October 30th, 2013

Mill+ Director, Carl Addy recently directed the debut music video for up and coming band We Are Shining titled 'Wheel'. Carl was not only tasked with designing and developing the creative concept for the video, but also with bringing the band's personality and history to life. I caught up with him to get a better insight into how 'Wheel' was made…

I was introduced to We Are Shining, a project comprising of two London based producers, Acyde and Morgan, by West Management; who have for a long time handled Massive Attack amongst other artists.

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We Are Shining met through various club nights in London, where they discovered an affinity for making music together, combining Morgan's innovative production technique with Acyde's unique vocal style. The duo released a 12" on Young Turks last year and since then have been working on their debut album which features collaborations with friends including FKA Twigs, Roses Gabor, and Shingai from The Noisettes. Although the band's sound was mature and their references complex, they had yet to create anything to visually articulate their sound. They had no legacy of artwork or branding, so we were tasked to consider both their identity and their launch promo.

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The band needed more than a video, they needed a back-story. Working alongside the band, the Mill+ team conceptualised the idea of creating both a tumblr of influences and a video. These could be viewed both ways, simply as a site full of visually resampled gifs or as a single narratively connected promo.

The band provided us with a vast collection of stills and video that represented their influences and inspiration and from this we clustered the material around common themes such as tribalism, consumerism, destruction, sexuality and modern symbolism. The task was then to restyle these into the band's aesthetic and fit them into a cohesive narrative.

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Our larger inspiration for the band's style was the idea of modern tribalism, using visuals in the same way that the band appropriates audio samples.

After the first round of treatments we stumbled onto the idea of having a tumblr as a video. It would show their influences and inspirations and at the same time it had to be entertaining and engaging. It needed a narrative, a story…The idea we pitched was simple… you know when you come home wasted, hop on your computer and start looking through blogs, Youtube and random links. Next thing you know you have lost a few hours meandering around and your wasted brain has constructed a story out of all these images and films. This should be like that, kind of like a trippy possessed tumblr.

From that we constructed this tale…

Primitive man stumbles onto modern tribalism, which is essentially fashion and music. That is how we signify our tribes and beliefs. Of course it freaks him out, so he tries to get away from it. Everywhere he turns he is confronted by sexy dancing girls and the allure of consumerism. There is booze, there is dancing and then we encounter his temptress, the girl who breaks his resolve. We then become part of a larger global party… everyone is dancing along to the end of the world. There is a strange tripped out birth scene and then everything descends into a chaotic orgy of destruction. This leaves our tribal man broken but enlightened. The Wheel continues.

Find out more about the video here.