David Knight - 28th Jan 2020

Vaughan Arnell's latest video for James Blunt is about as emotionally raw as they come.

Monsters is a song that Blunt has written for and addressed to his father, in what we perceive to be the last stages of his life (he is indeed gravely ill, battling stage four chronic kidney disease). And Blunt's emotion as he is singing in the video is clearly evident from the start: he is welling up from the first verse. That is surprising, even with the nature of the song, but it is unquestionably real, as the camera never wavers from a single close-up of his face. 

But there is more, and then it becomes clear why the Blunt's true feelings are so palpably raw: he is not only singing to his father - his father is sitting next to him. If you haven't had a lump in your throat by that point, you will after that.


I know it only has one cut in it, but it's where you put that cut.

"We shot Monsters at the end of last year. Obviously it was a delicate subject with James’s father not being well. And James really just wanted me to capture him and his father on film.
We’d been shooting the night before in the West End, all night, for another track of James's. And then we rolled straight from there down to Henley, to this old house that’s currently being restored by a friend of James’ family - an amazing place but pretty derelict. We worked our way in and found this location in the kitchen and set up. I think we were there from about midday to 3 in the afternoon, just a few takes with James and his dad.

"JP Seresin lit it. Claire at Final Cut edited it - and I know it only has one cut in it, but it's where you put that cut, I always say, so the edit is amazing.

"And I feel really proud of it. I think it really touches a lot of people, and not many videos really do that. The reactions we’ve had have been amazing - there are videos now on YouTube of people watching it, and we’ve had No.1 video slot on iTunes Video this past weekend. I honestly think it's been one of the strongest films I’ve made."

PRO Credits


DirectorVaughan Arnell
ProducerFred Bonham Carter
Production CompanyA Just Fred Production
Production ManagerChristine Lewis
Director of PhotographyJP Seresin
WardrobeJulia Salmon
Make-upHannah Lonergan
EditorClaire McGonigal
Editing companyFinal Cut
ColouristGeorge K
Post production companyBlack Kite Studios
Director's RepresentationMarisa Garner Associates
CommissionerDan Curwin
LabelAtlantic Records

David Knight - 28th Jan 2020

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