David Reviews

 It's the work, stupid.

Latest Work
    • Noah Harris's Agile move.Noah Harris has joined Agile Films, so we had a chat about it.
    • Message in a BottlePlastic Free Pledge offer a darkly comic slant on saving the planet with this Tony Burke-directed short film.
    • It all goes downhill from here.Red Bull's latest high-caffeine outing sees World Rally Championship driver Dani Sordo and mountain biker Andreu Lacondeguy navigate Portugal's Lousã Bike Park in a one-on-one race.
    • Private PartyThis quirky blend of live action and animation draws attention to Gemfields's commitment to responsibly sourced coloured gemstones.
    • Sin it to win it.Sin is in, if this latest promo for Amazon Prime is to be believed.
    • Nova Dando lands at RSA Films.Commercial and promo director Nova Dando has joined RSA Films for representation.
    • Mounting concern.These ‘Great Tastes of the World' ads work best when there is an element of light-hearted sadism, and this 30" helping set in the Swiss Alps delivers just that.
    • The value of giving it to us straight.A brilliant feature of Barclays' banking ap, brilliantly conveyed.
    • Bigger is BetterSize does matter, according to this entertaining ad for Apple.
    • No more limits.The cast of this Barbie commercial want a word with those out to stymie their full potential.
    • Homespun Yarns screening party.Homespun Yarns have picked Central London nightspot Fabric to host their fifth anniversary shindig on Thursday 18th October.
    • Kicking up a Stink about new talent.Stink Films believe they have set a new standard for championing fresh talent as they unveil their latest venture, Stink Rising - a handpicked roster of promising young directors.
    • A touching performance.This film for Berlei from Australia reminds women of the importance of self-examination.
    • Run with it.David Shane once again demonstrates a fantastic mastery of the 30" commercial in this lovely film for Snickers running during the NFL ad breaks on US television.



Has anyone said we're wrong about awards?


Literally no one.


So, everyone agrees with us?


I expect so.


And they'll stop entering awards?


Almost certainly.


What do you think they'll do with the money they save?


I expect they'll buy unicorns.


Unicorns?! Oh, I've got you.

"Close the Dream Gap"
10 October 2018

Director Karen Cunningham's latest outing for Barbie doesn't even feature the eponymous fashion doll. Instead, a cast of young girls take centre stage… and they want a word with those out to stymie their full potential.

Disarming yet incisive, the youngsters call out parents who believe there are only gifted sons, not daughters; who glance over scientific toys without a moment's thought; and who generally offer little encouragement to explore not what should be done, but what can be done.

Also drawing siblings and employers into the equation, the cast demand a change in perspective. Leavened by the warmth of the performances, it's the latest progressive gambit from a brand which continue to lean to towards empowerment rather than playtime.

Homespun Yarns screening party.

Homespun Yarns have picked Central London nightspot Fabric to host their fifth anniversary shindig on Thursday 18th October.

The nightclub's typical EDM soundtrack will be temporarily muted to let this year's finalists - Stroma Cairns, Daniel McKee, Steve Moss, and creative trio Matt Wood, Tom Loveless, and Billy Stickley - strut their stuff.


Kicking up a Stink about new talent.

Stink Films believe they have set a new standard for championing fresh talent as they unveil their latest venture, Stink Rising - a handpicked roster of promising young directors.

Stink's Head of Global Talent, Blake Powell, kept his ears to the ground for up-and-coming talent and he believes the effort will soon pay off: "Stink Rising launches with ten filmmakers from around the world who we believe, given the right support and exposure, will be leading creativity in advertising and entertainment in years to come".


"Serena Williams"
2 mins
9 October 2018

Fresh from the controversy of the US Open Final, Serena Williams lends her voice to this touching tribute to Divinyls singer Chrissy Amphlett who died of breast cancer in 2013.

Subverting 'I Touch Myself' - Amphlett's band's most famous track - to remind women of the importance of self-examination could have been quite crass with the wrong treatment but this has been exceptionally well done.

Serena Williams's autotuned vocal performance in a souped-down version of the track provides an unexpected tenderness which is perfectly in keeping with its repurposed meaning. Director Daniel Askill has shown a lot of restraint too... pulling back very gently to reveal that the tennis star with her arms crossed and her breasts in her hands. It's a striking image for an important message.

"Number One Fantasy"
8 October 2018

David Shane once again demonstrates a fantastic mastery of the 30" commercial in this lovely film for Snickers running during the NFL ad breaks on US television.

The performance is so good that you enjoy it even when you know the reveal. The key to this is the way the man muttering darkly about his number one fantasy gives no clue that this is a comic moment. Only when we see the faces of his friends do we realise the extent of the misunderstanding.

It's a great way of associating the confectionery with the sport while connecting to the established idea that 'you're not you when you're hungry'. (Though this particular fellow may need therapy as well as chocolate covered peanuts.)


Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

Grace Carter
"Why Her Not Me"
3 mins 53s
12 Oct 2018
Brighton-raised songstress Grace Carter goes for a loaded walk on the beach in this James Slater-directed promo for ‘Why Her Not Me'. Depicted as a child, a teenager, and an adult, Carter walks the exact same route through her hometown as she pursues familial catharsis. To describe the setting as a character may be trite, but it applies here.

You Me at Six
"Back Again"
3 mins 08s
9 Oct 2018
Pop-tinged rockers You Me at Six reveal a hitherto unknown appreciation for ‘The Big Lebowski' in this video for ‘Back Again'. Set in Harringay's Rowans bowling alley, the promo sees bandmates Josh, Chris, Max, Matt, and Dan cosplay as some of the film's key players. Three-and-a-bit minutes of cinematic mirth.

Jon Hopkins
"Feel First Life"
5 mins 01s
9 Oct 2018
Maybe Jon Hopkins has a killer instinct for choosing the right people to make his promos, or maybe his music just inspires them to an extraordinary degree. Either way, we can't remember the last time we saw a video for one of his releases that didn't send tingles down our spines. And Elliot Dear's clip for 'Feel First Life' - another track from latest album 'Singularity' - doesn't buck the trend.

Billie Eilish
3 mins 54s
10 Oct 2018
The slow smoulder of 'Hostage' is complemented by Henry Schofield's minimalist promo. In a white room, a young woman dreams of keeping her guy close at all times; she would crawl into his veins if she could. This young woman - Californian singer-songwriter Billy Eilish - is only 16, but she already has an accomplished pop album out, and her self-assurance is beautifully demonstrated here.

"New Day (ft. Jack O'Rourke)"
3 mins 39s
8 Oct 2018
The latest track for Irish DJ, producer and musician Kormac (who looks like a healthier Bez) comes with an astonishing promo by William Armstrong. The clip is the third in the Made By Music series from Three, and is by turns deeply poignant and nailbitingly daring.

The Breeders
3 mins 39s
2 Oct 2018
Ah, The Breeders. Critically acclaimed and commercially underrated since 1990 when they released their debut 'Pod'. This year's album, 'All Nerve', is their first for a decade - but there's nothing rusty about it. Kim Deal and Tanya Donnelly sound as fresh and deliciously unsettling as ever. Plus there's a bonus: the latest song from the album comes with a promo by Richard Ayoade.

Big Zuu
"Fall Off (ft JME)"
3 mins 32s
3 Oct 2018
Rising grime MC Big Zuu is fast establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with. New release 'Fall Off' is typically energetic and insanely busy, with an old-school video game undercurrent that director Harry Cauty has smartly picked up on. Using Street Fighter-style scenes in clunky boxes, Cauty has Big Zuu solidly jogging through urban vistas while fellow grime MC JME towers above the buildings behind him... good fun.

4 mins 23s
2 Oct 2018
One of the better songs from Beck's strangely underwhelming album 'Colours', the title track comes alive in an all-singing, all-dancing way - literally - thanks to Edgar Wright's extraordinary promo. It's a kind of big ol' Busby-Berkeley-style production... but with some notable differences. Not least the bodysuited chorus line flanking Beck and GLOW actor Alison Brie as they play air guitar and phantom trombone.

"Thoughts of Us"
3 mins 27s
1 Oct 2018
LOLÉ aka Lauren Vietro's pensive wail on ‘Thoughts of Us' receives an atmospheric promo courtesy of director Rich Hall. Flitting between crimson haze and natural phenomena, Hall's video keeps viewers on their toes as debutant LOLÉ's rumination on a doomed relationship gathers pace. A cryptic, multi-hued fever dream.

3 mins 19s
27 Sep 2018
The video for Plested's 'Ribcage' picks up where 'Backup Plan' left off. The young man's ballet teacher knows his focus is elsewhere as he struggles not to be provoked by his hostile boss - who seems to take his aggression out on his daughter. These are assumptions on our part because the narrative is impressionistic rather than overt, and this restraint gives the pair of promos a grown-up subtlety.

"Backup Plan"
2 mins 48s
27 Sep 2018
Daniel Alexander Harris has created a love story in two halves for singles 'Back-Up Plan' and 'Ribcage' by the unusually-named singer songwriter Plested. In this opener, a young man who works part-time in the tense atmosphere of a family-run cafe lets off steam by honing his ballet skills. There is an attraction between him and the daughter of the cafe's owner... where will it go?

2 mins 54s
20 Sep 2018
Gorillaz perform another cut from their 2018 studio album ‘The Now Now' in this tie-dyed promo. Occupying directors Jamie Hewitt and Nicos Livesey's psychedelic void, the animated group - sans fugitive bassist Murdoc - riff on overindulgence with a mellow dopamine hit, turning Saturday night excess into a bouncy electro number.

"Mary Don't You Weep"
6 mins 41s
19 Sep 2018
Death is only the beginning if you're a popular musician, it seems. Elvis, Aaliyah, Michael Jackson… countless acts have, er, seen their work released posthumously, regardless of whether it's finished or not. Now it's Prince's turn to make a late tilt at chart success with ‘Piano and a Microphone 1983' and its first single.

Jon Hopkins
5 mins 23s
18 Sep 2018
The title track of Jon Hopkins's first album since his acclaimed breakthrough - 'Immunity' - back in 2013, 'Singularity' demonstrates what a monumental talent he is in the field of electronic music. And what a pleasure it is to watch the promo Seb Edwards has made for this track: a spellbinding tour de force of visual trickery and caprice.

Calvin Harris / Sam Smith
4 mins 05s
18 Sep 2018
Sam Smith's new joint release with Calvin Harris draws from the intriguing subculture of voguing. Having originated in the Harlem ballroom scene of the 1980s, the exuberant dance is performed here by a colourful cast of characters, each with their own unique style... and all far more interesting than Smith himself.

"What Have You Done"
3 mins 34s
18 Sep 2018
Director Femi Ladi brings KWAYE's heritage to the fore in this dance promo for 'What Have You Done'. The clip comprises three distinct looks referencing key points in African history - slavery, the emergence of black funk and hiphop, and the mass migration fashions of the '40s and '60s. In Ladi's words, it's about rediscovering identity; and it's a neat showcase for the singer-songwriter's performance skills.

Ben Chatwin
3 mins 43s
18 Sep 2018
Ben Chatwin's thoughtful exploration of the natural versus the manmade is brought to life in Zak Emerson's promo for 'Knots'. Taken from the album 'Staccato Signals' - a title referring to those flashes of inspiration that make a creation greater than the sum of its parts - the track is mesmeric, and Emerson delivers a fitting vision that's half steely monochrome and half glistening, visceral flesh.

Born Dirty
"Get Up Get Out (ft. jstlbby)"
3 mins 36s
16 Sep 2018
The artist formerly known as DJ/producer Son of Kick, Born Dirty fuses hiphop, house, techno and Afro Beats - to name but a few influences - into big ol' club choons. 'Get Up Get Out' is an insanely catchy example, and director Matt Devine's promo observes that being of pensionable age is no barrier to belting out a banger... even if it means enlisting the help of a vintage tape recorder.

"Nina Cried Power"
3 mins 55s
13 Sep 2018
Hozier has returned from his jaunt in the woods - or wherever he goes when he's not making music - with a new EP of powerful songs. Eponymous track 'Nina Cried Power' is a love letter to activism, paying tribute to the figures of protest who have paved the way for the current generation's political engagement.

2 mins 55s
13 Sep 2018
Irish beat maker Talos's latest track ‘Seance' receives a suitably mysterious promo courtesy of director Niall O'Brien. As Talos - aka Eoin French - conjures an ethereal soundscape, his compatriot weaves an uncanny tale of suburban intrigue which juxtaposes moments of repose with distressing acts of violence.

Bishop Briggs
3 mins 14s
10 Sep 2018
Search for Bishop Briggs online and you may be directed to a town outside Glasgow. That's because the London-based singer (otherwise known as Sarah Grace McLaughlin) chose her parents' hometown as her stage name. While her moniker finds comfort in familiarity, this promo for Briggs's latest release is a work of psychedelic escapism.

Paul McCartney
"Fuh You"
4 mins 09s
12 Sep 2018
Paul McCartney just keeps on truckin' - this, believe it or not, is the third single from his latest album. The track puts McCartney squarely in dirty old man territory, as he fudges a word to sing about how he wants to "fuh" someone. The promo itself is lovely - a black and white clip which follows a jubilant teenage boy as he wanders the streets of Liverpool after a date.

"Black Rose"
4 mins 20s
11 Sep 2018
Acclaimed grime MC Ghetts brings his own spin on the issue of colour and casual racism - pointing out that it doesn't just radiate from the white community but from the black community itself, specifically from black men towards black women. The promo by Netti Hurley with its framed glimpses of family life subtly illuminates his words.

Amber Olivier
"One Unread"
3 mins 30s
10 Sep 2018
Savannah Setten directs this promo for R&B singer Amber Olivier. The track's dreaminess belies the truth that Olivier - immaculate in the searing heat of the desert - is raking over the ashes of a love gone cold. The object of her erstwhile affection appears like a vision, and a tree in the background bursts into flame as desire ignites inside her... only to remain unfulfilled.

3 mins 30s
10 Sep 2018
This gritty offering from Kenzie makes for a cryptic watch. Directed by Camille Summers-Valli, the promo accompanying 'Funeral' cuts quickly between rainy streets, odd camera angles, and unexpected flashes of urban decay. The result is an intriguing visual collage, intimate even as it distances the viewer with usually composed shots.

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.