mins 10s
21 Aug 2019
The plangent new track from Mystery Jets examines how hatred and bigotry emerge in a nation torn apart by its own ignorance. Henry Dean directs, giving us a video in which latent violence appears to give way to moments of levity and tenderness; while cinematographer Ash Barron keeps the lighting murky - all the better to emphasise the ambiguity of the proceedings.

Stereophonics
"Fly Like An Eagle"
4 mins 46s
18 Aug 2019
This promo for 'Fly Like An Eagle' by the Stereophonics perfectly encapsulates the difficulties that teenagers can face even in an environment which is generally supportive. Its teenage protagonist clearly has a very special relationship with her father… but you sense very quickly that she doesn't feel able to tell him everything. She has a crush on another girl at her school, and doesn't identify with the stereotypical look of the other female students. Dad appears more than happy with her 'tomboyishness' but lacks both the information and the wherewithal to recognise that there's more going on than that.

Elderbrook & Rudimental
"Something About You"
4 mins 07s
15 Aug 2019
There's a powerful message contained within this stripped-back promo for Elderbrook & Rudimental's 'Something About You'. Mental health - specifically male mental health - takes centre stage as a support group evolves an unusual method of bringing its members together. There's a lot at play here, but director Luke Davies has achieved a delicate balance between choreography and emotional expression.

Bear's Den
"Hiding Bottles"
4 mins 05s
13 Aug 2019
British folk-rockers Bear's Den get serious on their latest single from 2019 album 'So that you might hear me'. Addressing the issue of alcohol abuse and its effect on families, 'Hiding Bottles' explores timelines coming together and diverging - mixing events that did happen, could happen, and didn't take place at all.

Ella Eyre
"Mama (with Banx & Ranx)"
3 mins 16s
9 Aug 2019
Oh dear... the higher you're hoisted on a pedestal, the harder you fall when you're toppled. And Ella Eyre's guy discovers just what that's like when his mum gets word he's been playing fast and loose with Ella's affections. Confronted during a family meal, he's like a rabbit in headlights... these are not women you would ever want to cross.

Alice Chater
"Tonight"
3 mins 26s
9 Aug 2019
Alice Chater brazens out the threat of an earthly apocalypse with the help of fellow witches in a country mansion coven. The video - courtesy of Favourite Colour: Black - has her facing down the devil (well, a young dude bathed in red light) as she dances in a variety of snazzy costumes. It's slick, colourful and tightly choreographed. We're sure the kids will love it.

Metronomy
"Walking in the Dark"
3 mins 07s
8 Aug 2019
UK dance-rock outfit Metronomy get psychedelic in their promo for latest single 'Walking in the Dark'. The stripped-back tune is set in contrast to a busy video, which features 3D visuals, bright colours, and, er, a moving kiddie ride. There's a retro-futuristic vibe to the piece, which sees traditional metal drums and vintage gold dragons blend with iPhone screens and Bluetooth headsets.

Foals
"Black Bull"
3 mins 05s
8 Aug 2019
An angry bull wearing a necklace of flowers is still an angry bull, as shown by this refreshingly muscular Foals promo. As Yannis Philippakis and his bandmates deliver a potent rendition of ‘Black Bull', director Niall O'Brien duly runs with the track title. Despite its livid reputation, the eponymous bull is actually shot in refined slow-motion.

Bat for Lashes
"The Hunger"
5 mins 01s
7 Aug 2019
Bat for Lashes runs a cryptic desert cult in this intriguing promo for latest single 'The Hunger'. The singer - and director of the film - takes the central role of a messianic figure, done up in a fantastical ruffled garment as she greets her cloaked followers with an embrace in sparse surroundings. It's a stylish concept which isn't burdened with too much backstory, much like the earlier promo for 'Kids in the Dark'.

sir Was
"Deployed (ft. Little Dragon)"
3 mins 57s
7 Aug 2019
Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano lends her voice to this luminous piece of Scandi-electronica from producer sir Was. With both hidden behind neon LED sunglasses for much of co-director Damien Priest's promo, it's like a masquerade ball shot through a synthwave filter. This ultimately suits the delicate soundscape of 'Deployed', however.

Idles
"Mercedes Marxist"
3 mins 37s
6 Aug 2019
Headbanging music takes on a whole new meaning in this bleak promo for Idles's latest single 'Mercedes Marxist'. The film follows a man living a life of quiet desperation, moving from job to home to job again without feeling much more than like he's banging his head against a wall... literally. The percussive nature of the action is deftly handled by directing duo thirtytwo, who infuse the pallid, washed-out scenes with a formidable amount of foreboding.

Friendly Fires
"Silhouette"
3 mins 55s
1 Aug 2019
This retro promo for Friendly Fires's latest single 'Silhouette' recreates the kind of Eurovision performance which graced screens throughout the Seventies and Eighties. Complete with vintage grade and pastel costumes, the film sees the band deliver a family-friendly performance that's markedly different from other promos in their canon.

Novelist
"No Weapons"
4 mins 56s
1 Aug 2019
Directing duo BLOK make a departure from their comedy-driven back catalogue with this hard-hitting promo for grime artist Novelist's 'No Weapons'. Following one young man's experiences with gun and knife violence, and the devastating impact they have on him and his community, the short film addresses the issue plaguing London's streets head on.

Kid Kapichi
"Death Dips"
3 mins 41s
31 Jul 2019
Hastings four-piece Kid Kapichi melt faces in this B-movie-inspired promo for their latest single 'Death Dips'. The group possess mysterious powers of rock and roll, harnessed by money-grubbing managers to possess all who hear their music. Deliberately shlocky production values fit the band's raucous vibe well, as a gig threatens to overwhelm all present.

Peggy Gou
"Starry Night (trailer)"
34s
31 Jul 2019
Exclusivity deals with the likes of Tidal and Apple Music have made 'promo teasers' an increasingly common occurrence, and this Peggy Gou effort is the latest example. The South Korean artist's new track 'Starry Night' looks to have received a luscious promo courtesy of Jonas Lindstroem, but currently only Apple Music subscribers can enjoy the full thing.

Madonna
"Batuka"
6 mins 01s
29 Jul 2019
Madonna turns her searchlight back to Africa for this new track from her latest album 'Madame X'. Well, the coast of Africa, to be more precise; the Portuguese colony of Cape Verde, which played a significant role in the slave trade. Both the song and the video are centred around the women who live here and who created the genre of music and dance called batuque.

Die Atzen
"Ballern"
2 mins 35s
30 Jul 2019
German hip-hop duo Die Atzen prove they don't take themselves too seriously with latest single 'Ballern'. The track - whose title means to engage in an activity with gusto - is accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek promo which features Euro-trash fashion, Stepford-style families, and, erm, exploding heads.

The Amazons
"Doubt It"
5 mins 34s
30 Jul 2019
With a sophomore album credited by some as one of the big sleeper hits of 2019, Reading-based outfit The Amazons have expanded their aesthetic horizons to match their growing popularity in this promo for 'Doubt It'. Directed by Thomas James, the surreal film unravels the mystery of a small town beset by an unusual number of missing teens.

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.