Q Magazine

Guest Column – DO meet your heroes say Telegram, as Douglas Hart makes their 'spy film' video

Guest Column – DO meet your heroes say Telegram, as Douglas Hart makes their 'spy film' video
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Up and coming London indie band Telegram have just released new single Taffy Come Home. Of course they needed a video and with The Jesus And Mary Chain‘s Douglas Hart now plying his trade behind the camera who better to ask than an artist who has greatly inspired them. With Q premiering the results below the band’s Matt Saunders explains why sometimes you should meet your heroes… sometimes…

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The idea for the video for our new single Taffy Come Home came about after watching opening sequences from late 70s television programmes. I chose the idea to use rotary dial telephones to achieve the kinda of graphical elements present in these types of shows – think a spy series… gone wrong. The telephonic themes are signals to the title of our recently released album Operator. The idea of having to answer to somebody… somewhere down the line.

With this in mind it was decided to use the unique setting of The Lightship 95, a mobile lighthouse now permanently moored in east London which has been converted into a recording studio – which we in fact recorded our album on. So the boat/studio and the surrounding dockland area have formed the entire video’s setting. Handy!

At this stage Douglas Hart came on board and we sat and worked on the treatment, a process that provided productive sessions of aesthetic musings. Douglas had been our number one choice for the video, his general love for 60s/70s film and photographic aesthetics was what we needed. We’d met him at an aftershow we were asked to play for the Raindance Film Festival where Douglas was showing a short of his. The worry with videos is getting someone on board that is tastefully and tactically different from your own visions. As fans of both Douglas’s music and camera work, we were able to skip this and cut to the chase. The idea was to create a video with aspects of an opening title sequence, a tongue-in-cheek parody of types of scenarios seen in shows of espionage but shot but with a Technicolor acidic approach to how these shots would be framed. Abstraction and action.

Throughout the video there is often three edits on screen at the same time. We featured a range of assembled props and reused elements such as the satellites and telephonic gear that were present in previous videos of ours. On the boat we shot the control room with Rory Attwell (former Test Icicles man turned producer) at the dials and all other interior shots were done in the room we recorded months before.

Despite constant red tape we managed to quickly shoot the surrounding landscape. Douglas shot us in a van complete with a home made death ray dish, while trying to dodge the dockland wardens who might shut the shoot down – so the theme of surveillance was omnipresent both in front and behind the the camera!

Matt Saunders@telegramband

For more head to Telegram-band.com.


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