Cat Velez - 12th Nov 2015

Darwin Deez has maintained his excellent reptuation for making creative music videos by collaborating with Oscar Hudson for The Mess She Made, involving a clever visual treat - and lots of international currency.  The eye-catching clip plays on the camera perspective and places Darwin into various banknotes, matching his face to numerous historic figures, some you actually may have heard of - and all achieved in-camera. 

The whole idea sprang from Oscar Hudson's mind a few years ago, while on holiday in Morocco - as he explains below.

It doesn't have much connection with the songs lyrics. But as Darwin Deez told The Wall Street Journal (and we never thought we would writing that sentence): “I don’t think it matters,” he says. “Most people watch 30 seconds of something and then they flip to something else. It was more like we had an opportunity to do this, and it seemed really cool.”


"The idea for the film came about quite a few years ago whilst messing around with the po-faced kings on the Morrocan banknotes after a lazy holiday lunch. I thought it was really funny but I didn’t think it’d ever go beyond that dinner table. When it occurred to me that it would make a great music video I was kinda surprised that no one had done before to be honest.

"On paper the concept seemed satisfyingly simple- there are so many beautiful banknotes out there I thought it’d just be a case of getting our hands on them and then messing around in the studio, but in reality it presented some really unusual challenges. The main one being the insane depth of field required to keep both the banknote (in the extreme foreground) and Darwin in focus at the same time.

"We ended up having to draw all the power available in the studio to get enough light so we could shoot at f22. The alignment of the notes was done in camera and so was unbelievably fiddly to get it right - particularly when we had the oversized background notes involved too - but it was really important to me that the video had a handmade, mechanical feel.

"I think all the painstaking fiddling was totally worth it. Darwin was so great to work with too, I spent the whole day with my face an inch from the monitor shouting at him throughout every take. 'Sit up! Slouch down! Lean right! The other right! A bit left! Bit right…' It must have been really tough but he took it all with the patience a saint. I don’t think sitting still has ever been such hard work."

PRO Credits


DirectorOscar Hudson
ProducerAaron Z. Willson
Production CompanyBad
Production ManagerCallum Harrison
1st ADAaron Z. Willson
Director of PhotographyRuben Woodin-Dechamps
Focus PullerSpike Morris
GafferLeo Oleskar
Art DirectorOliver Hogan
HairEmma Borley
Make-upEmma Borley
EditorOscar Hudson
ColouristToby Tomkins
Grading companyCHEAT
Director's RepresentationOB Management
CommissionerStephen Richards
LabelLucky Number Music
Other creditsSpark - Merry Colchester Camera Trainee - Robin Niedojadlo Art Department Assistant - Luke Moran-Morris Runner - Reece Grant

Cat Velez - 12th Nov 2015

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