TOM HAINES TALKS NEW ORDER - TEXT EMILY HARRISON
In this dreary endless winter we all need a bit of cheering up and I personally like my cheering to come in the form of a colourful Italo Disco inspired music video. Throw in a European variety show backdrop, some impressive dance moves and a dog and hey presto you’ve just made my day.
We talked to Tom Haines about what really went on behind the chat show veneer, being inspired by Graham Norton’s backstage gossip and the importance of exploring those big, sticky questions.
Word Is Cheap: What provoked you to make a video about an ageing television show presenter?
Tom Haines: When I first heard the track I was drawn in by by the Italo Disco sound, that pumping, slightly plastic groove and it felt like an opportunity to play with a hyper-coloured aesthetic. But then underpinning it all is Bernard's introspective lyrics and that made me think of characters that live in a colourful world but are conflicted, damaged or searching for something, like Toni Servillo in the Great Beauty or Philip Baker Hall in Magnolia, and that seemed to strike a chord with the band, so it was the lift off point for my TV host.
I’m generally quite a mellow and positive person, I think. I just don’t want to be trivial. And I think music videos are a good space to explore those big, sticky questions.
WIC: Do you feel there is a connection between the way we view ageing and the way the media, for example television, chooses to portray it?
TH: I don't watch a whole lot of television so I don't know if I can answer that competently. But aren't codgers like Bruce Forsyth just about hanging in there? I think that there's very few decent roles for ageing actors, and they're generally token to a scene. That's why a film like 45 Years has done so well, as it breaks that mould.
TH: Short answer is yes. But we planned it to a T, and had a really great crew out in Slovenia who went the extra mile to help me get everything. So thanks to our service company Division, my producer Sarah Tognazzi and my stalwart dop Steve Annis, we just about handled everything - even the dog.
WIC: There is a lot of colour throughout, did you have any big influences in terms of the look?
TH: During the research phase I was looking at European variety shows, tacky Italian stuff like La sai l'ultima - where it's all powder blue suits, scantily clad girls and capped teeth. I also went to see a live taping of the Graham Norton Show - and spoke with the director of that who gave me some inside info. It's funny when you see those sets without stage lighting on them, they are held together with gaffer tape and cardboard, which gave me a good insight into how that world works when the TV cameras aren't on.
And then movies that have a back stage/front stage element to them, like Network or Magnolia. Also we wanted to reflect the album artwork where we could, so that was important when it came to picking locations and designing the set.
WIC: Your music videos often touch upon difficult human issues, death, ageing, greed, violence, what is it that attracts to these types of topics?
TH: You may have to speak to my therapist. I'm generally quite a mellow and positive person, I think. I just don't want to be trivial. And I think music videos are a good space to explore those big, sticky questions.
WIC: Movement also often figures centrally in your music videos, could you explain why?
TH: "The only constant in life is change".
Director: Tom Haines
Producer: Sarah Tognazzi
Exec Producer: Rob Godbold
Production Company: Bold Company
Line Producer: Benjamin Begovic
Service Company: Division, Slovenia
Director of Photography: Steve Annis
Costume Designer Dancers: Ameena Kara Callender
Stylist Cast: Monika Lorber
Production Designer: Natasa Rogelj
Make Up: Tina Hribernik
Hair: Mare Filipic
Choreographer: Mitja Popovski
Editor: Dan Sherwen & Kit Fraser @ Final Cut
Colourist: James Banford @ The Mill
Online: Coffee & TV
Sound Designer: James Cobbold @ 750mph
Video Commissioner: John Moule
Director's Rep: Alexa Haywood @ Freeagent