David Knight - 8th Apr 2011

After gripping videos for Let You Go and Blind Faith, it's perhaps no surprise that the latest Chase & Status video, directed by Lindy Heymann, is an absorbing, tough, gritty drama. But it still comes as a surprise to see a music video tackle a still-taboo issue head on, and do it in a way that illuminates the subject as well as providing a hard-hitting narrative.

But that's what this does. Lindy Heymann's video for Time is a harrowing, heartfelt, all-too-credible story of domestic violence - notably focusing on the effects of alcohol abuse on a normal family. Mainly taken from the viewpoint of a grown-up daughter - the affected bystander who represents Delilah's vocal - it shows all too convincingly show how her mother and father become locked into a cycle of behaviour with devastating consequences.

And the ambivalent ending - before a shout-out to Refuge, the charity for victims of domestic violence - show how hard it is for that cycle to be broken...


Lindy Heymann talks to Promo about the making of the video for Chase and Status's Time

Promo: How did the video come about: Is this something that the band wanted to explore (and therefore part of the brief) or did they need persuading How does it link to the songLH: I think the label had been looking for the right treatment for sometime. So I was quite late into the mix. Chase & Status want to make videos that challenge their audience to think about the times we are living in. Their last two videos were very strong and got a lot of attention, so the bar was obviously quite high.
The brief I got from them was fairly open - but they wanted to emphasise the hopeless aspects of love and suggested British kitchen sink drama / social realism as a starting point - and they seemed open to dealing with difficult domestic issues - such as alcoholism and violence.

You've created a very credible scenario, which strongly links domestic violence with alcohol abuse. Did you do much research before writing your treatment The turnaround on the video was extremely fast, so I only had five days pre-production before we shot it. So I didn't have as much time as I would have liked. But I did talk to several people about their experiences and also to Refuge. A big part of our discussion was concerned with the relationship between alcohol and abuse. Many times alcohol is a factor and although it's not a trigger for domestic abuse - other psychological factors are. Alcohol simply makes an existing situation worse - ie emotional abuse becomes physical.
I was interested in taking a normal loving family where on one level they are extremely functional - the problem is something that up until now they have managed to live with. I was very conscious that I didn't want to deal in stereotypes of bullies and victims.

How did you prepare the actors for their roles And how long did you have to shoot the video
We only had a few days to cast the actors, I didn't have rehearsal time, so the casting was very important. The actors were briefed and I worked with them on some improvisation in the casting so I could see their range of emotion and whether they would respond fast to direction - this was essential as we only had two ten-hour days to shoot everything.

How much were Chase & Status themselves involved in the production I had one meeting with them beforehand, where we talked mainly about the kind of family this was. They were keen to see our choices of actors and location. I also needed to know just how far they wanted to take the violence. Everyone has different responses to what shocks them I was very keen that the power of the story lay in the emotion of the family and not through gratuitous imagery. Fortunately we were on the same page.

Music video is not normally where you see social issues explored. Did you have reservations about telling this story within the confines of the medium
We all considered it to be a great opportunity - it was one of those ideal situations where everybody involved - label, band & manager had their eyes wide open. I was given the freedom to make the video that I set out to and hopefully it will not only communicate beyond its remit - as well as encouraging others to push the boundaries.

It has an ambivalent ending, where the wife seems ready to forgive a remorseful husband - again - and then the daughter leaves. Are you suggesting that, in this case, the cycle of abusive behaviour is not yet broken

PRO Credits


DirectorLindy Heymann
ProducerSarah Tognazzi
Executive ProducerPaul McKee
Production CompanyHello Love
Director of PhotographyDavid Johnson
EditorStruan Clay
StylistAmeena Kara Callender
Art DirectorSam Tidman
ColouristThe Mill
CommissionerLaura Lewis
ColouristAubrey Woodiwiss

David Knight - 8th Apr 2011

Related Content


NEW: One Night Only by Lindy Heymann

A trip around the pleasure park with One Night Only and their hugely anthemic new single, courtesy of Lindy Heymann and a top team including CADS-winning DoP Kasper Tuxen.

David Knight - 19th Dec 2007


Sarah Whatmore’s Undefined by Lindy Heymann

A grown-up sort of pop video for Sarah Whatmore by Lindy Heymann, set at a sophisticated party with distinctly saucy, even kinky possibilities. Sarah's definitely got a thing going on with the …

David Knight - 17th Feb 2009


Imelda May's Inside Out by Lindy Heymann

Lindy Heymann translates the oomph of Imelda May's brass-stabbing Inside Out with this glamourous, burlesque promo combining touches of Cabaret and Showgirl resulting in a fine, retro treat.

Jimmy Brown - 1st Apr 2011

Latest News