The city of London has a story or two hidden in its streets. These tales are being told more and more: Kidulthood, Top Boy, Run. London’s story is being told. Now Robin has brought us his gritty portrayal of London’s streets for Daytrip’s ‘Up To The Crime’. With few music videos covering this side of London in such an honest way we got in touch with Robin to find out where he got the guns, how he got such real performances and what is so attractive about creating music videos.
Word Is Cheap: Rarely do we see the darker side to urban culture in music video, what took you in that direction?
Robin Fraser: The plan wasn’t really to do something dark. We knew we were shooting in London but wanted a story that linked to the track as much as possible. London has the second largest Jamaican community outside of Jamaica, and West has always been the epicentre of that so it seemed like a good place to start.
There’s a real grittiness to the performance how did you choose the cast?
The cast are all good friends. Especially the bad guys. I like working with non actors and having access to that community was one of our strengths going into the shoot. It was the same with locations. The thing is basically geographically accurate which is always nice when you can do it. To be honest, that area is even more interesting in real life, sometimes it’s hard to get it all in.
Did you go guerrilla to shoot the aerial shots of London?
Yeah. We found that footage on the bus. It was a lucky break.
How and where do you come across gun props so realistic?
It took a while to get what we wanted but in the end we rented the pistol from a weapons specialist and bought the AK from the British government. It was seized in Afghanistan and decommissioned here. The army sells them as a way to recoup spending on the war apparently. When we took it apart there was still sand inside. Pretty disturbing.
Having dabbled in shorts, what is it about music video that attracts you?
Music’s always had a big place in my work, videos or shorts. I wish I’d been able to be a musician. The main character is actually played by a really talented producer, Ash Walker. You can check out his stuff at Ash Walker Music. Kurt Vonnegut said music is the best way to get through an hour and I always thought that was true. Movies are cool though.