Inside Dougal Wilson’s sketchbooks

Drawing from Dougal Wilson’s storyboard for Bat For Lashes’ What’s A Girl To Do? video
As part of our Work in Progress special issue of Creative Review, which is out now, advertising and music video director Dougal Wilson revealed the complex storyboards that he creates for his films.
The issue includes preparatory drawings for Wilson’s video for Jarvis Cocker’s Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time and his Wave ad for Big Yellow Storage, and here we reveal his storyboard for the promo for What’s A Girl To Do? by Bat For Lashes. As the stills from the video (included below alongside Wilson’s storyboards) show, his drawings are a remarkably accurate guide to the finished shots.

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Drawing from Dougal Wilson’s storyboard for Bat For Lashes’ What’s A Girl To Do? video

As part of our Work in Progress special issue of Creative Review, which is out now, advertising and music video director Dougal Wilson revealed the complex storyboards that he creates for his films.

The issue includes preparatory drawings for Wilson’s video for Jarvis Cocker’s Don’t Let Him Waste Your Time and his Wave ad for Big Yellow Storage, and here we reveal his storyboard for the promo for What’s A Girl To Do? by Bat For Lashes. As the stills from the video (included below alongside Wilson’s storyboards) show, his drawings are a remarkably accurate guide to the finished shots.

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The video opens with Natasha cycling down a long, tree-lined road

While music video briefs are often pretty vague – “It’s usually just things like ‘edgy’, ‘dark’, or ‘not like the last one’,” says Wilson – Natasha from Bat For Lashes’ was surprisingly detailed, requesting a “cinema feel” and referencing the movies ET and Donnie Darko, alongside the work of photographer Gregory Crewdson. All of these themes come through in the final video, which features Natasha cycling down a lonely highway before being joined by a gang of strangely attired but surprisingly nimble BMX-ers.

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Natasha is joined by some unexpected biking pals

“I’d always wanted to do a video on bikes,” continues Wilson. “I like it when things that aren’t cool become cool. I’d always wanted to do a choreography scene on bikes. Natasha had pictures with tigers’ heads on people, so I thought animal heads, bikes, and that’s how it all happened.”

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The bikers show off their moves

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Natasha passes some Halloween-ers


The finished video

“I write all sorts of shit down, usually it isn’t very good,” says Wilson of his working process. “I do find that the more I think about it, the more something will come to me. You have to sweat about it, I find. If you get sick of thinking about it and then leave it, I often find that that’s when the ideas come forward.”

Dougal Wilson’s Bat For Lashes video is nominated for the Best Video award at this year’s MTV Europe Awards, which will take place tomorrow night in Munich.

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