Much of the final product was compiled from clips found on stock footage websites. British director Dan French, the most recent addition to the Papaya Films’ director roster, spoke with us about working on the latest video for DJ duo Yola Recoba.
“In normal circumstances, I’d give the track a couple of close listens, to collect my thoughts and write down some initial inspirations,” says Dan French, the director behind the music video for Yola Recoba’s latest single. This time, however, the process went backwards. Inspiration struck as he was browsing websites offering stock footage, available to anyone for use or purchase. As the video was slated to go into production, French was fully aware that a classic approach was out of the question on account of the restrictions put in place because of the pandemic.
French found the archival NASA footage that he came across so remarkable that he decided to base his whole concept for the video around it. “Because it looked very good and was professionally shot, even the framing was excellent, which is rare for stock footage, we could easily create a story to go with it,” Dan says. That, however, required long hours of research, digging through archives, and poring over hours of footage in search of just the right shots.
To facilitate storytelling and create a narrative, the producers decided to add subtitles to the footage, creating an impression of dialogue between individual characters. The approach, however, could only work up to a point—to reach Earth orbit and beyond, the producers had to make use of animation.
Dan French is a young British filmmaker who has recently joined the roster of directors represented by the London branch of Papaya Films. He first garnered critical attention after taking first place at the Papaya.Rocks Film Festival, held earlier this February at the Genesis Cinema in East London. French’s short film Living on the Edge, which proved an audience favorite at the festival, was a dangerous (and illegal) journey alongside fearless photographers to the tops of London’s skyscrapers and into the depths of disused subway tunnels. He shot his latest effort, the short film Speak, entirely on his own during the pandemic. His past credits include collaborations with brands such Huawei, Moët, Toyota, Paco Rabanne, French Connection, and others.
You can see more of Dan’s work HERE.
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