David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Tom Marshall hooks up with HunkyDory.TV comedy director Tom Marshall has expanded the directorial options at HunkyDory with the addition of his name to their already impressive roster.
    • Generation GenerateThis sci-fi short for Red Bull offers a different take on the concept of energy.
    • Home is where the hurt is.Stuart Douglas’s beautifully played drama from 2018 hits home more than ever right now.
    • Water World.Water Aid reminds viewers of the origin of rainbows - and the importance of ensuring everyone can have them.
    • Boxed In... with Paul Burke and Sue HiggsIn the first of a new series of podcasts that will soon have its own home outside of DAVID, Paul Burke and Sue Higgs share their top TV boxset tips with Jason Stone.
    • What The What?This slick communication suggests style and substance can, on occasion, coexist quite comfortably
    • Cheque it out.As Covid-19 continues to disrupt the financial sector, TD Bank urge customers to party like it’s 1992… and not for the first time, so to speak.
    • Protect our protectors.This extraordinarily impactful film supports frontline healthcare workers in their bid to force the government into providing badly needed PPE to help protect them against Covid-19.
    • All clapped out.Clapping for the NHS aside... let's look at how we respond to Covid calls to arms.
    • Comfort eating.This eloquent short film by director Libby Burke Wilde sheds light on Blackpool’s Syrian community, and the importance of food to those forced to leave their homeland.
    • A cycle for life.Joe Ogunmokun - a producer at Havas - is using his furlough to 'cycle to France' in his living room to raise money for his friend Ben Chatfield's fight against cancer.
    • When the stars align.ITV’s big guns are on the case to mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.
    • Front Line FacesThere's a second epidemic brewing amidst the chaos of Covid-19: a looming avalanche of mental health problems.

SISTERHOOD

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VISIT THE SISTERHOOD.

Sennheiser
"What?"
2 mins 10s
18 May 2020

This slick communication for Sennheiser suggests style and substance can, on occasion, coexist quite comfortably. A focus on corporate buzzwords will be familiar to many readers, while a noticeable commitment to the aesthetic side of things stops this feeling like a bog-standard company memo.

Ease of communication digitally is especially pressing in the current climate, and scenes of "Can you hear me now?" have never felt more relevant. This ad was shot before lockdown, but it retains plenty of value in a post social distancing world.

Slick transitions between scenes and a charismatic protagonist ensure this is engaging throughout, although the concept of luxury air travel now seems positively alien. Still, it's a confident reminder of the value of good quality audio equipment.


TD Bank
"Dancer From Home"
30s
18 May 2020

As Covid-19 continues to disrupt the financial sector, TD Bank urge customers to party like it’s 1992… and not for the first time, so to speak. Last year, the brand introduced a bank employee who bops to ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’ by Snap, and this 30” follow-up keeps the party going during lockdown.

Shot in actor Julian Rozzell Jr.’s home, the ad draws attention to online cheque deposits with lanky, early Nineties charm. The seemingly throwaway premise, meanwhile, speaks to a desire to celebrate any minor victory during the pandemic - whether that’s depositing a cheque or waking up at a reasonable hour.


PPE for Healthcare Workers
"Letter To My Unborn Child"
90s
21 May 2020

This extraordinarily impactful film supports frontline healthcare workers in their bid to force the government into providing badly needed PPE to help protect them against Covid-19.

Dr Meenal Viz and Dr Nishant Joshi are launching a legal challenge to the government's guidance because, contrary to the claims of Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock, the UK government has gone against World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance and failed to provide adequate PPE for the 'heroes' they applaud every Thursday evening.

The film takes the form of a message from Dr Viz to her unborn child. It unflinchingly describes the pandemic and the way it has affected the world, before focusing on the dangers faced by frontline healthcare workers who have consistently been expected to operate without adequate protection.

This is not an abstract danger... many healthcare workers have died in the UK and it is reasonable to assume that this is – in part – because of the government's failure to procure the required PPE.

Having claimed in March that, between pandemic preparation and measures put in place to cover the possibility of a no deal Brexit, there were sufficient stockpiles of PPE to cover all eventualities, our government has twisted and turned every which way in a desperate bid to deny culpability for the shortage.

This included the hurried decision on March 13 to remove Covid 19 from the High Consequence Infectious Diseases (HCID) list on the declared basis that its mortality rate was lower than had been previously thought.

In an edition of BBC's Panorama broadcast on 27 April, sources revealed to the programme makers that Covid-19 was removed from this list because it changed the legal obligation to provide PPE for those treating infected patients.

In our deranged modern politics, many of those who voted for both Brexit and for Boris Johnson's Conservatives at the election last December hide behind the idea that it simply wasn't possible to anticipate the severity of the pandemic. In reality, the UK's government squandered every opportunity to tackle the outbreak effectively, and thousands of people have paid for their ineptitude with their lives... including the healthcare workers whom Dr Viz and Dr Joshi are seeking to protect through their campaign.


Thank-You Care Takers
"Thank-You"
46s
18 May 2020

Let's level with each other, as adult citizens of the world with brains: clapping for the NHS and thanking them is a nice gesture, but it in no way compensates for the fact our health service has been defunded year on year by a government which doesn't seem to care... yet places the blame for failures readily at the NHS's door.

DAVID nearly combusts with frustration every night at 8pm when people set off fireworks to praise the NHS, while front line health workers ask people to please stop calling them heroes and actually make corporations pay taxes so 90 year olds don't get celebrated for tottering out miles for something that shouldn't be a charity.

It's extremely tempting to call those required to work right now heroic. That's the national narrative. And in that spirit this film is lovely and deeply emotive - even under normal circumstances - and outside of its quality of production (which is very high) it raises profound questions about whose stories are told.

Shots of current health workers and vintage footage of doctors and nurses change the tone, however. It's poignant and emotive. One can only hope that the more real-life footage of health workers is shown to the public, the more the 'hero' narrative can be destroyed and real funding can begin.


Short Films
"A Taste of Home"
3 mins 20s
18 May 2020

This warm, eloquent short film by director Libby Burke Wilde sheds light on Blackpool’s Syrian community, and the importance of food to those forced to leave their homeland. Much has been left behind, but recipes travel.

The proud cast - despite pining for their “land of paradise” back in Western Asia - are determined to ensure dishes like fattah, yabrak, and tabbouleh thrive on the Lancashire coast and beyond. What’s more, they want to share their culinary zeal with others.

It’s a refreshing (and appetising) twist on the refugee narrative. As one interviewee puts it, “We are not coming here just to sit at home and close the door”. Instead, they want to open people’s eyes to Syrian cuisine.


QUICK SEARCH

Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

Empathy Test
"Monsters"
4 mins 03s
26 May 2020
This intriguing promo for electronica outfit Empathy Test's latest track 'Monsters' deals out arousal and disgust in equal measure. As beautiful as it is disturbing, it shows both emotions as two sides of the same coin - as a couple in an underground car park are waylaid by a mysterious, cloaked dancer.

J P Cooper
"Little Bit of Love"
3 mins 30s
26 May 2020
Amidst the rancour of Cummings-gate and Donald Trump versus social media comes this extraordinary revelation from JP Cooper: “Sometimes everybody needs a little bit of love.” Well, ‘extraordinary’ is pushing it somewhat - we reckon every singer-songwriter in existence has come to the same conclusion over the years.

Håkan Hellström
"All Dreams Are Fulfilled"
5 mins 15s
26 May 2020
Håkan Hellström’s ‘All Dreams Are Fulfilled’ has more than a hint of ‘My Generation’ about it, but the track plays second fiddle to Fillip Nilsson’s quirky promo. Shot in Gothenburg’s Ullevi stadium after hours, the piece sees Hellström one-up David Attenborough by playing drums with a proboscis monkey. Well, sort of.

Amy Gardner
"Blood Echoes"
4 mins 41s
18 May 2020
Over two hundred years after the Bolshoi Theatre opened its doors in 1776, Gabe Stone Shayer became the first black dancer to graduate from its prestigious ballet school. This nimbly atmospheric short film captures Philadelphia-born Shayer in full flow, demonstrating why he caught the Moscow dance elite’s eye in the first place.

Bree Runway
"Damn Daniel"
3 mins
17 May 2020
The rise of the so-called quarantine special continues with this lo-fi Bree Runway promo. Filled to the brim with CRT televisions, leg warmers, and leopard print unitards, this is undeniably an Eighties fever dream. However, there is little to differentiate Runway’s affectionate romp from other VHS-era throwbacks.

AIGEL
"You're Born"
3 mins 24s
15 May 2020
The Fountain of Youth receives an ice-cold makeover in this promo for Russian beatmakers AIGEL. Shot by Latvian director Andzej Gavriss, the film depicts a middle-aged statesman who travels deep into the frozen wilderness in order to defy both nature and political term limits. Well, at least he’s got the Russian Orthodox Chruch’s approval.

Little Mix
"Break Up Song"
3 mins 36s
17 May 2020
This mixed media promo for Little Mix's thoughtfully titled 'Break Up Song' shows there's still plenty of creativity to be found in quarantine. Tactile animation sees Jesy Nelson, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards transformed into textile TV presenters, sparking the group's unique interpretation of classic morning show tropes.

Glass Animals
"Dreamland"
4 mins 44s
15 May 2020
Needs must during a lockdown... especially when you have a music video to make. Take Colin Read, for example, who was scheduled to film a promo with indie rock band Glass Animals. Suffice to say, social distancing threw a spanner in the works. Pulse Films’ new signing refused to let public health measures get in the way of a shoot, however.

Mark Ronson
"I Want to See... (Ft Raissa)"
3 mins 02s
17 May 2020
Lockdown has made producer and DJ Mark Ronson curious about what nighttime looks like around the world. Each to his own, we guess. Keen to satisfy Ronson’s curiosity are his equally stir-crazy fans, who contribute fetching shots of thunderstorms, nocturnal animals, and red skies at morning for director Jamie-James Medina's ad hoc promo.

Daði Freyr
"Think About Things"
4 mins 05s
17 May 2020
With Eurovision understandably on hold this year, it's heartening to see that Iceland's entry 'Think About Things' is still getting the attention it deserves. The catchy track from Daði Freyr has become a viral sensation over the past few weeks, with many fans uploading their own versions of this amusing music promo.

Little Big
"Uno"
3 mins 13s
17 May 2020
Russian rave band Little Big prove an ideal fit for the Eurovision Song Contest, as this loose-limbed promo for ‘Uno’ demonstrates. Visually, members Ilya Prusikin, Sonya Tayurskaya, Anton Lissov, and Sergey Makarov evoke Eurovision circa 1974, but the track is very much its own beast.

A Kind of Man
"A Kind of Man"
4 mins 50s
5 May 2020
This double promo for Danish artist A Kind of Man takes an odd turn in part two, as a father comes to terms with his son’s growing independence. Director Meeto’s slow-burning relationship drama culminates in a surprisingly paranormal final act, which is more confounding than cathartic. It sure is pretty though.

A Kind of Man
"Flip"
4 mins 03s
5 May 2020
Director Meeto delivers a one-two punch for compatriot A Kind of Man, starting with this dreamlike promo about a timid young man and his tough guy dad. Flitting between their high-rise flat and a forest clearing, the film offers a tactile, engaging portrait of masculinity as father encourages son to both toughen up and loosen up.

Arlo Parks
"Black Dog"
4 mins 02s
5 May 2020
This atmospheric promo for Arlo Parks's latest track 'Black Dog' offers a nuanced take on depression. It feels particularly relevant right now - as lockdown conditions are practically a recipe for poor mental health - and this film takes a soft tone as it bears witness to the various ways depression can rear its ugly head.

Mel Giedroyc
"Non Vedo L'Ora"
3 mins 10s
5 May 2020
One of fourteen entries to comedian Tom Taylor’s Isolation Song Contest, this inspired effort by Mel Giedroyc (aka Melania) turns lockdown into a cheesy pop melodrama. Caked to the nines in fake tan, Giedroyc’s Italian diva is forced to raid the cleaning cupboard… all because her “selfish cow” of a maid is unavailable.

Abba
"The Day Before You Came"
6 mins 41s
5 May 2020
It was only a matter of time before the lockdown was immortalised in Lego brick form, but we didn’t expect it to sound like this. Scored by Abba’s ‘The Day Before You Came’, director Will Gould’s stop-motion animation condenses nearly two months of lockdown into six heart-rending minutes. Swedish pop meets child's play.

Monsta X
"You Can’t Hold My Heart"
3 mins 01s
5 May 2020
K-pop group Monsta X defy both gravity in this promo for latest single 'You Can't Hold My Heart'. The minimalist film focuses on members Shownu, Kihyun, Minhyuk, Hyungwon, Joohoney and I.M., depicting them in a mysterious red world as they float through the air or walk on the ceiling. At least, if there even is a ceiling.

Polo G
"DND"
2 mins 48s
4 May 2020
This promo for rapper Polo G threatens to suck you in with its woozy aesthetic and fat stacks, but a disjointed narrative upsets the flow somewhat. Polo G’s lyrics keep you invested, however, as the Chicago-born artist relates gun violence in acute terms (“He tripped and fell, they stood over him and that .9 was dumpin'/Like taco night, we leave them shells sittin' inside your stomach”).

Zhavia Ward
"Waiting"
3 mins 21s
29 Apr 2020
This minimalist promo for Zhavia Ward's latest single 'Waiting' takes a stand against those who would rather hold the singer back. Directed by Andrew Sandler and Tusk, the black-and-white film sees Ward beset by masked haters, alternately free and restrained by turns as she stares down the barrel of the camera to address the naysayers.

Octavian
"Poison"
3 mins 12s
29 Apr 2020
There are shades of ‘The Matrix’ to this Octavian promo, as he and guest stars Santi and Obongjayar meet a pair of white-dreadlocked bouncers outside a club seemingly beyond our plane of existence. Entry requires an injection to the wrist, soundtracked by a granular, electronic scream. What greets them is a club night like no other.

Chaz Cardigan
"Not OK!"
3 mins 15s
26 Apr 2020
US up-and-comer Chaz Cardigan has decided to release a ‘quarantine edition’ of his latest single ‘Not OK!’, complete with a new, lo-fi promo. Unlike Cardigan’s gummy bear-filled original, director Will Kindrick’s film embraces the new normal and assembles a remote cast of dozens. The result is, well, more than OK.

Scribz Riley
"Eastside"
3 mins 43s
25 Apr 2020
Apart from some obvious gags about a lack of social distancing, this Scribz Riley promo initially inspires a sense of inner-city tranquility. As residents congregate below, Newham-born Riley floats in the sky before crashing onto the roof of his car. Try explaining explaining that to your insurance company in the morning.

blink-182
"Happy Days"
3 mins
26 Apr 2020
This sweet, user-generated promo for Blink-182's latest track 'Happy Days' looks to the venerable pop-punk group’s fans for inspiration. The diverse bunch are all in the same boat right now, and their respective performances of the song don't shy away from their current reality: hand sanitiser, masks, and video calls.

The Rolling Stones
"Living in a Ghost Town"
3 mins 59s
23 Apr 2020
After eight years of silence, the Rolling Stones prove there's life in the old dogs yet as they release new track 'Living in a Ghost Town'. While the group claim the song was written over a year ago, it's impossible to ignore the uncanny lyrical parallels with our current circumstances. The accompanying promo takes a look at deserted London through a new lens, as director Joe Connor gives what could be familiar visuals an impressively alien edge.

New Rules
"Pasta"
2 mins 58s
23 Apr 2020
At first glance, New Rules look like another cookie-cutter boy band. Scratch beneath the surface, however, and there’s a band seemingly in tune with their fan base’s hopes and fears. The Anglo-Irish trio’s website, for example, provides links to mental health charities and progressive Instagram feeds. Not just a bunch of pretty faces then.

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.