David Reviews

 Biting the hand that feeds us since 2002.

Latest Work
    • Podcast - Park VillageFollowing his appearance at October's CraftWorks, legendary director Roger Woodburn was joined in the String & Tins studio by the equally legendary Peter Webb to talk about the foundation of Park Village, one of the most iconic names in film production.
    • Mattessons serve food for thought.Mattessons Fridge Raiders and 'Call of Duty: WWII' release codebreaking app Code Strike.
    • A fresh pair of eyes.Photography guru Joel Meyerowitz narrates this thoughtful spec film from director Emilio Boutros.
    • Nothing Rhymes With...This lovely animated film explores the complexity of the colour orange.
    • Decks and desolation.Boutique deck designers The Skateroom partner with photographer Roger Ballen for a monochrome fever dream.
    • Merry Mad MaxThis excellent Audi commercial focuses on the fight for an elusive free parking space.
    • Not Just For ChristmasThis timely ad for the RSPCA plays on the old adage 'a dog is for life, not just for Christmas'.
    • Turkey?Iceland's Christmas offering this year mines internet culture to show children opening unusual presents.
    • Ahmet Iltas lands at NERD Productions.Designer and illustrator Ahmet Iltas has joined NERD Productions for commercial representation.
    • Use The Force, SergeiDisney and Compare The Market team up for another festive extravaganza in this nostalgic ad.
    • Be my guest.Lidl Finland’s Christmas film stars an unexpected house guest: a sweet-loving elf.
    • Waves of emotion.All Mighty Pictures have good form when it comes to charitable causes.
    • Silent NightThis emotional film for Age UK highlights an important issue - elderly people spending Christmas alone.

CRAFTWORKS

Wednesday, 15th November.
Between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

The LSE, Sheffield Street, Holborn, London, WC2.

Tickets: £20-£50 plus VAT.

● How We Made... Oxfam.

● Homespun Yarns.

● Christmas Crackers.

● Tango Reunion.

TICKETS AND DETAILS HERE.


Canvas
"Roger Ballen x The Skateroom"
1 min 38s
6 December 2017

Skate art meets psychological horror in this collaborative film. Launching on the Arts Council’s online platform, boutique deck designers The Skateroom partner with photographer Roger Ballen for a monochrome fever dream.

Fans of Die Antwoord will recognise Ballen’s severe palette. The film splices images from the duo’s 'I Fink U Freeky’ promo with a warehouse raid. Ocular close-ups and sketchy animation heighten the uncanny vibe.

Luckily, art-conscious skaters won’t have to navigate this Saw-esque labyrinth themselves - Ballen fans can visit the studio’s website instead.

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Audi
"Parking Lot"
2 mins
6 December 2017

Parking is a nightmare at Christmas, as the huddled masses vie to throw their money into Late Capitalism's gaping maw before the sprouts run out. This intriguing Audi commercial focuses on the fight for that elusive free space, and embraces the ugly side of Christmas with an unusual candour.

The stunt work is genuinely edgy, pulling off whip-fast turns in tight spaces and racing at speed through a crowded car park. This would not be allowed on UK television and - without wanting to sound like a po-faced killjoy - quite right too. The onscreen warnings are nowhere near adequate.

A brief coda inside a shop has the duo gearing up for another race as they both target the same toy, and helps to emphasise the idea that it's all a bit of fun.

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RSPCA
"Stars"
1 min 35s
6 December 2017

This timely ad for the RSPCA plays on the old adage 'a dog is for life, not just for Christmas'. By showing exactly what happens to once-beloved gifts, the charity hope to dissuade well-meaning parents from getting a pet for a child who may not be able to care for it.

We see a young boy receive a toy dog for Christmas, playing with it for a while before he becomes bored and abandons it - dirty and broken. Luckily, the RSPCA is there to pick up the pieces and get the poor thing back on its feet.

There are moments when the conceit teeters towards breaking our suspension of disbelief (the oxygen mask and operating table stretch it considerably), but a suitably sombre soundtrack keeps things serious. This touching film has gone down a viral storm on social media, and we hope its message will spare some pups from suffering in the new year.

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Iceland
"Turkey"
30s
1 December 2017

It's difficult to stand out at Christmas and with 99% of clients pointing at the John Lewis showreel and asking their agency to reproduce something on it, it's incredibly hard to steer away from sentimentality... but Iceland has found a way.

At December's CraftWorks, DAVID asked Anna Carpen, Paul Burke and Lyndy Stout to take part in Strictly Come Christmas... instant analysis and marks out of ten for a dozen of this year's seasonal offerings. This Iceland commercial edged out the BBC's wonderful animated film by a single point and - more impressively - prompted an audience reaction to die for.

The heavy-handedness is perfectly judged as we witness the subversion of a familiar Christmas scene which - crucially - has been executed in a fashion which feels certain to ensure turkeys will fly from the retailers shelves.

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Ahmet Iltas lands at NERD Productions.

Designer and illustrator Ahmet Iltas has joined NERD Productions for commercial representation. NERD founder Milana Karaica’s global talent search brought her to Iltas’s Istanbul studio where she found a rising talent.


CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

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Recent Promos

Franz Ferdinand
"Always Ascending"
5 mins 21s
7 Dec 2017
Art rock veterans Franz Ferdinand return with this vertiginous promo. While the Glasgow five-piece shake loose with ‘Always Ascending’, the camera visits multiple 'floors'. Of course, looks can be deceiving. Amidst angular guitar riffs and, er, flirtatious cloud formations, frontman Alex Kapranos also plays with our audio perception.

Queens of the Stone Age
"The Way We Used To"
5 mins
30 Nov 2017
Palm Desert rockers Queens of the Stone Age relish their dark side in this bravado promo. Hair slicked and snakeskin-shoe’d, frontman Josh Homme offers a mysterious deal. What’s the worse that could happen? Staring down the camera with predatory brio, Homme draws the viewer deeper into an infernal dancehall. Pentagrams, devil horns, and multiple costume changes leave one bedazzled.

Saint Clair
"Human Touch"
3 mins 51s
29 Nov 2017
This intriguing promo for Saint Clair explores a profession rarely seen in media - a mortuary cosmetologist. Make up for the dead is an unusual subject, and gives director Lucie Beecham fertile ground on which to build her esoteric narrative. The simplicity of the visuals - using limited angles in a dark room, focused on the body lying on a table - allows the viewer to draw their own conclusions.


"When I Was Young"
3 mins 17s
29 Nov 2017
Those already pining for Halloween will appreciate this atmospheric MØ promo. To mark the Dane's latest EP, fans get three MØs for the price of one. Inspired by Edvard Munch's 'The Dance of Life', MØ performs a dance-off between youth, maturity, and death - and the latter’s brought an ominous posse.

Ebenezer
"Ask Around"
3 mins 10s
29 Nov 2017
Part trap, part old-school gangsta cloaked in R&B, the music of rising star Ebenezer has something that speaks to everyone, whether you're a fan of this style or not. Bafic's accompanying video just shows him driving around with his friends over the course of a night; and this crammed, enclosed - but mobile - space is the epitome of freedom when viewed against the backdrop of Ebenezer's home turf.

Hercules & Love Affair
"Rejoice"
3 mins 30s
29 Nov 2017
'Rejoice' is a paean to personal resilience: whatever heartache you're nursing, push on through and celebrate the things you have. William Kennedy's promo mines this mantra in spades. He conjures the club scene of the era, interweaving footage of exuberant clubbers, drag artists and Rouge Mary herself while Hercules dances like a techno Bez beside her.

Ok Go
"Obsession"
3 mins 43s
28 Nov 2017
What do get when you combine one experimental rock band, five-hundred-and-sixty-seven printers, and a forest's worth of paper? OK Go’s latest promo, of course. Since 2005’s breakout video for 'Here It Goes Again', the band have become synonymous with meticulously-crafted promos. Now the Los Angeles four-piece hit 'Print' on a ridiculous scale.

Sevdaliza
"Hear My Pain Heal"
4 mins 42s
27 Nov 2017
Dutch-Iranian artist Sevdaliza emanates a female strength you wouldn't want to mess with: brooding and powerful, she's a force to be reckoned with and makes music to match. 'Hear My Pain Heal' is an excellent example. It has that wavering, woozy trip-hop sound first created by Portishead and which evokes the intimate misery of a room in disarray after the party guests have left.

L Devine
"Growing Pains"
9 mins 40s
27 Nov 2017
L Devine claims: “The biggest obstacle I face in music is people trying to water down what I want to say.” This nine-minute promo lets the Newcastle artist say and sing her piece. Emil Nava’s film weaves together four of Devine’s tracks, each touching on adolescent themes. Devine’s growing pains are rendered in nostalgic hues, while spoken snippets punctuate the slick tracklist.

Starcrawler
"I Love LA"
5 mins 06s
24 Nov 2017
Even up-and-coming rock bands require pocket money. Thus, Los Angeles four-piece Starcrawler moonlight at Mom’s Donuts and Chinese Food restaurant. An unlikely combination, but - as lead singer Arrow de Wilde puts it - “Welcome to LA”. While their customer service skills leave much to be desired, the band's colourful performance bodes well for future outings.

Milck
"Quiet"
3 mins 34s
18 Nov 2017
Like the song 'Quiet', Elizabeth Orne's promo is a perfect calibration between the awfulness of facing harassment, and the defiance of refusing to be quiet about it. It is a survivor's song and as more and more women have voiced their experiences through the #MeToo phenomenon on social media, it has become ever more resonant.

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes
"Spray Paint Love"
3 mins 25s
21 Nov 2017
Frank Carter is a health and safety officer’s nightmare. Crowd surfing, stage dives, rafter hanging… keeping the man on terra firma is a challenge. For this ‘Spray Paint Love’ promo, director Ross Cairns offers a clever solution: trap the Rattlesnakes frontman in a mirror dimension. Well, at least he’s enjoying himself.

Leningrad
"Voyage"
5 mins 15s
16 Nov 2017
Leningrad’s latest promo delivers criminal excess. The Russians swap ultraviolent circus acts for a one-man crimewave. Surrounded by women and dirty money, this rock ‘n’ roller ingests enough marching powder to make Tony Montana blush. The authorities make sure he goes out with a bang. Slick and gratuitous, the promo is a delinquent fever dream - heightened by Leningrad’s raucous sound.

Alt-J
"Pleader"
6 mins 33s
16 Nov 2017
Alt-J's promos are ambitious and clever, and this promo for album closer 'Pleader' continues the trend. Made by celebrated director Isiah Seret, it interweaves the song's central theme - a revisiting of Richard Llewellyn's novel 'How Green Was My Valley' - with elements of the supernatural and the dread of impending war.

Enter Shikari
"The Sights"
4 mins 10s
12 Nov 2017
Enter Shikari’s manager has big plans for the band’s latest single. To mark the release of ‘The Sights’, he insists he can take the St Albans rockers to the Moon. The reality is a little more, er, down to earth. Despite the track’s jaunty vibe, the band’s patience is sorely tested with collapsing sets, tight jumpsuits, and zero-gravity choreography.

Ghostpoet
"Woe Is Meee"
4 mins 48s
8 Nov 2017
Savannah Setten's accompanying promo taps into Ghostpoet's mood, and the intimate snapshot of one man's world stays with us long after the song has ended. The planes of his face - gaunt and haunted, a demi-monde Beckett - speak of the motel life and fifths of whisky for breakfast. The women for whose company he pays, fuel the chronic yearning in his breast... not for pleasure he can no longer experience, but for their bodies themselves.

Chromeo
"Juice"
3 mins 32s
8 Nov 2017
This Chromeo video feels like a left-field Tropicana commercial. The Montreal two-piece moonlight as orange growers with a provocative fashion sense. Well, it does get hot out there. David Wilson’s promo keeps tongue firmly in cheek as beatmakers Dave 1 and P-Thugg flaunt their ‘pins’. Sun-kissed funktronica from the beatmakers.

Gorillaz
"Garage Palace (ft. Little Simz)"
2 mins 30s
7 Nov 2017
Gorillaz still have unfinished business with their fourth studio album, ‘Humanz’. Fans of 16-bit brawlers will appreciate this side-scrolling ‘Garage Palace’ promo. Channelling ‘Streets of Rage’ and ‘Double Dragon’, the virtual band and MC Little Simz lay waste to mutantkind. Fight or flight? Why not both?

KCPK
"The End"
6 mins 10s
6 Nov 2017
French electronic trio KCPK are making some very cool music, and director Loic Andrieu proves an excellent choice for their new track's promo. He gives The End - a propulsive, synthy affair laden with 80s-style foreboding - an angst-ridden narrative which sees a teenage girl imagining her world swept into oblivion... and herself with it.

Nightmares on Wax
"Citizen Kane"
4 mins 44s
3 Nov 2017
Mystical tags and a shamanic entourage populate this Nightmares on Wax promo. The bed-ridden protagonist (played by Langston Fishburne) regains his strength on a spiritual level. Suited, booted, and tarot cards dealt, he ventures deeper and deeper into the Louisiana bayou. Even if your spirit is in good nick, let this one wash over you.

Powell
"Wormhole"
5 mins 05s
1 Nov 2017
EDM upstart Powell has has been busy with a project called New Beta, a series of vinyl-only LPs with an experimental edge. Track titles such as ‘Dogs on Acid’ should give you an inkling what to expect from this ‘Wormhole’ promo, then. There’s no shortage of E numbers in The Sacred Egg’s five-minute sesh - viewers may feel like they’ve downed one snakebite too many.

Royal Blood
"How Did We Get So Dark?"
3 mins 38s
27 Oct 2017
This bizarre promo for Royal Blood's 'How Did We Get So Dark?' is both gritty as hell and utterly bonkers. The Sacred Egg have embraced their love of the surreal and gone all out here, creating something as wonderful as it is weird. We meet a guy who likes collecting white rabbits... with a vengeance.

Kodaline
"Ready to Change"
4 mins 24s
27 Oct 2017
Stevie Russell knocks it out of the park once again for Kodaline with this intriguing promo for 'Ready to Change'. Set in a zoo, it features an unusual cast of characters including a panda handler who enjoys dressing up, a yoga-loving lion keeper, and a guy who doesn't just talk to animals, but only talks to animals...

Marshmello
"Silence (feat. Khalid)"
3 mins 22s
26 Oct 2017
Permanently bucket-headed DJ Marshmello is hard to miss. The beatmaker’s identity remains a mystery in this ‘Silence’ promo. Still, London Alley’s Courtney Phillips taps the nation’s neon supply to luminous effect. While Marshmello and guest vocalist Khalid get acquainted, their crew offer light relief in a troubled world.

Marmozets
"Habits"
3 mins 39s
24 Oct 2017
This Marmozets promo stars a couple of right poseurs. An eerily demure couple remain static throughout - no mean feat when lead singer Becca McIntyre is screaming down your ears. Still, these mannequin-esque lovers soon embrace their human desires. Familia’s Aella Jordan-Edge has fun with her human doll set.

Recent Promos

David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.