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Out of Leslie’s Hands | Filming a Music Video in a Pandemic

I believe it was Matt Lucas that said “Don’t go to work. Go to work. Don’t take public transport, but go to work. Don’t go to work. Stay indoors. If you can work from home, go to work. Don’t go to work. Go outside. Don’t go outside, and then we will or won’t, something or other.”.
For those of you who are unaware (where have you been!?), this fantastic extract is not actually verbal diarrhoea, merely a satirical take on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s guidelines around working during the first two lockdowns of this God awful pandemic. The problem I have with describing it as satirical, however, is that satire is often used as a tool to exaggerate things and/or people for comic effect. One could quite safely argue that Matt Lucas’s impression, despite being very funny, was one of accuracy and not exaggeration. I mean, did anyone really know what they were allowed to do during that period? I know that we certainly weren’t sure! Thus, you can understand our trepidation when coming to film the Out of My Hands music video.


Due to the second lockdown, our video shoot was pushed back for quite some time, so much time, in fact, that almost four whole months have passed from when the video was supposed to be released. To put that into context, you could have re-watched the extended versions of The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings back to back, one hundred and forty one times in this period. The single came out on the 30th October 2020, and the video is being unveiled today on the 26th February 2021, but “que sera sera” as the Spanish say (they don’t really though do they…?). We play the hand we’re dealt, and I’m not going to complain, as The Great Leslie was dealt a bloody good hand!

 
To start off with, our manager Sam/my brother/our very own Del Boy, managed to hire out this bizarre and yet wonderful warehouse in East London. I think the cool kids would refer to it as hipster, or is it the hipsters themselves that are the cool kids? Anyway, it was spacious and shabby, I could very easily imagine it being used as a funky Shoreditch bar in the evenings, if only it were in Shoreditch… Nevertheless, it was a fantastic find, and as soon as I arrived I started to move the abundance of props (which were very helpfully left in the warehouse) to make some sort of opening scene. I was rather swiftly stopped in my tracks from doing anything too strenuous, which is understandable as I was supposed to be in front of the camera and not behind it. Yet, this did not deter me, I continued to move things about. Most noticeably, I tried to plug in a large ‘On Air’ light, which you will be able to see in the background of the video. What you will also be able to see is that the light is in fact not on. This is because when I plugged it in, the fuse chose to blow up in my face. It was from that point onwards that I decided to stop being so helpful; particularly as the heating thereafter stopped working. But, you know, it wasn’t my fault; it was out of my hands.

Our aces in the hole were the amazingly talented Adrian Homeshaw (director of photography) and Julian Smith (director). Both Adrian and Julian worked on our previous music videos for I Know You Know and Money, so we knew Out of My Hands was going to be special, but in all honestly, we had no conceivable idea of what it was going to be like. For those of you who are reading my words now who have not yet seen the video, I think it’s best described as a non-linear storyline of varying scenes; I push Ryan off a child’s bicycle in one and get lost moving a saucy picture with Jason in another, accompanied by us looking a bit moody in some shots and happy in others. One thing it certainly is, though, is a beautiful music video, which would not have been possible without either of them. It is no understatement to say Julian and Adrian are wizards and we have been blessed to be a part of their magic. It is also extremely important to mention the rest of the team! We had the fantastic Andrew Wang sorting our scruffy lids and the gifted Ella Spinks on makeup. I’ve never felt prettier! The brilliant and beautiful Saffron Earl was our runner, and last, but certainly not least, we had Maria trying to tell us what to do, whilst Julian told her to shush.


All in all, despite having to have Covid protocols in place for everyone involved, it was a good day’s work. I’m so grateful for everyone’s enthusiasm, some people even seemed pleased to be there! One person who is usually with us, but wasn’t at this shoot, however, was the marvellously talented and devilishly handsome Deri Watt. Sam took Deri’s usual seat as assistant director, but Deri has been working like a very hard working person behind and indeed in front of the scenes, acting as editor. The reason it is a complete product is because of the time and effort he has put in to it, and for that we are eternally thankful.

I do hope this video brings you all as much entertainment and joy as we got out of making it.


Until next time, I am most honourably,


Oliver Trevers, aka. Leslie The Great.