David Knight - 28th Sept 2021

A young man learns a tough lesson in Will Robson-Scott's gritty and perceptive video for regular collaborator Hak Baker.

The 'Cool Kids' of Baker's songtitle are portrayed here as two teenagers from the Isle of Dogs - Baker's home area - with the involvement of one of them in local drug dealing, and his mate as his enthusiastic cheerleader. But the excitement and esteem that the lifestyle brings comes to a sudden end, to be replaced by cold reality, and fear.       

Following the singer-songwriter and director's previous collaborations, on Dopehead and Lucky Life, the Cool Kids video takes a more conventionanl structure, but it resonates with palpable believability. It is partly due to the story arguably coming from Baker's own youthful experiences, but the execution and performances are also key to making this a riveting piece.

There is an excellent dynamic between the two leads, played by Shak Benjamin and Hector Abbott - the latter acting as junior partner yet enabler of his quieter friend - and the use of a body rig by Benjamin puts the viewer at close quarters to his story, and his horrible predicament when things go wrong.

As much as anything this is about the psychological impact of fear, which is why this is such an effective cautionary tale.

WILL ROBSON-SCOTT:

I wanted to root it in a technique that made you feel close to the characters.

"This video is in the spirit on mine and Hak's previous videos, but this is the first time we executed it within the confines of a more traditional music video, meaning a one day shoot with actors and crew.

"I wanted to try tell a story, but root it in a technique that made you feel close to the characters. It was a pretty physical day for anyone wearing the rig and camera, ESPECIALLY, our lead, Shak - his real name so obvs meant to be - but no one complained.

"Shooting on the Isle of Dogs and having the locations being places Hak grew up in, with cameos of his mates made it all the more fun, and some scenes just happened while others were slightly more crafted.

HAK BAKER: 

"It's just a coming of age story and wanted to try to give it a realistic edge. Shooting it on the Island made even more personal to me."

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorWill Robson-Scott
ProducerScarlett Anderson
Executive ProducerGloria Bowman
Director of PhotographyEmile Kelly
1st ACMichael Kinsella-Perks
1st ADPhillips Nortey
GafferKristof Szentgyorgyvary
Casting directorJinzo Casting
Art DirectorMolly Hackney
EditorThomas Goldser
ColouristRuth Wardell
Grading companyOkay Studio
Lead actorShak Benjamin
Lead actorHector Abbott
Director's RepresentationSomesuch
Other creditsGrip Trainee - Jamie Cobb Production runner - Tess Crozier Runner - Tera Pechmannova Sound mix - Pete Duffy Cast - Alessandro Babalola, Phillips Nortey, Ginger Bill & Jennie Special thanks - Maddy Perkins, Emory Ruegg, Somesuch, Feral Grips, Present, MCX & Brady

David Knight - 28th Sept 2021

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