Liam Gallagher 'Paper Crown' by Mat Whitecross

Liam Gallagher 'Paper Crown' by Mat Whitecross
  • By David Knight
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Mat Whitecross's beautifully crafted video for one of the best songs from Liam Gallagher's hugely successful solo album As You Were fills a nightclub with one person: the actress Sienna Guillory.

Whitecross has made a video for Paper Crown where, through the magic of motion control, the captivating Guillory multiplies as the video unfolds – but in a distinctive way: each new iteration progresses her character, with her mood subtly changing.

With Gallagher's presence limited to the audio, the sense that she is reacting to his lyrics is palpable – but then she also becomes the performer, and multi-instrumentalist. It just goes to show you don't need to see Liam Gallagher to make a very good Liam video.

From the director

MAT WHITECROSS:

"My top bucket list moment of 2017? Flying in a chopper to the Manchester premiere of Supersonic - and suddenly Liam pulls out a speaker and starts blasting out demos for the new album. It doesn’t get any better than that. Apocalypse (Be Here) Now. I instantly pestered Liam to let me do one of the videos, and I’m so happy that a year later they finally caved.

"Liam was off conquering South America, so they gave us free rein to try something a little different. I loved Paper Crown the first time I heard it. It’s an instant classic, in the tradition of the best ‘fuck you to an ex’ songs - like Bob Dylan’s Positively 4th Street. But it’s one thing to sing it, another to see the narrative played out in a video. I had to have a good headscratch about how you could bring a song like that to life without it seeming cruel.

"So then I wondered if we could swing it round 180, and instead of the song being a man slating a woman, have the video be a woman aiming all that criticism at herself - a surreal paranoid fever dream. Someone trapped in a nightclub with herself, the victim of a self-harming Bob Dylan truth attack.

"I’ve been a fan of Sienna Guillory's for such a long time - and was so happy she agreed to come on board. She smashed it from the second arrived. It was a really long and tricky shoot, but she kept the whole thing afloat with her energy and fun. I think a lot of other actors would have wrapped the camera round my neck as we hit midnight, but she was amazing from start to finish, rehearsing on guitar and drums in between takes, while juggling family commitments and writing a speech on feminism she was due to deliver at the crack of dawn the next morning.

"Sienna’s a genius. She walked onto set and within seconds had rethought and explained the whole concept of the video back to me, much better than I ever could. ‘It’s the 7 stages of grief isn’t it? She goes on a journey through pain and depression, but each area of the club brings her one step closer to acceptance and hope.’ Wish I’d thought of that.

"Can’t wait to see what people make of the video. And even if they hate it, it’s a cracking tune..."

Credits

Director
Mat Whitecross
Producer
Simon Spender
Production Company
My AccompliceMy Accomplice website
1st AD
Ty Hack
Director of Photography
Sam Renton
Focus Puller
Sacha Jones
Gaffer
Will Finch
Art Director
Steve Blundell
Wardrobe
Lori Wiechec
Make-up
Jess Cheetham
Grading company
Company 3
VFX
The Brewery
Editor
Chris Roebuck
Editing company
TenThree
TALOS SUPERVISOR
Malcolm Wooldridge
TALOS OP
Digna Nigoumi
TALOS ASSISTANT
James Gillett

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