David Reviews

 It's the work, stupid.

Latest Work
    • NSFP (Not Safe For Plates)'Food porn' takes on a whole new meaning in this ribald short film from Seed Animation.
    • The Man in ChargeITV explore character archetypes in an excellent new series of ads for their drama output.
    • Love at first sight.Adland's pantheon of bathrobe-clad blokes receives a new addition courtesy of this dulcet Wren commercial.
    • 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.

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.


New York Times
"The Truth Is Worth It: Resolve"
2 mins
16 January 2019

This excellent ad for the New York Times follows in the footsteps of previous films, including the hard-hitting Rigour, but its length enables us to appreciate in full the sheer effort that goes into producing a story.

It focuses on the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya. A journalist who manages to get into Myanmar is closely chaperoned and fed the government's line, but manages to hear the truth through their ingenuity and perseverance.

The use of the supers are everything. Spare and economic, they demonstrate exactly how the articles come about... and evoke the danger that accompanies them. An affecting reminder of journalistic integrity in a world of 'fake news'.


Gillette
"We Believe"
1 min 50s
15 January 2019

Such are the times we live in that Gillette has received significant backlash for its new slogan, swapping ‘The best a man can get' for 'The best a man can be'. One might think that espousing such virtues as not bullying or assaulting others would be beyond reproach... but here we are.

Even in this dark and significantly strange era, this film provides a glimmer of hope. Emphasising the power men have to stand up and be counted, it reminds them that history - in the form of their sons - is watching and learning from their actions.

Director Kim Gehrig handles the material skilfully here, cutting through abrasive rhetoric about 'witch hunts' and 'fake news' to frame positive action as the simple, smart choice. If men call each other out on their bad behaviour, the film posits, then perhaps said behaviour will stop... imagine that.


Babbel
"Alien Problems"
30s
15 January 2019

A welcome return for Babbel's resident spokes-alien finds Alexi in a spot of bother: he can't imagine learning a new language quickly enough to greet the neighbours or regale dinner party guests with a droll anecdote.

Crippled by uncertainty, the tongue-tied being seems doomed to a misunderstood spell on Earth - and fewer occasions to wear his party threads. That's where the advertised learning app comes in.

The brand suggests anyone - even those with sharp teeth and elongated craniums - can boost their language skills via fifteen-minute lessons. Thanks to the ad's charming set-up and character design, this feature should prompt further investigation.


Bosch
"Like a Bosch"
75s
15 January 2019

Bosch breathe new life into an old meme with this entertaining ad, which draws attention to their range of integrated smart products. From controlling the heating from his phone to turning the oven off and on remotely, the portagenist promises to carry out his daily tasks - you guessed it - "like a Bosch".

It's a canny pop culture reference, given that those entertained by Saturday Night Live's 'Like a Boss' the first time around are likely to have now hit the life stage of buying lasting products for the home - even if some of those depicted here aren't actually available yet.

While much tamer than the original (no castration or, erm, fish frolicking here), Biscuit Filmworks director Andreas Nilsson includes the gags come thick and fast, including some pleasantly surreal moments like rabbit fist bumps and random sit-ups.


Alan Friel joins Dark Energy.

Dark Energy's ongoing talent search has now led them to seasoned filmmaker Alan Friel.

A commercials director and maker of short films by trade, the Irishman remains committed to the art of what he calls "storytelling and make-believe" after a string of high-profile ad campaigns and acclaimed side projects.


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Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

Swindle
"Coming Home (ft. Kojey Radical)"
4 mins 37s
17 Jan 2019
Record producer and jazzophile Swindle enlists rapper Kojey Radical and a full brass brand for his latest track, ‘Coming Home'. Darting between rap and spoken word, Radical (real name Kwadwo Adu Genfi Amponsah) further proves his versatility in the accompanying promo. Modern theatre with a brass finish.

Beirut
"Landslide"
3 mins 44s
17 Jan 2019
American rockers Beirut go medieval in this promo for latest single 'Landslide', in which fantasy and reality mingle... perhaps. The action centres on a lost knight, whose quest to save a damsel in distress doesn't quite go as planned. The track's steady chug complements the rustic visuals - and the horse's aloof performance is particularly impressive.

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.

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.