David Reviews

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

Latest Work
    • Off-off piste.This well-shot commercial for outerwear brand Aigle suggests Parisians have missed a trick with their morning commute.
    • OB Management enlist Tom Bender.OB Management are pleased to announce the signing of US filmmaker Tom Bender to their freelance roster.
    • Sonja Phillips lands at Dark Energy.Well-travelled filmmaker Sonja Phillips is ready to put down roots at Dark Energy after joining for commercial representation.
    • Word play.'Have You Heard George's Podcast?' creator George the Poet aims to get the word out there.
    • Backed into a corner."A jaguar is for life, not just for Christmas" says this piece of stop-motion animation for the World Wildlife Fund.
    • Young LungsThe ever-more pressing issue of air pollution is explored in this striking ad from energy provider E.on.
    • Dragon's zen.The most eagerly-awaited (or should that be Edgarly-awaited) commercial of the year has been released... the John Lewis Christmas ad - brought to you this year in association with their supermarket partners Waitrose.
    • A Double-Hit for Missing Link.Missing Link Films have announced a couple of new additions to their roster: Laura Scrivano and Christophe Dolcerocca.
    • New Land bring Natanael Ericsson into the fold.Former director's assistant Natanael Ericsson is now a director in his own right at New Land.
    • Same difference.Tanqueray's discerning spin on a blind taste test starts in 1830 and finishes in the present day.
    • Destination DignityThe limitations of travelling while disabled are explored in this touching partnership between Tesco and accessibility charity Changing Places.
    • Another Bank in the WallBanking becomes even more of a dystopian nightmare than usual in this ominous commercial for Nubank.
    • James Tupper joins NOMINT.Director, designer, and all-round creative whizz James Tupper has joined NOMINT for representation.
    • You're Saint Nicked.This rollicking two-and-a-half minute ad from Sainsbury's charts the origins of one Nicholas the chimney sweep.
    • Unimpeded Undercarriages This stylish piece of work for bespoke fashion retailer Spoke focuses on what the company does best: making trousers to suit the modern man's needs.

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Sonja Phillips lands at Dark Energy.

Well-travelled filmmaker Sonja Phillips is ready to put down roots at Dark Energy after joining for commercial representation.

The London-based director's career has brought her to the likes of Bosnia-Herzegovina and LA's impoverished Skid Row district, with Phillips keen to raise awareness of social and humanitarian issues through the medium of film.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

BBC Sounds
"Have You Heard George's Podcast?"
30s
14 November 2019

One of several films promoting BBC Sounds podcasts, this engaging piece of work is all about, well, getting the word out there. The spokesman in question is ‘Have You Heard George's Podcast?' creator George the Poet, and he prefers substance over style.

This is illustrated by George sliding onto the set of the cheapest, tackiest game show around - the kind even the late Dale Winton would turn his nose up at. "What does is take for the word to be heard?" George asks. Simply put, not this.

Accompanied by some neat set deconstruction, the host encourages us to ditch distractions like a widescreen TV and focus on what's actually being said. It would be ironic if viewers catch this on a 75" telly of all things, but that doesn't detract from a slick, personality-driven outing.


WWF
"Adopt a Better Future"
60s
13 November 2019

We've already seen Dogs Trust remind viewers that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas; now the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) aim to do the same with another ‘cuddly' beast: the jaguar. The result is a 60" piece of stop-motion animation that takes us deep into big cat territory... and finds one member of the near-threatened species on the run.

Scored by the kind of 'BRAAAM!'-heavy soundtrack used in countless Hollywood trailers, the ad has a couple of striking tricks up its sleeve - including a flamethrower-wielding figure that looms overhead. Just as this underlines the threat posed by mankind, the teenager who leads a human shield around the jaguar emphasises our potential for good.


E.on
"Let's Clean the Air"
60s
14 November 2019

The ever-more pressing issue of air pollution is explored in this striking ad from energy provider E.on. The brand present a wholesome summer scene - families playing in a sunny park - perverted by visible, ominous grey specks of pollution in the air.

It's a smart move to focus on the increased risks children face from poor air quality, with a young narrator and a preoccupation with the fact the contaminants concentrate closer to the ground. Director James Lees astutely keeps the visuals behind the VFX as light as possible, allowing the contrast to speak for itself.

With canny sound design slipping the constant whistle of laboured breathing under the matter-of-fact narration, this is a subtly confronting piece of work which tells watching adults that it's time to speak up - before the kids around them don't get a chance to.


John Lewis & Waitrose
"Excitable Edgar"
2 mins 30s
14 November 2019

The most eagerly-awaited (or should that be Edgarly-awaited) commercial of the year has been released... the John Lewis Christmas ad - brought to you this year in association with their supermarket partners Waitrose.

After last year's departure from the usual template with a celebrity-driven film featuring Elton John, this ad is a return to the fold.

For the fifth time, Dougal Wilson has been entrusted with the director's chair and for the fifth time he has delivered an exquisite tale which is sure to strike a chord with a public who genuinely anticipate this commercial with great excitement.

It is a classic fairytale. A friendship between a little girl and a young dragon, who appears to suffer from a draconic version of Tourette's syndrome - he simply can't help setting fire to things when he gets excited. His human companion is well aware of this unfortunate tendency and does her best to prevent it from being too calamitous. This is not an easy undertaking but, after a moment of inspiration, she hatches a plan to turn his liability into an asset.

That turning point – which you'll find at 1'41" – looks to be a deliberate echo of a very similar moment in one of Wilson's previous Christmas films for John Lewis - Monty the Penguin... and it epitomises his skill for capturing extraordinary tenderness in a child's performance.

The John Lewis Christmas ad is the tallest poppy in advertising's field and there are bound to be those who feel it is too early, too sentimental, too cynical, too derivative and all the rest… but most will greet it as a joyous opportunity to feel good at the time when such opportunities feel scarce.

Already, social media commentary swings both ways but our favourite sentiment was expressed by someone on Twitter who not only adores the new film but considers it – along with the advent of 'I'm A Celebrity' on Sunday – as the real starting point of the festive season. This is the cultural significance of this annual event, and, as an industry, advertising should be pleased that it possesses anything with that much power.


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Recent Promos
(1-25 of 25)

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.

Tiana Major9, EarthGang
"Collide"
3 mins 32s
18 Oct 2019
This LX-directed promo for Tiana9 Major and EarthGang feels like a trendy plug for the AA (though other roadside assistance companies are available). As smoke billows from under the hood of their classic Mercedes, the neo-soul-cum-hip-hop trio put transport woes to the back of their mind and insist that "when we collide, it's a beautiful disaster".

Palace
"Heaven Up There"
7 mins 08s
17 Oct 2019
This single-shot promo for ‘Heaven Up There' by Palace holds it nerve across seven minutes thanks to a plaintive lead performance by Kenneth Cranham. Much like the recent 'Shemira' starring John Rhys-Davies, the promo relies on its veteran star to fill the screen and retain audience interest... which an expressive Cranham manages with gusto.

Slaves
"One More Day Won't Hurt"
3 mins 16s
15 Oct 2019
Punk rock duo Slaves are on typically febrile form with new track ‘One More Day Won't Hurt', and director Will Hooper has delivered a seizure-baiting promo to boot. As Laurie Vincent and Isaac Holman stew inside an anonymous building, the broil of toxic masculinity threatens to overwhelm the screen. This is represented by flashes of crushed cars, stale pints of cider, and nails embedded in slabs of meat.

Aurora
"To Be Loved"
4 mins 27s
14 Oct 2019
Singer-songwriter Aurora is definitely having a moment, as the cliché goes. Following recent single ‘Apple Tree', she now provides guest vocals for fellow Norwegian Askjell's ‘To Be Loved' - which receives a baroque promo from directors Sophia+Robert into the bargain. Fans of ethereal dancing and oddly pitched tents are in for a treat.

Jetta
"No Fire"
3 mins 35s
11 Oct 2019
Liverpudlian songstress Jetta cuts a needle-sharp figure in this predominantly black-and-white promo for ‘No Fire'. Directors Sophia+Robert flit between London's alleyways and a plain photo studio as Jetta nimbly models some high-end threads for the camera - all while bemoaning the lack of va-va-voom in her life.

Duke Dumont, Zak Abel
"The Power"
3 mins 03s
9 Oct 2019
Divided into three acts, Paco Raterta's video revolves around a power struggle in a shadowy, sinister cult. It's shot in the Philippines, and you can almost hear the heat and humidity weighing down the air, goading sweat-slicked bodies into nefarious activities. Actress Jasmine Curtis-Smith takes centre stage as a young woman with doubts about the goings-on she's involved with.

The Script
"The Last Time"
3 mins 22s
10 Oct 2019
A relationship turns into a damp squib for Danny O'Donoghue in this emotionally-driven promo, as the Script frontman and Brandon Flowers lookalike becomes a mere bystander in his own story. Jumping between a black-and-white studio and the erstwhile couple's flat, director Charles Mehling bides his time before turning on the waterworks.

Georgia
"Never Let You Go"
3 mins 50s
8 Oct 2019
Those expecting a sequel to Kazuo Ishiguro's 2005 novel may be disappointed, but for everyone else, Georgia's 'Never Let You Go' is a diverting enough piece of synth-pop that looks to the skies for inspiration. Sure enough, the accompanying promo is a celestial slog that sees the multi-instrumentalist observe some impressive aerial displays.

Kazu
"Come Behind Me, So Good!"
3 mins 48s
3 Oct 2019
Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino has released a solo album - 'Adult Baby' - and this clip is part of the visual narrative which accompanies the whole thing. Shot by Eva Michon in about three hours flat, it features Kazu entering a church and gradually giving herself over to the song... a haunting, looping polyphony into which instruments slowly emerge.

Metronomy
"Wedding Bells"
4 mins 18s
3 Oct 2019
Metronomy's latest single is about unrequited love... but rather than focus on a sense of futile yearning, Daniel Brereton has made a promo full of fun and frivolity. The band performs at a house party which devolves into a food fight on the dance floor - however, it's all light-hearted stuff and everyone is evidently having a good time.

Aurora
"Apple Tree"
3 mins 09s
2 Oct 2019
This promo for Norwegian songstress Aurora - to paraphrase a classic video game disclaimer - contains scenes of explicit dance and gore. Seemingly keen to shed her John Lewis cover artist image once and for all, the singer is intermittently covered in blood while she and her entourage dance in a brooding, desert environment.

Agoria
"Call Of The Wild (ft STS)"
5 mins 26s
24 Sep 2019
Like Kanye's 'Black Skinhead', 'Call of the Wild' grabs you and keeps you pinned against the wall until it sees fit to let you go. While you're there, you have no choice but to watch Loïc Andrieu's promo - an unfolding story of a police hazing ritual that descends into the supernatural. Indeed, Andrieu himself describes the plot as a female Orpheus myth, with rookie cop Jane crossing into the underworld.

Marika Hackman
"Hand Solo"
3 mins 51s
27 Sep 2019
Viewers may never look at the London Eye the same way again after this carnal and deeply enjoyable promo for Marika Hackman's ode to masturbation, 'Hand Solo'. Across four inventive minutes, director Sam Bailey recasts familiar items and locations as things to be fondled, fingered, and fucked. A witty means to celebrate and justify female masturbation in all its forms.

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.