Over the past few years Jazmin Garcia's work in short documentary and music video has explored themes of immigration and cultural assimilation, using family histories and her own experience as …
Work & Life Q&A: Ella Crawford, Black Dog Films
Ella Crawford is the new music video director's rep at Black Dog Films - and she gives us the lowdown on what makes her tick in our latest Work & Life Q&A.
Appropriately for a girl from Camden in North London, 22 year old Ella is a music obsessive - she writes and performs herself, in her occasional spare time. She's already working on some big new projects over at Black Dog too. But she's really not sure whether or not to apologise for loving Love Island...
How long have you held your current position?
I’ve been working at Black Dog since May and am loving it!
What was your first job, or first significant break in the industry?
My first job was at Marshall Street Editors as a PA – had the best time working there. It holds a very special place in my heart. I knew virtually nothing about editing before I joined but got to learn under some of the best editors in the game.
One of the first jobs they did when I got there which was a real eye opener was The Guardian ‘Butterfly’, edited by Jinx Godfrey. It was VFX heavy. It had this spooky music that ended up driving the office a bit mad by the end of the job. It was delicate and powerful. It was just a fantastic piece of advertising made by a fantastic editor!
[At MSE] I got to learn under some of the best editors in the game.
Name one music video that inspired you that get involved in making music videos?
The Story of O.J. by Jay Z and This Is America by Donald Glover [aka Childish Gambino] are two examples of incredibly well thought out videos. Everything you see has purpose and meaning and nothing is just there for the sake of it.
Videos that enhance and tell lyrics as opposed to a lot of the flashy ‘sex sells’ stuff we see these days (although I love that too) is really what gets me going!
Name one project you’ve done that was significant as a learning experience – and why?
I shan’t name it, but it made me want to move out of styling and into production. Whilst it was a demanding job it was still exhilarating. I loved being on set and it made me want to explore the different ways I could do that.
What are your favourite jobs of the past year or so?
Eels' Are We Alright Again, directed by Greg Barnes and starring Jon Hamm is brilliant! It was shot all in one take, carefully choreographed and is quite simply a really entertaining, funny promo to watch.
‘Save Ralph’ featuring puppets made by Andy Gent who collaborated on Fantastic Mr Fox and Isle of Dogs is just amazing. It’s funny and heart-wrenching, but also a really great piece of engaging advertising.
What are you currently working on?
Black Dog have some pretty big projects dropping soon - one with Oasis. As for the rest, that’s a secret but keep your eyes peeled.
What kind of work would you like to be doing in future?
I’d love to become a producer, but I am really enjoying working as a rep – who knows, maybe I’ll stay in sales! When I’m really old I would like to own a vineyard and make my own champagne.
What advice would you give someone entering your field?
Patience is a virtue, and if you work hard it will pay off so keep going!
When I’m really old I would like to own a vineyard and make my own champagne.
Tell us something that we don’t know about you…
I only have one front tooth.
When you’re not working, what do you like to spend time doing?
I’m always working! But when I’m not working, I love going out to restaurants with friends and writing music. I began teaching myself to play the steel pan a couple of years ago, so need to get back on that!
Where did you go on your last holiday? And where would you love to visit?
I just got back from Ibiza which was heavenly! No clubs were open, but it's such a beautiful island it didn’t matter. Next on the list is Trinidad for Carnival, or Mexico.
What are your favourite currently-running TV shows?
Love Island – sorry, not sorry! And any crime/murder dramas.
Favourite shows? Love Island – sorry, not sorry!
What’s the best movie (or movies) you’ve seen recently?
The Sound of Metal was insane. But I’m partially deaf and it has now freaked me out...
What are your favourite music videos by other people in the past year?
PK – Favela by Stanley Brock. It is just amazing the backdrop that he created himself and with cameos from a lot of familiar faces. A lot of hard work went into that, and it paid off.
Favourite music artist(s), and favourite gig(s) in the past year?
NATTY! My brother gave my dad his album over 10 years ago. We’ve been listening to it ever since. I went to see him perform at Koko in 2019. My old music teacher Marley is also the drummer in his band which was super cool. I never get starstruck, but I did when I spoke to him after the show.
Best book you’ve read, and/or best exhibition you’ve seen recently?
Joining the Ridley Scott Group I thought it was only natural I read Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick.
Favourite food and/or favourite restaurant(s)?
One of my all-time favourite restaurants has got to be Rochelle Canteen - amazing food, amazing staff, amazing atmosphere. It’s a place I could never get bored of.
And/or your favourite/most comforting food whilst stuck in lockdown?
It’s got to be Shake Shack…can still see the evidence of that around my midriff!
Writing music comes and goes... but nothing makes me happier.
What’s your favourite political or charitable cause, and why?
FREE PALESTINE, FREE BRITNEY
Best recent purchase (send photo, if poss)?
These hideous boots with love hearts on them that I will be returning immediately. If they had fit me I probably would have kept them just because they are so awful – I love it.
What’s the favourite/most rewarding part of your routine when you have to be in lockdown?
Definitely calming down a bit and not being out 24/7. It made me appreciate a bit of quiet here and there. Saying that, when everything is back to normal, I’ll no doubt be back to my old ways.
Anything you’ve achieved in lockdown that you wouldn’t have done otherwise?
Writing music again. It’s something I find comes and goes depending on what's going on in life but nothing makes me happier.
Work & Life - balance/ imbalance out of five (1 for imbalance; 5 for balance)?
We shouldn’t mix business and pleasure but when the business is such a pleasure it’s hard to separate the two!
• Ella Crawford is the director's rep for music videos at Black Dog Films in London.
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