Twin brothers Michael and Paraic Morrissey of CC Wade graduated from stop-motion animation to directing music videos for artists such as King Krule, Fat White Family and Michael Kiwanuka. Now they have their sights on Eminem (if he replies to their emails).
I think it would be nice to start from the beginning of when you started creating stuff together, how did it all come about?
P: The first thing I remember us doing was little stop-motion animations made with a Nokia 6230 where you could stop and start. We had two little Blu-Tack men and wrote a story where a dad would walk in on his son wanking.
M: Then we had a camcorder when we got older and we made some shorts which I shot and Michael starred in, all of which were made up as we went along. Then we did music for a bit at the end of school and ended up making music videos – mostly for ourselves and then for friends’ bands.
How did you end up making videos for King Krule?
M: Through playing gigs, we became close friends with Jacob (Jerkcurb) and he was friends with Archy and so he became aware of our short films and asked us to make Rock Bottom. That was just the three of us on a beach with a camera and then Octopus, we had some guy helping rig the lights. That was our first experience working with what you could call a crew.
You also went onto work with Fat White Family on their video ‘Feet’. How did the idea come about for that video?
M: We’ve known them for a long time and we’ve always wanted to do a video for them because they have such amazing faces. The good thing about working with them is that they have such a certain sense of humour, they’ll let you do whatever you want and they’ll let you make them do whatever you want, which is kind of a rare opportunity. Also the tune is exactly the kind of song we like to make videos for because it’s cinematic and has personality to it.
P: We met up with the band a few times and just talked about the origin of the song and they were essentially at war with each other when it was being written so we kind of just dramatised that and heightened it a little bit. The only image I had was an army leader with his men surrounding him, which was the first shot of the video. We set out to just build this opera around what went on between them. I wanted to put Saul on a horse to represent that he was ‘on the horse’ at the time but it was a battle I lost considering the budget and one day shoot.
M: We thought it would be funny to make a really intense Fat White Family video that was kind of attempting to be Apocalypse Now. I’d say it’s maybe the most ‘us’ video we’ve done so far. The post-production process probably shaved a few decades off of our lives though. We spent Christmas and New Years working on it and we turned off our phones and didn’t leave the house until it was done.
Sounds like self harm then
P: Yeah I don’t think we’re going to be doing any VFX or green screen any time soon.
M: But pretty much with every video, we go through waves of feeling like it’s going to be the best thing we’ve done and then the worst thing we’ve done. And up until you’re shooting you feel like you have no idea whether it’s going to work or not and you pray that your Uber is going to crash so you don’t have to show your face on set and embarrass yourself. But it always works out really well and once it’s finished, you look back on your pre-production and you realise you’ve made pretty much what you set out to make and we’re always happy with it.
You recently made the video for Michael Kiwanuka for his song Hero. How was that as it seems like a different direction and a departure in sense from what you’ve done before?
P: It was different to what we’ve done before in that it was the first time getting a job with someone we’d never met. Once we had an idea that felt like us in some way, we still approached it the same way we would anything. It had a bit of an added layer of pressure because it was alluding to real things that happened and it needed to be taken seriously.
M: It was different to our other videos in that it started with research as opposed to our usual way of coming up with ideas which is banging our head against the wall and screaming into pillows.
P: It was tricky trying to think of how we would approach it, so when we came up with the idea of basing it on the conspiracy theory of Jimi Hendrix’s death, it felt like we had a story to build on.
Looking ahead, are there any artists you would like to work with in the future?
M: I recently made a cold treatment out to Eminem’s management for his latest album which I’ve never done before but it probably ended up in a spam folder.
P: It’s usually down to the song rather than the artist, so it’s hard to say.
What are you guys working on at the moment?
P: We are working on some shorts and a feature film. I think what we’ve only ever really wanted to do was make feature films and so we’re developing those at the moment.