Luke Bather - 17th July 2017

Tom Clarkson's latest clip for Society is a clever guerilla experiment in public participation.

Stemming from the classic 'Can I take your picture? Ah, it's on video!' concept, the video starts out as a series of strange and awkward portraits. That is, until you realise that the true subject matter of the video is lurking in the background.

It's a clever bait and switch from Clarkson that invites you to really take in the whole picture, rather than focus on what's in front of you.


"The idea for Commiserations is based around a concept that was big online a few years ago... to offer to take someone’s picture but instead video them. These videos always had an undercurrent of comedy, but as we experimented with the idea, we found poses and forced smiles would slowly begin to shift into something more honest and sincere. We pushed this idea by introducing a key element that acts as a constant kick of reality for the audience. A literal representation of pain behind the poses.

"I’m hugely grateful to the band and label for letting us try this idea out, to Janna for supporting and pushing it from the start and the entire team who helped build it. Thanks also to all the unlucky people who we bumped into that day. Anyone who says Londoners aren’t fun and friendly and helpful anymore is wrong!"

PRO Credits


DirectorTom Clarkson
ProducerJanna Bartlett
Production CompanyMr. Tom
Focus PullerAshley Waring
Focus PullerJacob Niblett
WardrobeNina Sobers
ColouristToby Tomkins
Grading companyCHEAT
Lead actorBill Hutchens
CommissionerJanna Bartlett
LabelVirgin EMI
LabelLuv Luv Luv
Other creditsOn Set Sound: Owen Visser & Thomas Le Beau Morley Production Assistants: Kay Loxley & Charlotte Gill Runner: Emma Chisholm

Luke Bather - 17th July 2017

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