Creative Futures Revisited: Dawn Shadforth

For almost 30 years, Creative Review ran a scheme called Creative Futures, celebrating the best and brightest new talent entering the industry. Here, we catch up with director Dawn Shadforth, who first caught our eye back in 1999

Dawn Shadforth started making music videos in the 1990s, after studying fine art at Sheffield Hallam University. She went on to direct promos for some of the most memorable tracks of the 90s and 2000s – from Kylie Minogue’s Can’t Get You Out Of My Head to Basement Jaxx’s Red Alert and Moloko’s Sing It Back – before moving into film and TV drama. She was selected for Creative Futures in 1999, after shooting videos for Supercollider, Jamiroquai and Garbage.

At the time, Shadforth says she was completely absorbed in making promos: “It was never a conscious decision to get into music videos in order to get into drama. I went into music videos because I loved them and I loved music,” she tells CR. “It’s such an amazing buzz making a video – coming up with an idea, making a piece and editing to music. And the freedom of the form is incredible, because often you have a completely open brief.”

The 90s was a great time to be making videos. “There were budgets to play with, and a lot of really interesting music around; even really obscure music would have the kind of money attached that you could do something exciting with. There was so much enthusiasm among creatives and crew, and lots of amazing people coming up that you could collaborate with.”