What was the idea behind the Distant Colours promo?
The idea for the promo was a continuation of the International Blue promo to be honest. We wanted to featuring the same Japanese character but now lost in Wales rather than in Nice. I think the themes of being disenfranchised, lost memory and searching for identity is very much at the heart of Distant Colours so placing our character in an alien environment with an unusual language seemed to fit the feeling we were after.
How did you choose the locations that were included in the film?
I’ve got a long long list of Welsh location ideas all listed in a notebook so that helped! I also wanted to illustrate some key historical sites that seemed to connect with the song. "Cofiwch Dryweryn” was a definite as were Nye Bevans Stones in Ebbw Vale and the Guardian of The Valleys in Six Bells. there were so many I had to leave out but maybe they may appear in the live show.
Are there recurrent themes that run throughout the album that pop up in the promos?
Our overall approach was to come up with more of a visual aesthetic for this project, something we’ve nicknamed “widescreen melancholia”. The one thing I would say is the “disconnect" that our character has with the world around her is in keeping with the idea of the album. Seeking and finding inspiration in the places you least expect.
Will the actress,Sarah Sayuri, featured in both promos so far be in the rest?
There’s definitely a plan to continue working with Sarah. She features in two promos and the Resistance Is Futile trailer and there’s still a few films to go.
She’s a real trooper. Not many actors would have walked across Trawsfynydd Lake in the ice cold wind we experienced.
And finally, are you producing themed visuals for the Manics' UK tour - and if so, what can you tell us about them?
We start work on Monday on the arena tour work. We’re working out a much more dramatic stage screen design with Colin (the band's genius lighting designer). I’m shooting a number of sequences that follow the theme of the album artwork alongside new ideas cooked up by Wire and myself. We’re definitely continuing our widescreen melancholia theme. There’ll also be a new material shot with Sarah alongside new footage shot for new songs and old. We’re going to refresh the whole presentation of archive material so the show is going to look quite ambitious with screens and lighting being more integrated than previous shows. Our hope is that these elements combined with the bands incredible live performance will take your breath away. Fingers crossed!