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A delicious box of poisoned bonbons

a WIZ FILM selection
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This summer billed by the BFI as ‘one of the greatest ever British music video directors’, WIZ started training under Polish master Krzysztof Kieslowski. He began directing with the genuine cult document ‘Weekender’, the groundbreaking and controversial film exploring the 90's burgeoning dance and drug culture.

He has an ability to cast and elicit defiant performances within highly visual narrative, technical precision and always resounding subject matter.
His work is as provocative as it is sensual, and has earned many awards and admirers, including the coveted MVA Icon honour, joining ranks with Anton Corbijn and Jonathan Glazer.

WIZ has made films with some of the most challenging and respected artist’s today, including actors Michael Fassbender, Rosario Dawson, Ben Whishaw, Stephen Graham, Noel Fielding and artists Alexander McQueen, David Bowie, Marilyn Manson, Massive Attack, Oasis, Chemical Brothers, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, Dizzee Rascal, Emeli Sandé, Disclosure, Richard Fearless, Will Young.

He was chosen to create and direct the BBC period drama, ‘The Young Victorians’.

His theatrical debut ‘Tainted Love’, won New Venture Theatre’s best play award.

He's currently developing two features: a contemporary erotic thriller starring Ben Whishaw and a Virtual Reality shamanic drama.

He is a member of BECTU, the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union.

He lives in Brighton, UK.

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Represented @ Curtis Brown by Sam Greenwood & Nish Panchal for drama
and Alexa Haywood @ Free Agent for music film
instagram.com/wizfilmmaker
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  1. CHEMICAL BROTHERS out of control feat Rosario Dawson

    ‘Huh, you thinks it’s funny turning rebellion into money’ -White man in Hammersmith Palais, The Clash.

    Critique: thefader.com/2017/04/06/out-of-control-pepsi-ad-chemical-brothers-wiz-director-similarities-statement

    Award: Winner, Bill Yukich MVPA Best editing 1999
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    35mm, Colour, Running time: 4mins, 27secs
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    Production co: Oil Factory Inc
    Label: Virgin Records
    Location: Tepito, Mexico City
    Shoot date: 19th August’99

    Cast: Rosario Dawson, Michel Brown, Jose Ludlow, City of Mexico Police Dept.

    Screenwriter: Pierre Angelique

    Exec prod: Billy Poveda
    US Prod: Alison Newling
    Prod man: Agnes Gardette @Milk & Honey
    Commission: Carole Fairbrother, David Levine

    Ist A.D. Rene Villareal
    DoP: Christopher Soos
    Cam asst: Andy Hallbach, Antonio Uruñuela
    Gaffer: Sergio Suaste

    Prod design: David Faithfull
    Art director: Roberto Bonelli
    Sfx: Laurencio Cordero

    Costume: Kim Bowen
    Make-Up: Alex Mendez

    Location manager: Isaac Pineda
    P.A’s: Javier Solar, Alberto Rebollo, Alejandra Rodriguez, Carlos Larios

    Catering: Ana Ballesteros

    Storyboard: Mark Bristol
    Editor: Bill Yukich
    Grade: Dave Hussey @Company 3
    Post: John Myers, Jerry Spivack @Ring Of Fire
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    Beautiful People: The Music Videos of cinematographer Chris Soos. By Tommy Nguyen, November 2000

    On "Out of Control," also by WIZ, Soos found himself in another situation where he inadvertently became a cameraman's counterpart to the method actor. For the final sequence of the video, he picked up an infrared night camera to shoot a riot scene that unfortunately became a real riot, as the extras assembled for the shoot went head-to-head with 40 officers of Mexico City's police squad. "It was a joke, but when the extras were marching, the police created a real barricade," Soos said with noticeable excitement. "There was no bulls***, to the point where these young kids were having it out with the cops, and my friends operating the cameras were tromped on a few times. We had only a few hours of nighttime left, we couldn't rehearse."

    What makes the newsroom-reality feel of the riot sequence stand out even more is its abrupt relationship with the first part of the video, a straightforward exercise of artifice. Complete with dissidents running around in revolutionary garb and federal troops in search-and-destroy mode, the setting is political turmoil in an unidentified Latin American nation, where the sun's incessant heat throws intense warm lighting on people's flesh.

    The widescreen composition of the ensuing chaos, which also was shot on the 5279 color reversal stock, makes the experience forthrightly cinematic, while the lighting of actress Rosario Dawson, the sexy heroine of the revolution, took its cue from a few decades back. "In the 1970s, I always saw the film sets with these huge carbon arc (lights) behind the camera, banging into people's faces," Soos said. "It was an obvious presence of frontal lighting, and I wanted to parody that, so I was always sticking this huge 18K HMI right in front of her face." The gratuitously polished surface of her skin and the deep focus shots (along with the quick close-ups of an effervescing soft drink) give clues to the music video's product-selling artistry until the grand narrative twist comes flying at you in the form of a whirling cola bottle. It turns out the first part of the video is just a commercial, and the revolution doesn't take place in the streets but in the people's consumer habits. The video's letterbox vision then suddenly collapses to fit the dimensions of a television set, where we eventually see the pop-culture presence of the Chemical Brothers smack in the middle of the consumer box. But, as the ending indicates, there really is a people's revolution in the streets, and they're smashing the soda vending machines.

    All this reflexiveness is pretty heady for a music video, but it's no surprise that it comes from WIZ., the Oil Factory director known for pushing the intellectual imperative of the art form, from the political eroticism of female dominion in Mel C's animated video "Word Up" to the arrestingly earnest romanticism of communist infiltration in Leftfield's "Dusted," shot by Daniel Landin. "WIZ is very serious about his creative connection with the project and whom he chooses to work with," Soos said. Though the project was extensively storyboarded by WIZ, limited prep time meant rehearsals of the narrative sequences took place in a hotel room a day or two before shooting started. Coupled with the unexpected occurrence of the riot, it impressed Soos that the more-spontaneous elements of the production ended up working so well. "WIZ. rides an interesting tightrope between being this incredibly focused, work-ethic professional, and being a real human being, which is sort of about being unfocused."

  2. DIZZEE RASCAL sirens

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    35mm
    Colour
    Running time: 3min 54secs
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    'The English country gentleman galloping after a fox is the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable' -Oscar Wilde

    CRITIQUE:
    obtusity.blogspot.com/2007/04/fear-of-hood-dizzee-rascal-sirens.html

    videos.antville.org/stories/1606090/

    theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2009/dec/23/best-music-videos-noughties

    This video was chosen for ‘Power To The People: British Music Videos 1966 – 2016’ DVD boxset
    MOBO nomination best video 2007
    UK Music Video Awards nomination best urban 2008

  3. STRAIT STREET short film

    Digital media
    Black & White
    Running time: 5 mins, 18secs
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    Strait Street known to British servicemen as 'the gut' was Malta's notorious red light district up until the early 1970's. A choice destination for drunken sailors when the street sprung into life in the long hours of darkness. Barmaids would lean on doorways touting for business, musicians, entertainers and prostitutes would spill from every bar, decorative lights would be switched on and the tawdriness of the environment was masked by a sense of liberated jollity.
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    Producer: Andrew Whiston
    Production Company: A+ Academy Films
    Commissioner: Zoe Wolff

    Cast: Ira Melkonyan with Lisa Elle, Bobby Waterson, Stephen Ingham, Andy Bang, Harry Bohay-Nowell

    DoP: Ali Tollervey
    Camera Operators: Adrian Abela, Bettina Hutsheck, Martin Bonnici

    Location: Valletta, Malta
    Shoot: August 2012

    Soundtrack: 'Anna Minor' by Dark Horses

    Research: Emma Mattei, Sandra Banthorpe
    Editor & Sound Design: Leila Sarraf @ Trim
    TK: Tom Russell @ Prime Focus

    Dedication: Margaret

    promonews.tv/videos/2012/12/06/strait-street-featuring-dark-horses-wiz/16007

  4. MASSIVE ATTACK inertia creeps

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    35mm & heat sensitive
    Colour & Black & white
    Aspect ratio 1.5:1
    Running time: 6mins
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    'The heat sensitive camera as used by firefighters to see objects through smoke, works by recording temperature as light. Hot objects are read as white and cold- black, with a gray scale of the temperatures in between.'

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    Cast:
    Robert Del Naja
    Natasha Wightman
    Grant Marshall
    Andrew Vowles

    Body doubles:
    Tabitha Denholm
    Louis Hyde
    Pierre Angelique

    Screenwriter: Pierre Angeligue.

    Commissioner: Carol Burton Fairbrother.
    Producer: Niki Amos for Oil Factory Films.
    Production manager: Lou Whiston.
    Ist A.D: Dave Moor

    Cinematography: Simon Chaudoir.
    Production Designer: Annie Gregson.
    Costume design: Paul Frecker.
    Make-up: Michelle Bayliss, Lisa Johnson.
    Editor: Struan Clay @ Final Cut.
    Colourist: Tareq Kubaisi @VTR.
    Set photographer: Jason Brooks

    C Stage, Bow Studio, London E15, United Kingdom.

    Shoot dates: 26th & 27th August 1998.

  5. KASABIAN empire

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    35mm anamorphic
    Colour
    Aspect ratio 2.35:1
    Running time: 4min 52secs
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    ‘Posh cunts telling thick cunts to kill poor cunts’ -Gregory Burke
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    CRITIQUE: videos.antville.org/stories/1438492/

    Q Awards nomination best video 2006
    NME nomination best video 2006
    UK Music Video awards nomination best rock video 2007
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    DULCE ET DECORUM EST by Wilfred Owen 18 March 1893 - 4 November 1918

    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
    Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!
    An ecstasy of fumbling,
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
    But someone still was yelling out & stumbling,
    And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
    Dim, through the misty panes & thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

    In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

    If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues —
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.*

    *"It is sweet & meet (fitting) to die for one's country."

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    ‘Empire making of part 1: youtube.com/watch?v=cXvkH5ruw40&list=RDcXvkH5ruw40&start_radio=1&t=60

    Empire part 2: youtube.com/watch?v=1DMLHv9veSI

  6. THERAPY? diane

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    35mm
    Colour
    Running time: 4min 50secs

    This video was chosen for ‘Power To The People: British Music Videos 1966 – 2016’ DVD boxset

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    Production company: Oil Factory Films
    Label: A&M Records
    Studio: Stage 6b, Three Mills, London, E3
    Shoot dates: 21Ist, 22nd September '95
    Cast: Andrew J Cairns, Cani Gonzalez
    Producer: Kim Mnguni
    Prod manager: Lou Whiston, P.A. Sue Lloyd
    Commissioner: Robin Dean
    Screenwriter: Pierre Angelique
    Ist A.D. Barry Wasserman
    DoP: Daniel Landin
    Gaffer: Barry Miller, Sparks: Matthew Moffat, Paul Sharp, Kevin Robertson
    Focus: Ray Coates, Loader: Jon Mitchell
    Grip: Johnny Dunne, Coral crane: Fred Harris
    Production designer: Iain Bailey
    Costume design: Jane Howe
    Choreographer: Les Childs
    Make-Up: Sacha Souter
    Stills: Simone White, Runners: James Dowd, Scott Williams, Russell Reid
    Catering: Lynda, The Catering Company
    Colourist: Tareq Kubaisi @ VTR
    Editor: Struan Clay @ Final Cut

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