The video was created by revered New York ad agency Hugo and Dean.
Psycho Comedy’s new avant-garde music video for ‘I Am The Silver Screen’, directed by esteemed New York-based creative agency Hugo and Dean, explores such ideas.
The premise is simple: two artists, Psycho Comedy’s lead singer Shaun Powell in Liverpool, and actress Bianca Berényi in Budapest, meet for the first time on a zoom call (where else?), where they are encouraged to interact in any way they see fit.
“We wanted to make something experimental” says co-director Dean Woodhouse. “They (Psycho Comedy) love the factory New York scene and so do we. Andy Warhol’s home movies were raw, salacious, and sometimes just shit. We thought we’d try an experiment.”
“We’ve probably spent more time at home (during the pandemic), in the garden, with neighbours, on walks, than ever before or ever again. Screens aren’t going away, our addiction has grown, but it’ll never beat a physical experience.”
Although written before Covid-19s emergence, the lyrics on Psycho Comedy’s debut album ‘Performance Space Number One’ have an added, eerie pertinence a year on from release. Mathew Smith’s searing spoken word cameos envisage “Dole Queue Uprisings” and “Night Sky’s Van Gogh wouldn’t look at”, which couldn’t be more relevant now, whilst Shaun Powell’s warped vocals seem to capture our collective, fractured mental state.
Originally, a video shoot was scheduled for Psycho Comedy with Hugo and Dean in Ukraine, until Covid intervened. For this incarnation, filmmaker Jonathan turton filmed Shaun in the UK, whilst Csaba Vago undertook DP duties in Hungary.
Covid 19 has affected each of us in various ways, from the condition of our mental health to professional aspirations. Psycho Comedy can feel particularly aggrieved by the timing of the pandemic, however, with their first UK tour postponed twice as a result of national lockdowns.
“If it wasn’t for lockdowns, you’d be looking at one of the biggest British bands right now” believes Woodhouse, who pulled the strings for this shoot remotely from Manhattan. ”We’ve all had to be creative during these times and some interesting stuff has come out of it. Just look at what we did. Three different countries, shooting a music video over zoom. It just wouldn’t have happened like this otherwise.”
Hugo and Dean have worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, including Smirnoff, Planned Parenthood and Playstation, on some of their biggest campaigns. Why did they want to work with Psycho Comedy?
“Persuading brands to do something cool is hard” explains Woodhouse. “They might have the bread, but they don’t want to take many chances. Psycho Comedy, to me, are all about taking chances.”
The collaboration also represented a pivot for Psycho Comedy too, who describe themselves not as a band, but an art collective, and have maintained creative control of everything they’ve done thus far, from record sleeves to sound production.
“New projects have to be memorable” adds Shaun. “Their (Hugo and Dean’s) work is quality and contemporary. We’ve enjoyed linking up across the Atlantic to make art during the pandemic.”
Scroll below to watch ‘I Am The Silver Screen’