GEORGE BELFIELD TALKS TOM ODELL :: QUESTIONS BY LUKE TIERNEY
The masterful George Belfield continues his Tom Odell collaboration taking everything up a notch through a simple concept and an incredible actor. Getting one of the best actors in the world on board is a move that is unquestionably cool, Kevin Spacey brings everything, every single time. What a man. But lets not forget about George, who’s dark, gritty palindrome of an idea provides Kevin with the space to express himself. Emotion after emotion are forced out as the cinematic undertones continue throughout.
We caught up with long time favourite George to find out what it’s like working with Mr. Spacey, what the video is about and just how important the location was.
Word Is Cheap: How has your relationship and synergy with Tom Odell progressed having repeatedly worked together?
George Belfield: It’s good yeah, we trust one another creatively and get along very well as pals. He has very strong ideas about his videos, which helps, as we are almost always on the same page. He also respects the process and is interested in the craft and technique of filmmaking. I ended up getting involved in other aspects of his album campaign, from the sleeve artwork to the stage design, so it’s been a really rewarding and fun collaboration.
WIC: What does the party and Kevin’s rejection represent for you?
GB: I like to leave it open to interpretation. Kevin thinks it’s all about sex.
WIC: How many times did you have to go up and down those stairs?
GB: Too many. It wasn’t helped by the fact that I’d sprained my knee playing basketball a couple of weeks before. In the original treatment I’d wanted to shoot half of the video from a crane, but the location we found made that impossible, so it was more tricky to shoot than it might have been.
Word Is Cheap: What what what was it like to work with Kevin Spacey?
George Belfield: It was great. Working with anyone who is extremely good at what they do just makes your job easier, it’s one less thing to worry about. I would give a note on performance and he would understand the note but also why I was giving it, so the next take would give me what I wanted and a bit more. But more than that, he was really generous and engaged, and loads of fun on set. He’s also got a very funny and fairly ripe sense of humour, so we got on well.
WIC: How did you find and know you had the right location?
GB: It was a very technically specific location brief. Somewhere we could black out. Somewhere with doors. Somewhere wide enough, but not too wide, not too short, etc etc. There weren’t really any other feasible options, so we were pretty lucky that the one that worked technically also looked so good. It also had a huge windowless gym at the foot of it, where we set up a green-screen studio and shot all the tumbling man stunts.
WIC: Kevin really throws himself around, were you worried at any point for his health or otherwise?
GB: He’s in fine fettle so there was never a question of him running out of puff or anything. There is a point in the video where he falls over though, that wasn’t intentional. He got up and kept going until we called cut. Afterwards I asked if he was okay and he was fine, but I had a fairly urgent tap on the shoulder from the exec producer shortly afterwards. In that moment I could see the terror of ‘House of Cards shoot delayed for six weeks’ in her eyes.