DAN BROWN TALKS ODEZSA - TEXT EMILY HARRISON
What with the current state of global affairs at the moment its easy to hark back to a time when it all seemed far less complicated. Daniel Brown's video illustrates how conflict has been a part of human experience since the dawn of time, all the way back to when we were all good old fur-wearing-club-wielding cave men. However it's not all doom and gloom in Dan's atmospheric video all shot in black and white, he artfully juxtaposes violence with love while managing to chronicle the history of human existence. All quite impressive in 4 minutes 47!
We chat to Dan about the things that really matter love, destruction, fire, water and firemen...
Word Is Cheap: Why did you decide to make conflict your central theme?
Daniel Brown: The lyrics really inspired everything- "it's only fire/water/love" these are the most important things in our lives, each having the capacity for destruction but also for life. Volcanic soil can be the richest on earth.
I wanted to challenge the thought that things are getting worse and that it’s our nature to destroy each other. That juxtaposition between violence and love is in our life every day.
WIC: The video transcends numerous time zones and depicts thousands of mini scenes, what was the inspiration behind the ones you chose?
Again the song was my main inspiration. One of the first images that came to mind was fire and the most important fire in history, the one that started mankind on the path towards civilization. After that I wanted to showcase other moments I personally felt like were key turning points in history.
WIC: Do you enjoy the freedom of music video as opposed to the format for creating a TV commercial?
DB: Commercials and music videos both have things I enjoy about them, but I do love the freedom of music videos and to be honest it doesn't feel like you're really directing if you get the take you want and then you walk back to video village and ask a group of ten people what they think.
WIC: The scenes take place in a variety of landscapes, some extremely vast and impressive, how were you able to achieve these backdrops without travelling the globe to mountain ranges, ravines and volcanoes? Was a lot of it shot in a studio?
DB: We shot in a studio and on location, our unifying factor was smoke so we'd fire up these smoke machines and blast them into the forest. We reached out to the local fire department so they knew the forest wasn't burning down, but a fireman still came by - just in case.
WIC: Why did you choose to shoot the video in black and white?
DB: Black and white has this amazing ability to really focus your attention. Because it's not in color your mind immediately reads it as being different. Things become more general and at the same time more specific. The idea of what something is or is about becomes so clear in black and white I wanted to use that in this video.
WIC: Your final scenes are a juxtaposition of modern day urban riots with peaceful cavemen looking out to a beautiful mountain scene, what was the thinking behind the video?
DB: I wanted to challenge the thought that things are getting worse and that it's our nature to destroy each other. That juxtaposition between violence and love is in our life every day.