Kane Chattey drops advice to rising video directors like… ‘Shooting 300 videos a year is counter-productive. ‘

Kane Chattey has been the director and the creative director for some of the coolest visuals you have seen  working with the likes of Devlin, Skepta, Banks, JMSN just to name drop. So we decided to chat with him in how we stared filming, his favourtite video and his advice he want to give to some of the directors on the come up!

Certified UK: How did you get into directing music vid?

Kane Chattey: I got in to making films out of necessity. I was 16 at the time and me and a friend were making music that was getting a lot of love and we identified visuals as something that would take it to the next level. There was no one in our area with a camera, so I worked every day solid for 8 weeks to be able to afford a Canon 550d & a Macbook. From there it was a snowball effect. I was shooting my own stuff, then people wanted me to shoot theirs. Then i was seeing what people like Jamal Edwards was doing with a camera and I realised that there’s definitely a lot of potential in, first and foremost, a career with a camera…but also the opportunity to be creative for a living.
Where I’m from, you be an estate agent or a manager in retail or a builder (or a drug dealer), so holding a camera in my hand and getting good feedback was the first glimpse that I got of creativity really being a career.
CUK: What is your favourite visual of all time and why?
K.C: This is a super difficult question to answer, so to make it easier and fairer i have to split it into two categories; performance and narrative.
My favourite performance video of all time would be 2pac’s ‘Do For Love’. That came out when I was like 7 and it still mesmerises me. Pac was in jail at the time, so they made a claymation video for it. Its a great tribute to Pac and especially that song.
My favourite narrative led music video is probably Woodkid’s ‘The Golden Age’. This video is the epitome of the potential music video has to be emotive, vulnerable, innovative and defining. Its a movie pretty much. It’s incredibly moving and indescribably epic. Man, just watch it.
CUK: If you could name you top 5 video you have directed for rising UK talents how would you and why?
K.C – The first would be Louis Mattrs ‘Oops x Wus Good’. I’m really not one to blow my own horn, I normally don’t even dig the shit that I do, but that video is hands down one of the best videos to come out of the UK scene.
That video cost £0 to make and its one of the most creative things I’ve ever seen. Majid Jordan even (very very bait) stole some elements for his own video, which I guess is a huge compliment.
Other than that there’s Jevon, Isaac Danquah, Devlin/Skepta etc. I actually don’t do a lot of music videos. I find it difficult to connect with artists, and thats really the only reason I want to work with people.
I just care about making cool shit with my friends. I don’t do anything for money, I never have. I do stuff because I fuck with the music and the artist, and because the artist really wants to get creative with their shit. So, more time, I’m actually turning down stuff because it doesn’t click with me.
CUK:  If you you could have an infinite budget and make a visuals for anyone who would it be and what would your concept be?
K.C : FKA Twigs, Stromae, Wretch 32, JMSN. I’ve already worked with JMSN, but we usually spend about $0-$100 on a video, and i know that if we could have no monetary limitations, we would make something that would be so awesome. All of those artists I just mentioned are artists that you can tell believe in themselves whole-heartedly. There’s no confusion when it comes to identity. They know exactly who they are, and then helps infinitely when you’re there to create a product that is an extension of them. The hardest thing to do is create a video for someone who doesn’t know themself.
Conceptually, thats all relevant on the song. Not on the lyrical content though, on the atmosphere. Whatever the song makes me feel, I’m going to recreate that atmosphere visually. If the song makes you feel sexy, I might shoot in an underground sex club where everyone is wearing blindfolds or something like that. Its all about recreating atmosphere and I think that is something that gets lost with most music videos.
No one is out here looking like a star
CUK: What do you want to bring to visuals to make sure it not a typical visual?
K.C: Atmosphere I guess. Oh and performance. Watch any of my videos and you don’t really need to watch anything other than the performance. If the performance is good enough, the artist can literally be stood in a white room by themselves and you’ll still be engaged. We’ll do take after take after take to get performances right and I’ll shout & scream “ENERGY!! PERFORM!! ACT LIKE A FUCKING STAR!!”. The biggest hindrance on all visuals is performance. No one is out here looking like a star. So at the very least, if I cant be overly creative, at least the performance is gonna be levels.
CUK: Whats any advice for those on the rise on their video game?
  • Get a good performance out of your artist.
    Don’t do things for money, but don’t do things for no money. Know your worth and make sure you get it every time.
  • Get artists out of their comfort zone (by doing this you’ll be getting out of your own).
  • Be overly ambitious.
  • Don’t get gassed, at the end of the day, all you do is shoot videos. You’re not saving lives.
  • Love your audience.
  • Collaborate.
  • Don’t try to do everything yourself. Get yourself an editor. Get someone who can DOP. Trying to do 4 things at once hinders creativity and you’ll be a problem solver instead of a creative.
  • Accept that you’re never going to get credit for anything. It’s ok. Its part of the package. Just be grateful you get to use a camera for a living.
  • Learn all of the rules, then work out how to break them.
  • Study atmosphere.
  • Shooting 300 videos a year is counter-productive.

You want to see some of the videos he shot, check it out here

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