As budgets for music videos have been repeatedly slashed over the last few years, so have our expectations for what may be reasonably achieved for the money. It is refreshing then, to see a new video come out that is made with obvious craft, and presumably (hopefully?) a decent budget. Dougal Wilson has directed this video for Coldplay’s new single Life in Technicolour. With a song as bland as this, the video requires something truly watchable to stay with it, but thankfully Wilson has delivered a promo brimming over with his usual wit and charm.
The video opens at a village hall fête where a group of children are watching a Punch and Judy show. After Punch is arrested for killing Judy, the kids are greeted to a musical interlude from Coldplay, who appear on the stage as puppets (insert your own wooden Coldplay joke here). The Punch and Judy theatre is then slowly transformed (with some help from a suitably ’tached puppet roadie) into a stage fit for a rock band, including lights and piles of miniature amps, and the puppet band perform the track before leaving the stage via toy helicopter.
“Coldplay were on their big tour so they couldn’t really be in the video,” says Wilson. “They suggested they could be puppets instead. There’s been a few videos with puppets so I tried to think of a puppet genre which hadn’t really been used yet. I remembered Punch and Judy. I thought it would be interesting to attempt to recreate the spectacle of a stadium gig with everything shrunk to this size.”
Production company: Colonel Blimp. Director: Dougal Wilson. Record company: EMI. Commissioner: Kirstin Cruickshank. Master puppet-maker: Nonny Beakes