Hyde Park / Wortley, Leeds, September 2005

ROOK HOUSE was the simplest video I have ever had to make. The animated sections were spontaneous and expressive (i.e. easy and fast) and the performance sections only took an (admittedly long and irritating) afternoon to shoot. The biggest problems we faced involved in filming were worries over whether Dave’s trousers looked too clownish and if Guy’s mental guitar thrashing was going to look realistic or not.

The biggest problem I faced overall was how to depict the character of Bobby Fischer, who, through a reasonable amount of internet research, appeared to be a volatile and not particularly likeable man. From what I have read, there would seem to be aspects of his personality that are quite unpleasant and not the sort of thing that should be brought to the surface whist visualising a song that, whilst certainly not condoning his actions, doesn't try to condemn him either.

So I decided to trace the course of his life through the medium of clay, both in literal formations and metaphorical shapes. Again, I wrote a lot of model destruction into the script. I had to make two identical Fischer models to facilitate his growth out of the spinning ball (filmed backwards), then his later explosion into a maelstrom on the chess board. It was liberating for a while to gradually twist the model into a swirling mass of tormented plasticine, but after an hour and only 60 or so frames I decided to skip to the finish (avoiding the extra 600 or so frames I still needed with some crafty editing) and make a rook house for bobby.

Seeing as this was the easiest and most basic video I have ever made for iLiKETRAiNS I was very surprised to receive a reward for my efforts. The video was voted ‘Leeds music video of the year’ in the Leeds Independent Music Awards. We were all really surprised at the award show, we assumed Four Day Hombre’s video would win, it being a much more professional looking effort. I think this surprise was quite evident when I stepped on stage, looked gingerly over a sea of expectant faces, blurted out a barely audible ‘thanks’ then leapt back down into the blissful anonymity of the crowd. I hope I will be more together when we win our first Smash Hits award.

Broken Pixel, 2006.