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Showdown (Toby Gale) by Crown and Owls

on Tuesday, 17 September 2013.

crownowls

How did you go about finding the actors? Were they also dancers, or was that improvised?

This was the hardest part. The script was originally written for kids a lot younger, around 9-10, but we really struggled to find kids that were of that age who could move gracefully enough, they still had that youthful clumsiness. We almost changed to our other script for the track, but then we got an email from Rueben Crossland Jones, saying that he'd heard through the grapevine that we were looking for young people that could dance but also act. We were initially skeptical as Rueben was 15, then we saw a photo and knew he was the guy - yep, that's his natural hair! We got him into our studio and he just killed it.


The locations in the film are very cinematic and beautiful - how did you find them?

The process was quite long for the locations, as we had a fairly ambitious treatment so it required quite a lot of persistence to find the right places! The wides were found on a day of rolling through the North Yorkshire moorside, the abandoned building - through an urban exploring Flickr account, the house belongs to a grandma who hasn't redirected in about 30 years, and the forest was found via satellite mode on google earth!


Who created the choreography?

Thomas and myself created the choreography. We had never tried it before but we knew what we wanted to achieve. We can't dance...at all, but we researched pretty heavily into a whole bunch of references and worked really closely with Rueben and Jake (the antagonist) to come up with a routine. I think it took a couple of evenings to find our phrases and then perfect them. A lot of time spent watching Flashdance, and doing the routine with the boys to make sure we were all on the same page. It was actually really fun- the hilarious part was the nomination for "Best Choreography" at UK Music Video Awards. I think we lost out to Will Young...


How did it feel to receive the accolades the video has?

The amount of positive reception the video receives continues to amaze us. The UKMVA nominations were really humbling, and although we didn't walk away with an award, the ceremony was insane. The amount of views it still gets on Vimeo is pretty startling too, especially after the "staff picks" moment. It's really nice to see, after something that started so personally for our good friend Toby Gale.

What was the inspiration behind the video? That twist at the end is fantastic.

The piece started as a story about pushy parents pressuring young kids into underground boxing, but then we thought about the context of the track and naturally it lead us to the 1980s. We thought about some of the most iconic moments in 80s’ popular cinema and how we could apply them to our initial idea. We arrived at Rocky pretty quickly, and then thought about our ending. We were kind of half and half on the dance off ending initially, mainly because of the logistics but we just shrugged and thought, let's give it a try.


What were the main challenges when filming?

The whole dance off scene was tough. We got to the abandoned building super early to rig the lighting and prep our shots. We had our lead father drop out on us on the day of the shoot, so Trevor Jones (who we originally cast for the rival character's father) stepped into the lead father role and we had to think in our feet to replace his abandoned part. That worked out, but it ended up being a long night. I think we wrapped at 5am, getting home for 7am with a call time of 11am for Day 2.


What are you working on now?

We're currently working on a handful of fashion films for Ted Baker, and we've just shot a promo for the Rugby World Cup. We also have a new music promo coming out in the next few weeks!

Let me know what you think?

-James-Alexander Adair, Rory Martinez & Thomas Harrison (Crown & Owls)

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