Did anyone know this was a job option? Vicky Lawton has the enviable title (we imagine matched by an unenviable workload silver lined by a large desk to fit said workload) of Creative Director for Rankin Film, Hunger Magazine and The Full Service (Rankin’s creative content agency) oh and film director plus photographer for good measure. Watching Vicky’s latest for Charlotte OC we can see why she is one of Rankin’s most trusted taste filters. Making the unbelievably beautiful Charlotte come across as powerful as opposed to sexy is not just a good choice but exquisitely executed. The artist in a studio scenario has played out many a time but the use of blue and red really bring the performance to life.
Knowing there’s a lot of thought behind each decision made we had a chat with Vicky to find out how the colour palette was devised, how she would describe Charlotte and what Vicky prefers to do, direct or creative direct.
Word Is Cheap: Being a creative director at Hunger Magazine and Rankin’s creative agency The Full Service, what does directing mean to you? How does directing differ from your normal day to day?
Vicky Lawton: As a Creative Director my role is quite varied – I can go from coming up with concepts for campaigns, or fashion editorials, music videos and commercials or being onset with Rankin to advise as he shoots. Then I develop ideas through each little sub category – Casting, Styling, Hair, Makeup, Lighting. Composition, Set Design – its about having your eye over everything. So in effect, I like control over each element that goes into creating the final image.
Directing Film brings in another factor – camera movement and consideration into performance and narrative – and I find it really satisfying to bring everything together. I really enjoy photography and getting that immediate result, but with film I think there’s such an exciting anticipation waiting to piece together everything to create the final film. I really enjoy editing, but with my film work I’ve been making a conscious effort to pass this on, although I like to oversee it. Can’t do everything!
WIC: Although Charlotte OC is stunning and the central focus throughout, there’s a distinct separation from sexualisation. Was this intentional?
VL: I think there’s an expectation with a beautiful artist that the video she makes should be sexy, with this video there’s no denying that Charlotte looks gorgeous – but it’s a dangerous beauty, edgy – unpredictable and to me that’s more sexy and provocative than just baring flesh. I think a strong performance and conviction in the message has so much power, especially with this track – it’s emotional – and the way she moves and delivers each line is mesmerising. I just wanted to capture that honestly.
WIC: Why did you decide to pair black against blue(y-green) and red?
VL: I’m a little bit obsessed with the colour palette, aesthetically I find it really pleasing – and I like adding the red because of its sense of danger, warning, the fire it ignites to the performance is really intriguing to me.
WIC: What was the significance of seeing Charlotte near the end in white for the first time accompanied by a raven?
VL: It occurs just at the end of the bridge, it was a really quiet moment that would provide a contrast to the following chorus which has a much more intense editing pace and shot choices.
WIC: Do you prefer creative directing or film directing? Is this a side to you we’re going to see more of?
VL: To be honest, it’s really hard to pick one or the other, I’ve also started photography again recently so I’m really pushing to just try and keep all options open at the moment. I don’t want to limit myself to just one. I’m greedy.