Caviar director Keith Schofield has long dazzled us with his visual sleight of hand and at times, racy approaches, evident in classics such as Diesel's racy SFW XXX film and music videos for Justice, the Brighton Port Authority, Charlotte Gainsbourg/Beck as well as more recent ads for Mountain Dew, Diet Coke and others. His latest clip, for Stylo G and Jacob Plant's "Bike Engine" track, proves no less mesmerizing, but this time, the director gets personal by inserting himself into the story.
The film begins with a bunch of sweaty young men lounging about in their cars, eyes popping out of their heads when they see a woman's well-developed pair of gams and rear-end strutting down the street. Turns out, the good looking legs are just that -- disembodied from the rest of their person -- making them an interesting "match" for the guys, who turn out to have no legs of their own. The men then gather around the legs in a strange, slightly disturbing ritual, the event hits Youtube and enrages women all over. But that's not even the half of it. It turns out the women, as well, are just torsos and they too, encounter an attractive, well-muscled pair of legs. But this time, they have a body.
That's when things take a meta turn, the camera pulls back to receive Schofield himself on the set, watching it all unfold on a monitor, looking a bit unsure of himself as Stylo G and Jacob Plant, sitting nearby, give him a cold stare. He heads home, microwaves some ramen and settles in to check out the online reactions to his work, which, of course, are pretty damning, leading to a scene of the director in bed, sleeplessly staring at the ceiling.
Mr. Schofield said the video was inspired by personal experience. "I've found when trying to write or pitch ideas I'm constantly thinking about what other people will think," he said. "It can be crippling. I've also found myself thinking about how I've done all of these high-concept music videos, but rarely is anything personal. I tend to hide behind gimmicks and spoofs with ironic detachment. And so I was drawn to the idea of putting myself into the video. Of course, because I think in gimmicks, I came to the conclusion to literally put myself in the video and show all of my insecurities on screen."
The video, of course, features misogynistic scenes that, in today's socially-driven world, would likely offend viewers, but Schofield's depiction of himself as the target of an angry audience shows he's aware of what he's putting on screen. "It's me imagining another dumb gimmicky video that would probably get hits online but is sort of thematically pointless -- 'Bros like asses' -- that's what it's saying." Admittedly, "I guess it's sort of cop out. I made a dumb, misogynistic video, but because I've shown that I'm aware it's a dumb misogynistic video, and then showed myself regretting making it -- yeah that is definitely a cop out."
In the second act of the clip, the women seem to get their own "experience" but "I was actually really nervous about [that] because I didn't really want to do satire or anything that appears to be poking fun at feminism ... That being said, I can't just plug in the funny images and then ignore the meaning others would prescribe to those images. I think I've run into that problem in a bunch of videos I've done."
Mr. Schofield also included a nice detail in the clip adding the artists themselves, looking at him perhaps disdainfully over his whacked out ideas. "I've had music videos and commercials where I've seen the disappointment and regret from the artist or agency. This was sort of an attempt to dramatize that."
Self-awareness aside, Mr. Schofield offered a fun fact on the casting: "the woman who played the legs at the beginning was also the stand-in for the wax model mold of Amber Rose in Kanye West's 'Famous' music video," he said.