David Reviews

 It's the work, stupid.

Latest Work
    • Doesn't time fly?This Jonathan Glazer-directed Apple commercial features a vertiginous lead performance.
    • In for a PennyAddiction charity GambleAware draw attention to 'bet regret' in this engaging commercial directed by Chris Palmer.
    • Papaya double their pleasure.Directors Nicolas Caicoya and Willem Gerritsen are the latest to join Papaya's London roster for commercial representation.
    • Tech off.Surrey-based Caterham Cars celebrate the art of the donut in this 40" ad directed by Wriggles and Robins.
    • Power to the PeopleThis powerful short film from Brent Foster highlights the story of the women of Korogocho, Kenya.
    • Face to FaceThere's a lesson about manners in this amiable commercial for McDonald's.
    • Mum's the word.This taut short film sees a mute teenager drawn into an uneasy alliance with a local tearaway with devastating consequences
    • How many hurricanes?Ford's latest ‘The Beauty of Change' ad sees a new wave of biomechanical butterflies take flight.
    • Swords at the ready.This kinetic Adidas documentary introduces Warsaw's Swords running club.
    • Willing gifts.This compilation of testimonies from people whose lives have been affected by cancer builds in momentum towards a moving crescendo.
    • Everything to lose.Parental paranoia is the order of the day in this hard-hitting American commercial for Subaru.

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GambleAware
"Bet Regret"
30s
21 February 2019

Addiction charity GambleAware draw attention to 'bet regret' in this engaging commercial directed by Chris Palmer. Football commentary takes on a different meaning when the likes of Matt Smith and Dean Saunders turn their punditry skills on a supporter - especially when he's displaying signs of unhealthy gambling.

By addressing the sunk-cost fallacy head on - in addition to highlighting the worrying behaviour of lying to a partner in order to conceal a bet - the protagonist finds himself speechless when confronted on the touchline. It's a forthright approach - one which seems likely to hit home for the target audience.


Papaya double their pleasure.

Directors Nicolas Caicoya and Willem Gerritsen are the latest to join Papaya's London roster for commercial representation.

Hailing from Spain and the Netherlands respectively, Caicoya and Gerritsen caught Papaya HQ's eye with their extensive TVC reels, storytelling abilities, and collaborative instincts. Read on for more about the company's newest recruits…


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Caterham Cars
"Test Drive"
40s
21 February 2019

Surrey-based Caterham Cars celebrate the art of the donut in this 40" ad directed by Wriggles and Robins. Unencumbered by pesky countermeasures found in everyday vehicles, the lightweight sports car maker banishes inhibitions in a cloud of smoke and exhaust flames as the car spins three-hundred-and-sixty degrees.

This boy racer manoeuvre is granted extra nobility by a classical soundtrack, which competes with some fine-tuned engine noises for the viewer's attention. Punctuated by a tongue-in-cheek camera fail at end, it's a neat distillation of the brand's values as it targets those who get their kicks from smoking tyres.


Short Films
"Enough: The Empowered Women of Korogocho"
7 mins 40s
20 February 2019

This powerful short film from Brent Foster highlights the story of the women of Korogocho, Kenya. Director Foster's background as a photojournalist serves the material well here, as main subject Beatrice explains the women's dire circumstances - being under constant threat of assault - and the decision to fight back.

Her quiet dignity shines through the documentary visuals, allowing the viewer to viscerally experience what a seismic change self-defence training has brought to the community. With storytelling as bold as Beatrice herself, plus an atmospheric soundtrack and painterly grade, it makes for an absorbing watch.


McDonald's
"Interview"
30s
19 February 2019

There's a piece of popular wisdom which says one should be careful talking to anyone on the way to a job interview, as hiring managers may ask the secretary or cleaner what a candidate is like away from their assessing eyes. Such advice is updated for the modern era in this McDonald's commercial, which sees a young man gracefully cede his turn at the menu screen.

While the reveal is unlikely to shock, it's slickly executed and offers a valuable lesson on manners for jobseekers: a McMuffin might help kill pre-interview hunger pangs, but it's best to be polite while getting it - you never know who might be next in line.


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Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

San Zhi
"Give It Up"
3 mins 53s
21 Feb 2019
Life and death define the Indian city of Varanasi, with its raft of funeral pyres on the banks of the Ganges river. This burning tradition forms the meat of director Antoine Levi's promo for San Zhi's ‘Give It Up', as locals prepare for another solemn cremation. Levi and DP Romain Alary deliver crisp, monochrome visuals as flames lick the screen and participants gaze into the camera lens.

Ray Blk
"Paradise"
4 mins 54s
20 Feb 2019
This black-and-white promo for Ray BLK's ‘Paradise' sees the Nigerian-born musician pay tribute to a lost friend, as the residents of a council estate slowly form an appreciative audience. Ray (aka Rita Ekwere) and her band are hard to miss, each clad in white against inauspicious surroundings. Monochrome remembrance with plenty of heart.

Barny Fletcher
"Christ Flow"
2 mins 14s
19 Feb 2019
Barny Fletcher's rap track 'Christ Flow' bubbles with that barely-contained, feelgood frenzy last heard in the '90s after Madchester exploded. So it's a delight that Taichi Kimura's brilliantly energetic promo captures the mood and then some; shooting on a budget in a tiny Asian supermarket which miraculously stays intact despite Fletcher's flailing limbs and some insane trolley-dashing.

C Duncan
"Impossible"
3 mins 34s
13 Feb 2019
The Hilton Birmingham Metropole may not the most glamorous destination, but for those participating in the annual European Elvis Championships, it's the West Midlands' answer to Las Vegas. This endearing C Duncan promo from director Eoin Glaister charts the trial and tribulations of one would-be Presley as he endures stage fright, quiff envy, and a wardrobe emergency.

Mahalia
"Do Not Disturb"
3 mins 55s
11 Feb 2019
KLVDR's second promo for Mahalia is a polished performance clip that highlights her poise and charisma. Set mainly in a shadowy pool room, there's not a great deal of action - just the singer reflecting on a doomed romance - but the simplicity of it all is spot on. Lovely cinematography by David Wright, while Cheat's Joseph Bicknall brings a terrific warmth and richness to the grading.

Lewis Capaldi
"Someone You Loved"
3 mins 55s
11 Feb 2019
So we see the surname and we can't resist googling: is Lewis related to Peter? Very distantly, it turns out, yes. But that doesn't diminish the surprise of seeing Dr Who / Malcolm Tucker standing on a rural train platform at the start of Phil Beastall's promo for the younger Capaldi's single. What unfolds from there is a classic story of love, loss, and a new lease of life.

Chemical Brothers
"Got To Keep On"
3 mins 07s
7 Feb 2019
Taken from 'No Geography' - the new Chemical Brothers album dropping in April - Got To Keep On is a disco-infused banger whose infectious beat compensates for its overall lack of complexity. Sibling directors Michel and Olivier Gondry enhance the track's retro vibe with a group of dancers grooving and shimmying... before morphing them into a gloop of milky one-ness.

YGT
"Sinking Ship"
3 mins 46s
6 Feb 2019
This beguiling promo for Slovenian beatmakers YGT (Your Gay Thoughts) evokes some of gaming's foremost 'god simulators' such as Populous and Black & White. Riffing on the genre's world-building (and destroying) possibilities, director Sam Mason unleashes a pair of giant blue hands on a mythical, computer-generated realm.

Fredo
"All I Ever Wanted (ft. Dave)"
4 mins 32s
5 Feb 2019
Fredo may sound more like a Godfather character than a West London rapper, but he's already making waves with his hard-boiled sound. This KLVDR-directed promo for ‘All I Ever Wanted' draws on the rapper's upbringing on Westminster's Mozart Estate, as well as the realities facing teenagers on its unforgiving streets.

Maribou State
"Kingdom"
3 mins 15s
4 Feb 2019
Clever use of vintage film footage ensures this Maribou State promo catches the eye, as well as satisfying fans of Americana and psychedelic flower arrangements. Like a mixed-media trip through time and space, director David Horsburgh's piece finds ten-pin-bowlers in orbit and divers leaping into craters, among other curious sights.

Benjamin Earl Turner
"Ja Rule"
3 mins 12s
31 Jan 2019
Director Abteen Bagheri has come up with an inventive promo for unsigned rapper Benjamin Earl Turner. Shot entirely on iPhones, it's filmed around Turner's home town of Detroit and features him performing a whole bunch of oddball stunts ranging from sitting in a digger to flapping about in a wheat field in a mac. Great vibe of energy and spontaneity.

Vince Staples
"FUN!"
2 mins 18s
31 Jan 2019
Ever wondered what would happen if a music video director hijacked Google Maps for their own ends? Well, Calmatic's tricksy new promo for Vince Staples may be right up your alley. Shot from the perspective of one of Google's roving cameras, the two-minute clip captures all manner of street-level antics.

Sam Fender
"Play God"
4 mins 31s
30 Jan 2019
Sam Fender may be only 22, but he has an old head on his young shoulders. His track 'Play God' - inspired by Orwell's 1984 - taps into the anxiety that today's surveilled society is more about manipulation and exploitation than safety; and does it compellingly. Equally compelling is Vince Haycock's promo. This grainy monochrome clip presents a world packed with all our dystopian paranoias, haunting and unsettling.

Rudimental
"Scared of Love"
4 mins 05s
29 Jan 2019
Rudimental get meta in this promo for latest single 'Scared of Love'. Much like this 2016 promo for Young Thug, director Jamie-James Medina has created a film about how his original concept fell apart. A reflective, watchable take on the world of promo-making.

Nasser Baker
"Say Something"
3 mins 26s
29 Jan 2019
Director Mathilde Nocquet's playful spin on ‘Groundhog Day' sees a young man try (and fail) to seduce a fellow party guest. As luck would have it, he's caught in a temporal loop ala Bill Murray's weatherman Phil Connors. Progress is slow but steady, with Nocquet turning EDM artist Nasser Baker's refrain of "Go talk to her/Say something" into set dressing.

Sam Smith & Normani
"Dancing With A Stranger"
3 mins 14s
29 Jan 2019
Vaughan Arnell has delivered a classy promo for Sam Smith's duet with Normani. As he stands in the stark space of a classic modernist house reflecting on the object of his desire, now lost to him, Smith is dispassionately caressed by strangers; the ghosts of others he has since danced with instead. The focus then switches to the very beautiful Normani, who is in the same situation.

Adelphi Music Factory
"Javelin (Calling Out Your Name)"
3 mins 09s
28 Jan 2019
Beatmakers Adelphi Music Factory draw on their latest track's gospel roots for this pacy promo. A young drummer finds himself running late for rehearsal again and again, pounding the pavement to ‘Javelin''s house beat as he's inexorably drawn to the local church - occasionally managing to fit in a game of footy on the way. Appealing work from director Fanny Hoetzeneder.

Gary Clark, Jr.
"This Land"
6 mins 40s
28 Jan 2019
Arcade Fire, Gorillaz, and Janelle Monae are just some of the artists who've vented their musical spleen over Donald Trump's presidency, but few have done so as powerfully as Gary Clark Jr. The Texan guitarist's latest track, ‘This Land', is all buzzsaw riffs and biting lyrics, with director Savanah Leaf delivering an equally combustive promo.

Ritual
"Love Me Back (ft. Tove Styrke)"
3 mins 06s
25 Jan 2019
Directorial duo StyleWar has done a lovely job with Ritual's new single; bestowing on it the kind of cool it aspires to have. While a preoccupied boyf plays computer games his ennui-filled girl gets lost in her thoughts, which figuratively lead her through a maze. A lot of love has gone into this promo, with strong VFX and impressive set design.

Expensify
"Expensify This "
3 mins 51s
25 Jan 2019
Adam Scott draws on his 'Parks and Recreation' experience to play an accountant in this entertaining promo from the ever-classy 2 Chainz. Made in collaboration with the Expensify app, the film offers viewers the chance to scan embedded QR codes for the chance to win real money. The promo itself is gleefully over the top, celebrating conspicuous consumption at every turn.

Tom Walker
"Just You and I"
3 mins 32s
24 Jan 2019
Director Ollie Wolf can't bear to see his characters drift apart. For example, his 2017 promo for Fabich's ‘Hold On' saw a bloke cling to his ex by the leg; now this endearing piece for Tom Walker sees a man and a woman bound together by handcuffs. Sans key or a decent saw, Jess and Connor decide to make the best of this awkward union.

Rosalía
"De Aqui No Sales"
2 mins 56s
23 Jan 2019
Another edgy outing for Catalan artist Rosalia sees the singer return to familiar territory: slick choreography, unconventional styling, and buckets of attitude. A night-time setting and cryptic imagery - a man on fire, a swamp containing as many car parts as plants - make this promo hard to look away from, as Rosalia's soulful voice soars above it all.

Ex:Re
"The Dazzler"
4 mins 49s
23 Jan 2019
Ex:Re is the solo guise of Daughter frontwoman Elena Torena, and her latest track ‘The Dazzler' explores the "cheap thrills of hotels" with aching insight. Subject matter like this is a gift to any capable promo director, and filmmaking duo Iain & Jane have responded with an arresting vision of a late night breakdown.

The Killers
"Land of the Free"
4 mins 45s
22 Jan 2019
The Killers have returned with a politically-charged new single - 'Land of the Free'. As the title suggests, the track criticises the USA of 2019, touching on everything from mass incarceration to gun control. The lyrics themselves may not be groundbreaking, phrased in simple terms, but this is a situation where context matters.

Loyle Carner
"You Don't Know (ft. Rebel Kleff & Kiko Bun)"
4 mins 21s
21 Jan 2019
Family matters to Loyle Carner - in fact, this promo for ‘You Don't Know' stars the rapper's own mum, Jean, as she embarks on a series of hit-and-miss first dates. While she wines and dines with a cast of sweet talkers and spaghetti slurpers, son Loyle plays undercover wingman in a variety of guises. An oddly touching spin on the dating game from director Louis Bhose.

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.