After smoke clears - the crusher
Tackling the taboo of male depression, director Charli Whatley’s music video for the metal band After Smoke Clears, breaks conventions and might make you see the genre in a new light. Made with support from Odelay Films.
I came on board with the director, Charli Whatley, when she showed me her genre-snapping response to the band’s song The Crusher. I loved the idea of taking a hoarsely screaming metal song and combining it with a visual story of men at their most vulnerable and damaged told through contemporary dance.
Early on in pre-production, we brought in upcoming star DoP Alasdair Boyce, and together we made a plan for how to create the muted and poetic images Charli wanted for the film.
Two dancers with converse styles of movement were cast - contemporary ballet dancer Ola Wosika and krump dancer and choreographer Theophillus ‘Godson’ Oloyade. They, with After Smoke Clears band member and lead singer, Nick Hurford, were to inhabit and express three separate manifestations of depression.
As we were contending with such a small budget, the sets were planned to be extremely minimal and abstract. The focus would be on the performances and getting the best images possible.
Logistically, the biggest challenge was how to ensure we didn’t flood the studio during the bathtub scene! But fortunately, we had an amazing art director, Emma Pearce, who ensured that Nick was the only person who got wet on set.
Though the film was created with a micro-budget of just £800, we were really lucky to have the production value boosted by huge favours from our industry connections. The film was shot with top-level camera and grip kit from ARRI with lighting from Warner Bros, Cloud and Horse Studios gave us a huge discount to hire one of their stages for the weekend, all supported and insured by Prudence Beecroft at Odelay Films. In post, long term collaborator of the director Matthew McKinnon turned around the nuanced and detailed edit and CHEAT gave us time with another of Charli’s previous collaborators, colourist Caroline Morin.
Through the band’s release on their facebook page, the video went out into the global metal community with wide praise and at the time of writing, over 70,000 views.
Overwhelmed: Ola Awosika
Trapped: Theophillus ‘Godson’ Oloyade
Hopeless: Nick Hurford
Vocals: Nick Hurford
Guitar/Backing Vocals: Daniele Fragiamore
Guitar: Alessandro Legname
Drums: David Cau
Bass: Aaron Dohnt
Writer / Director: Charli Whatley
Producer: Toby Anthonisz
Executive Producer: Prudence Beecroft
Director of Photography: Alasdair Boyce
1st Assistant Camera: Johann Valencia
2nd Assistant Camera: Eliot Morris
Gaffers: Matt Dickinson & Nella Resler
Production Design: Amina Winkler
Art Director: Emma Pearce
Runners: Andrew Michael & Stefana Apopei
BTS Stills Photographer: Luis Rodrigues
Editor: Matthew McKinnon
Colourist: Caroline Morin
EQUIPMENT & STUDIO
Studio: Cloud & Horse Studios
Camera & Lenses: Arri Rental UK
Lighting: Warner Bros Lighting