4TH + B'DWAY
This was created for Island Record's dance label. Having designed the logo / brand for 4th + B'dway I decided to illustrate this compilation album with the me 'A Way Of Life' Working alongside designer Stephanie Nash we created the clothing range and graphic backdrop which Mike Prior photographed. Up until this point merchandising a record label had not been done - We were way ahead of our time.
Eric B & Rakim - Paid in full
The performance was shot in a small photographic studio in London's Wandsworth. Eric B and Rakim had just arrived in London and came straight to the studio. No one had told them we were going to shoot a video and they were less than pleased when they heard the scratch mix of their track. They basically refused to do the shoot unless we played the original 12' mix. So we found a record player and played off the vinyl. Despite this they only did 3 takes before walking out. I felt we had enough and with my super 8 camera shot all the extra scenes to illustrate the scratch parts. In the edit I incorporated words which again was a first and also cut in some stock footage. The video also features a very young Carmen Ejogo who went on to Hollywood to become a major actor. Despite being a very low budget the track and video went on to be a huge worldwide hit.
Ronny Jordan - Get to grips
This video was partly influenced by Eric B and Rakim's video in terms of using graphics within a video - but this time with a budget! Tim Maurice Jones ( Lock Stock and Snatch) was my DOP and we stylishly shot it in black and white on a super 16mm camera.
Jerry from the IDJ's and Sam Davis were the Jazz dancers.
Washington Go Go
Go-go is a popular music subgenre associated with funk that originated in the Washington, D.C. We decided to focus on the hard hitting lyrics and combine it with a punchy graphic style style something like you'd associate with Boxing posters. These graphics easily translated from band backdrops, record covers to T shirts. On one occasion at a Trouble Funk gig - I hung out at the merchandising stand and helped them sell T shirts, I'd never seen anything like it they were selling like hot cakes, we ran out so fast that they have to go back to the office to get more. Bootleggers soon got in on the act and reproduced their own colour ways. Several top London stores also started selling them - it seemed like the T's were a bigger hit than the records.
Screamin' Tony Baxter
I commissioned Geoff Stern to do this shoot and set him up with one of the members of singing group The Pasadenas. I sent them off to the cobbled streets of Rotherhide with a brief to capture dance in the streets. The shoot was very successful and became a series of Jazz posters which sold in their own right.
This was very tricky as the idea was to create Yin and Yang but using black and white heads with a line carved in the hair joining form one to the other. The problem was we had the black guy but had only 24 hours to find a white guy willing to have his hair bleached, and carved. Needless to say we did it! Mike Prior shot the image.
Universal's Club label. The overall theme was based on Extreme Sports - Natural Highs etc. I created brand to look like a a sports brand. Also the as the releases were monthly we tied the cover imagery in with the seasons.
Alistair Thane shot this series for me. I remember hiring the mike stand sending it over to Alistair and asking him to photograph BJ aka Overlord X shouting into it.
Tim Vary - part of the Island design Team put together the graphics.
Zee Records compilation. I was experimenting with collage at the time and playing with printing techniques. This was all pre photoshop so very hit and miss. Zee records were based in New York so it made sense to feature a crazy version of it.
After spending the day with Chris Blackwell driving around town meeting various artists, film makers eventually we turned up at an office in Denmark Street. I had no idea who I was about to meet when Malcolm McLaren appeared and said ' So you're Bruno - What are you going to do for my cover then' I was somewhat thrown as I didn't know we had signed him let alone that I was working on his cover. I bluffed it and came out with some arty non sense to buy myself some time! Anyway this was the result.
Mica Paris - My One Temptation
Island's New York office had asked the UK office to shoot a video for the American release. The video department organised this with another director but the footage wasn't really liked. So the decision was that I would shoot some extra scenes to insert into that video. I chose Agadir in Morocco as the location as I felt the light and the desserts would be an ideal backdrop. So off went with a very small crew including DOP Simon Archer, a stylist and make up girl. I also brought photographer Brad Branson with us to shoot stills. As it turned out Agadir wasn't visually the greatest place to film also nowhere near the dessert. So we used the local beach and also ventured up into the mountains and filmed around villages that felt like we were stepping back in time 2000 years. We only shot a few roles of film as I wasn't planning on shooting the whole promo. On seeing the new footage Mica declared she didn't want any of the old video used and to only use what we had shot in Morocco. The result was we cut a very minimal video which the American's loved - I guess it was an example of the old adage is 'Less is more'.
Truce - The Finest
This was the first shot at my good friend Salvatore Salamone's photographic studio in the heart of Clapham. We turned the studio into a club environment and Truce invited all their friends and family. Sal acted as my assistant director and being such an exuberant energetic guy got everyone dancing and really into it. He also shot the stills that became the record cover and campaign image. Good time had by all!
Father Father - Washington Rain
This was filmed on location in a dissued hospital in the heart of Wandsworth London. We then intercut with library footage of the million man march on Washington.
Jonti Richardson - the lead singer helped conceive the idea and basically co-directed with me. This experience sparked his interest in film directing and editing.
After a successful music career Jonti switched jobs to behind the camera and has become an established film director based in LA.
Father Father - Father Father
Another Father, Father video which again was a collaboration with Jonti Richardson. We filmed in a steel factory and hired in various actors to play the roles including Vas Blackwood and the legendary performer Duke Diamond.
The sleeve for 'What is a soul' was shot by photographer Alistair Thane. The logo designed by team designer Josh Riley.
Kaleef - Downtown
I always loved this video which but unfortunately it was never released. I made it for Pete Waterman and his record label PWL. We shot over 2 days, one in London's Soho where used a steadycam to capture the performance. This drew a lot of attention from the crowds which added to the atmosphere. The second day we hired a helicopter and flew over central London which was pretty mind blowing. As we were restricted on space we could only take the the lead singer with us which upset the rest of the band.
After completing the edit, I got a call from Waterman's office to say they loved the video but wanted to release a different track beforehand. The good news was I got to make another video - the bad news was it was for a less interesting track. The result was it wasn't a hit and the band were dropped and nobody got to see this clip...until now!