Making the White Town – ‘Your Woman’ video

In the 90’s Record labels and production companies had auditions for new music videos being made every week, the working image was to be very cool or glamorous, most certainly cutting edge for chart music, we represented the modern self empowered woman of the times comfortable exposing her sexuality and confidence, so when I received a call to audition for this particular concept, it enthused my sweet childhood love for the black and white silent movie. I was told the song had been made by an unknown artist who’d created ‘Your woman’ in his bedroom studio I believe, I don’t think that’s the history today, you’ll have to talk to Jyoti Mishra but anyway it had become very popular on the radio and the label needed a video very quick. … I learnt in the audition, it was going to be a small crew, a low budget gorilla style shoot, there was a, beautiful to look at, rough storyboard where we’d be moving around a number of locations in the city of Derby… I had worked with the production company before on commercial music videos, and it was so easy to attempt ideas with Mark (Mark Adcock the Director), so I was delighted to be chosen again by them for this shoot where they would attempt this with a black and white cine cam … There was something about the story that overwhelmed my desire to play the role. I was in my mid-twenties… and maybe knew of already some of the battles being a woman had presented to me in love, in my work, travelling overseas, negotiating earnings, understanding what a right to independence and freedom of choice was ? sometimes doubted or unrecognised as even being possible….. layers of emotions to unravel and consider in an ever changing idea of a flight to happiness in love.

I made my own way to a hotel in Derby the following Friday night, we were to shoot for three days but annoyingly I had to be back in London for another shoot on the Monday, ( although I know I would have still not wanted to give the extra day, the fee I was to get (something like £350 ) wasn’t so amazing, I was quite aware I was already compromising for my own love of this story, so we had to shoot as much as possible in the first two days… because those were the days when they’d work around ya! T’was an early start, freezing cold, grey skies and there wasn’t much time if any when it didn’t rain. We worked through the storyboard shot by shot, arriving at the scene where I changed outfit for the first time to play the other character, we shot it but realised with the rain, that it was going to be almost impossible to keep changing at every location. Mark had cast another girl for the shots where both images would be in the same shot and she would wear the other outfit, depending on the scene, I made the change once and then we decided I’d stay in the white coat and hat. The shoot was full on and non stop for two days until we had to sleep… in the moment we set up each corner of the street we wanted to use, Mark would give us his direction and then Nick and I would run through it once and shoot, we worked fast and spontaneous… long days with creative intensity can become you until you hang the costume up so for a brief moment in time Derby and this story in silent images… existed. It wasn’t as glamorous as it looks, they had to keep the doors wide open for the TV shop shot, customers were excusing themselves going into the shop as I’m grabbing the Tv, and the floor of the shop puddled with the wind and rain as I stomped my soggy shoes to the street…. oh they were very kind. We finished shooting everything in two days except the very last shot…. I left late for London, and on the Monday my girl, who’d slipped me a banana, took the coat and pram for the final walk, shhhh for the very last shot …

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