David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • All the king's horses and all the king's men.Clarins gallop into the Christmas season with this festive animated commercial.
    • As Long as There's Light, We've Got a ChanceOn the eve of Episode IX release comes this adrenaline-fuelled Star Wars fan film: 'Origins'.
    • The padawan's progress.‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order' receives a spunky commercial courtesy of 215 McCann and director Garth Davis.
    • Fresh wounds.One of sixteen films produced for South Africa's 1st for Women Foundation, this gut-wrenching instalment draws attention to the rape and murder of 19-year-old student Uyinene Mrwetyana.
    • In the bag.It speaks volumes for the quality of the competition at this year's Homespun Yarns that this delightful film directed by Claire Norowzian didn't take the crown.
    • Horror triumph at Homespun Yarns.This short film by Jamie Gyngell was the winner of this year's Homespun Yarns competition.
    • Which election is the Labour Party trying to win?Which election is the Labour Party trying to win?
    • Get Brexit shunned.It's foolish to ignore the skill of this piece of Brexit Party propaganda but there are reasons to believe that it could prove completely counter-productive.
    • Far Beyond The StarsSportswear brand Vollebak create an entire futuristic universe in just sixty seconds in this intriguing commercial.
    • Mistletones and whine.We like to imagine The Fast Show's Louis Balfour would love a piece of Buck Friendly & the Mistletones.

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Aviator Gin
"The Gift That Doesn't Give Back"
30s
11 December 2019

Ryan Reynolds is no stranger to extended cinematic universes, so perhaps it's no surprise that he's created one in Adland for Aviation Gin. The now-infamous 'Peloton Woman' (played by Monica Ruiz) has been enlisted to reprise her much-maligned role... except this time, there's no exercise bike in sight.

It's a clever conceit, piggybaking on Peloton's viral fame as the woman sits shellshocked at a bar with friends - presumably having kicked her arse of a husband to the kerb. Very few words are spoken - all we need to know is communicated by the friends' concerned glances and liberal application of drink.

It feels like a satisfying rebuttal to the sexist undertones of the original commercial, in addition to getting in a mention of how smooth the gin drowning her sorrows is. Savvy work for Reynolds's fledgling brand.


Jon Hozier-Byrne signs to Russell Curran

Irish filmmaker Jon Hozier-Byrne has signed to Russell Curran's roster of directors.

The Dublin native taught film at University College Dublin before founding his own production company in 2014, and has since become an in-demand director of music promos and commercials alike - in addition to his debut short film premiering at Cannes.


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Conservative Party
"Love Actually"
3 mins 01s
11 December 2019

The more dangerously right-wing elements of society have discovered and fully embraced the power of the meme in the past few years. From Pepe the Frog to the Cheeto-in-Chief tweeting photoshopped pictures of himself as Thanos, what seems to be a joke is actually an insidious, calculated move. Look how harmless we are, it says, how could we possibly set out to cause any trouble?

So when the Conservative Party release this odious parody of Love Actually on the eve of the election, don't mistake it for anything other than what it is: an attempt to further meme-ify the image of a bumbling, civic-minded politician who just wants to, as he can't stop telling us, get Brexit done. Look at his fluffy hair, look at his terrible acting - how could he be a threat to this country?

Coming from a party who have lied (in 88% of their ads, no less), slandered, and demonstrated a level of empathy for people earning under £80,000 a year that Patrick Bateman would find appalling, this joyless effort to tug on the nostalgic heartstrings of Brits feels particularly slimy.

Johnson isn't a romantic hero, approaching the nation's door with humble intentions - he's a self-interested snake who would sell any of his innumerable children if it got him another inch of power. We've already seen what being underestimated did for his American equivalent, and it's vital that the same doesn't happen here. It's vital that he's told to take his signs and carols and fuck directly off into obscurity.

Enough now, Boris. You've done quite enough.


Thinkbox
"Tooth Fairy"
60s
11 December 2019

Mother's fun debut ad for TV marketing body Thinkbox extols the magic of advertising through a highly successful entrepreneur. Thinkbox being Thinkbox, however, this is no ordinary entrepreneur. Simply put, she's the Tooth Fairy.

Shot like a corporate video with extra fairy dust, the ad charts the Tooth Fairy's journey from a co-working space ("I was a bit of a one-woman outfit at first") to magazine covers and her own skyscrape... with the odd recruitment snafu along the way.

As expected, the film really gathers pace when the dentophile embarks on a TV ad campaign and gives the deliveries and collections sector an overdue kick up the jacksy. Who knew there was so much moolah in molars, eh?

Thinkbox's goal, of course, is to persuade more non-fictional brands to hit the airwaves. While it may not reach the same heights as Harvey the dog or 2009's hypnotherapy session, this 60" outing should give potential converts something to think about over the Christmas period.


Sebastien Guy walks into The Visionaries.

Actor-turned-director Sebastien Guy has joined The Visionaries for UK representation.

Having paid his dues as a commercial actor in Los Angeles, Guy switched to directing and hasn't looked back since. Thanks to a constant stream of commercials and even the odd feature film, Guy is as committed to working behind the camera as he was in front of it.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

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Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

Osh
"Lunch Money"
2 mins 56s
13 Dec 2019
Home is where the heart is, the old adage goes. For up-and-coming rapper Osh, home is Norbury, south-west London, and that's precisely where we find him in director Glenn Paton's upbeat promo for ‘Lunch Money'. Driven by a jaunty piano riff and Osh's assured vocals, it's a familiar but textured glimpse at favourite hang-outs and community spirit.

Lous and The Yakuza
"Tous est gore"
3 mins 03s
12 Dec 2019
Congolese-born singer Lous & The Yakuza insists "everything is gore", which might explain why a river of blood appears in director Wendy Morgan's uncanny promo. It's one of many striking images conjured up by Morgan and DP Joel Honeywell, who make the most of L&AY's stage presence and preternaturally long dreadlocks.

Plan B
"First Past the Post"
4 mins 41s
11 Dec 2019
There's a popular social media post which describes voting as public transport rather than marriage, getting you where you need to go instead of a lifetime commitment. Plan B breaks things down further in this inclusive, educational promo, explaining the UK's electoral system in terms everyone can understand.

Leif Vollebekk
"Blood Brother"
4 mins 25s
5 Dec 2019
They say you should never sit on the top deck of a bus on your own, but - as this likeable promo for Leif Vollebekk demonstrates - there is fun to be had on occasion. So it proves for one introverted passenger, who turns round to see the Canadian folk singer in the middle of performing his latest track, 'Blood Brother'.

Empara Mi
"What You Gunna Do"
3 mins 42s
5 Dec 2019
Death and rebirth lurk in the shadows of this dramatic music promo for Empara Mi's latest single. The Guernsey-born singer - real name Chloe Curran - awakes in a nightmarish, red-lit basement, chained and haunted by a flaming figure as a mysterious black substance begins to consume her from the inside out.

Sam Fender
"Saturday"
3 mins 17s
4 Dec 2019
Matt ‘Super Hans' King stars in this nimble promo for Sam Fender's ‘Saturday', wherein the Peep Show actor finds himself bumped from his headline slot down the local social club. However, it takes more than a cancelled gig to keep Dave Candle down. Compelled by the so-called Geordie Springsteen's new track, King's luckless comedian shimmies and sways across town "to cure the weekday blues"

Skinny Living
"No Messiah"
3 mins 09s
3 Dec 2019
Skinny Living's new single ‘No Messiah' does anything but deliver easy answers. With a voice brimming with soul and candour, frontman Ryan Johnston tries to comfort a broken spirit but admits he's no saviour ("You gotta save yourself/This is the only thing that I can't do for you"). This bittersweet truth is ably captured by director Charlotte Regan.

Koffee
"W"
4 mins 41s
29 Nov 2019
At one point in this stormy, community-minded promo for Jamaican rapper Koffee, a weatherman urges viewers to "sit tight as this is something we may not have seen before." What follows suggests that if money doesn't grow on trees, it may just fall from the sky instead. Rarely have adverse weather conditions been so lucrative.

Blackbear
"Hot Girl Bummer"
3 mins 09s
29 Nov 2019
"Fuck you, and you, and you, and you/ I hate your friends and they hate me too" are the optimistic opening lines of this lo-fi track from Blackbear. The accompanying visuals are both zesty and eclectic, showing the artist in a variety of incongruous surroundings, but everything is trying so hard to be edgy that we can't take the lovechild of Eminem and Soundcloud seriously.

Rina Sawayama
"STFU!"
6 mins 19s
26 Nov 2019
At one point in Rina Sawayama's bracing new single ‘STFU!', the Japanese-English singer asks: "Have you ever thought about taping your big mouth shut?" Right now it seems like an inordinate number of people could stand to follow Sawayama's advice. One such individual is Ben Ashenden's ignorant-cum-racist first date.

Easy Life
"Nice Guys"
3 mins 39s
20 Nov 2019
Leicester quintet Easy Life dabble in celibacy, retro-futurism, and political satire with this Greg Barth-directed promo for ‘Nice Guys'. As guests on sexual abstinence talk show Brick by Brick Purity, the band are expected to get with the programme… only for lead singer Murray Matravers to drop an f-bomb within a minute.

DJ Shadow
"Rocket Fuel"
3 mins 46s
18 Nov 2019
Director Sam Pilling's latest music video for DJ Shadow is a mischievous blend of archive footage and lunar fisticuffs that also features a cameo from the late Stanley Kubrick. Well, sort of. Like 2016's ‘Nobody Speak' promo, geopolitics is reduced to a good old-fashioned punch-up as the Apollo 11 ‘mission' unfolds on a film set.

Louis Tomlinson
"We Made It"
4 mins 11s
15 Nov 2019
Is Louis Tomlinson turning into a Liam Gallagher tribute act? This promo for new single ‘We Made It' certainly suggests so. Sporting a windbreaker in an amusement arcade, the erstwhile One Directioner keeps his hands in his pockets as if he's about to shake the coin pusher when no-one's looking. Very rock and roll.

JGrrey
"Dreaming Fool"
3 mins 34s
12 Nov 2019
This JGrrey promo may take place in a black void, but there's still enough to maintain viewers' interest. Minimalist set design and vivid lighting are the order of the day here, as the neo-soul singer and her crew smoke spliffs, writhe on car roofs, and kick back on the sofa as if in some form of purgatory. Judging by her lyrics - "I don't wanna wake up/If this is what dreams are made of" - this suits JGrrey just fine.

Prospa
"Control the Party"
4 mins 41s
8 Nov 2019
Prospa's militant club banger ‘Control the Party' receives an equally thumping promo courtesy of director Jak Payne, who certainly wears his influences on his sleeve. Riffing on sci-fi horror tropes and clandestine government experiments, Payne subjects the protagonist (model Alice Dellal) to a short, sharp stay in a remote facility.

Battles
"Fort Greene Park"
6 mins 11s
7 Nov 2019
There's a relentless sense of flow to this piece for Battles' 'Fort Greene Park'. The film has a hypnotic quality as it showcases unusual methods of transport: unicycles, scooters, and infinite skateboards are all present and accounted for. The track's electronic pulse gives the visuals a sci-fi vibe, making the whole affair feel like excerpts from a futuristic movie in which walking has become obsolete.

Bastille
"Another Place (ft. Alessia Cara)"
3 mins 37s
7 Nov 2019
This Bastille promo from director Anna Radchenko feels like a left-field B&Q commercial. As frontman Dan Smith offers such pearlers as "I could write a book about what you said to me on the pillow", he tries desperately to hold back the flood with duct tape in a lopsided apartment. It's vividly staged, and certainly puts any minor DIY mishap into context.

Jeff Buckley
"Sky Blue Skin"
5 mins 55s
5 Nov 2019
Jeff Buckley's ‘Sky Blue Skin' may not be the jolliest thing you'll hear in the coming weeks, but the accompanying promo from directors Temple Caché is a thoughtful, tactile look at a musician who died well before his time. Shot like a moving scrapbook, the piece combines archive footage, still photos, and dreamlike imagery to winsome effect.

Twin Atlantic
"Novocaine"
3 mins 55s
6 Nov 2019
Glasgow rockers Twin Atlantic return in style with a new single and a colourful promo to match. 'Novocaine' sees the group in contemplative mood, evoking feelings of synesthesia and fractured memories as they chase the lingering impressions of past loves down twisted, and often cryptic, rabbit holes. An immersive sensory experience.

Redrum
"Unit 22"
4 mins 17s
29 Oct 2019
There's a grimy weight to this dark claymation promo for Redrum's 'Unit 22' which instantly sucks the audience into its world. Set during a rave on a dystopian frequency, the highly stylised action takes some seriously unexpected twists and turns once the, er, right substances are consumed. Claustrophobic and ever-shifting beats.

Rilès
"Thank God"
3 mins 46s
25 Oct 2019
French-Algerian rapper Rilès is a vision in black and gold in this confidently shot promo for latest track ‘Thank God'. Flitting between a rugged desert landscape and a black void, director Scotty Simper lets his bushy-haired lead express his gratitude to the man upstairs with abandon... oh, and a hefty supply of body paint.

Sam Fender
"The Borders"
4 mins 55s
24 Oct 2019
Having been described in some quarters as the 'Geordie Springsteen', Sam Fender's latest single 'The Borders' tells an emotionally-wrought story about friends growing up and growing apart. The accompanying promo enhances that poignant narrative, as director Thomas James explores a friendship ended by jealousy and mistakes.

Ritual
"Hard Times"
3 mins 01s
23 Oct 2019
A group of friends and their tangled romantic lives are the subject of this artsy promo for Ritual's latest single 'Hard Times'. The titular times are depicted in a series of break-ups and make-ups, with members of the various couples leaning on their friends for support in different ways - all held together by a neon-soaked club scene which suggests greater intrigue lies beneath the surface.

Icky
"The Beat"
2 mins 53s
22 Oct 2019
Beer bellies are brought to their logical conclusion in this surreal film directed by Neda. Paying irreverent tribute to Beyoncé's pregnancy photoshoot - among other cultural mainstays - the three-minute-piece combines blood, beats, and birth to offer an outstandingly hedonistic look at bringing new life into the world.

Katy Perry
"Harleys in Hawaii"
3 mins 14s
21 Oct 2019
This Manson-directed promo for Katy Perry's ‘Harleys in Hawaii' sees the pop singer ride a Harley Davidson. In Hawaii. Which is nice work if you can get it, we suppose. Come for Perry's overproduced ditty about fingers running through salty hair and stay for Manson and DP Arnau Valls's verdant depiction of America's fiftieth state.

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.