Next up on Quick Fire is Merman filmmaker Fred Scott, internationally renowned for his sensitive, emotive storytelling in both the commercials and documentary world!
Fred's ability to spot and project the emotional truth in a scene or subject gives his work an extraordinary intimacy and human insight. This, combined with a powerful cinematic eye, allows him to create evocative commercial work that has inspired audiences on both sides of the pond, through branded collaborations with; Apple, Barclays, Stella Artois, Facebook, Beats by Dre and Ikea amongst others. Alongside this, his music video work has garnered numerous accolades including a Grammy nomination (Best Music Film) and Best New Director at the MVAs for his work with artists such as Laura Marling, Benjamin Clementine and The Maccabees.
His latest documentary feature, Being A Human Person, about the reclusive Swedish auteur, Roy Andersson, was released in October 2020 and has been BIFA-nominated (Best Documentary) - as well as being one of the ten films long-listed for Outstanding Debut at this year’s BAFTA Film Awards.
In one of our most enjoyable interviews, Fred shares his favourite lockdown movies with us, what he can't live without and his musical guilty pleasure, plus lots lots more!
1. What bands or artists are you listening to most right now?
It’s all pretty calm at the moment - Bill Callaghan, Aldous Harding, Ali Farka Touré (the latter is a staple lockdown go-to Spotify radio).
2. What was the first record you bought?
Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers 'C’Mon Everybody'. It blew my 6-year-old mind. Whichever way you look at it, Jive was ahead of his time. That said, haven’t heard much from him recently.
3. Favourite podcast?
I am developing my next film at the moment, which has some overlap with 'Rabbit Hole’ - it’s a fascinating listen. Louis Theroux’s ‘Grounded' is consistently excellent. Michaela Coel, Ruby Wax, and Oliver Stone are good episodes.
4. Favourite album cover?
'Tango in the Night'. For sentimental rather than design reasons I think.
5. What's your go-to Karaoke song?
I stubbornly stick to Billy Joel ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’, which in truth has to be one of the top 5 hardest karaoke songs. I tank every time, which is probably why I struggle with karaoke. It’s a vicious cycle.
6. What band/artist is your guilty pleasure?
Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t get a little misty hearing Jon Secada’s 'Just Another Day'. To be honest, I’m post-guilt on this. If Secada wasn’t clearly wrestling with such major abandonment issues, it’d be my suggestion for my (Covid-postponed wedding’s) first dance.
7. Favourite movie & soundtrack?
Favourite soundtrack: I’ll go for the most recent - 'Last Black Man in San Francisco' by Joe Talbot. I really liked the film - but absolutely loved Emile Mosseri's soundtrack.
Movie: Too many favourites - so here’s what I’m thinking about right now: 'Secrets & Lies', 'Hidden', 'Sleep Furiously'.
For combined film and soundtrack: Brian de Palma and Ennio Morricone’s double act for 'The Untouchables' is obviously pretty spectacular.
8. Favourite music video?
Chemical Brothers 'Believe'. It’s totally nightmarish and I just love it. Still now, when on the tube, I expect to catch a glimpse...
9. If you could direct a music video for any artist/band, who would it be?
Bill Callaghan or Father John Misty. Would love to collaborate again with Benjamin Clementine and Laura Marling.
10. Film director idol?
Well, I just spent an unhealthy amount of time & savings making a film about Roy Andersson, so that’s a given. But another absolute keeper is Mike Leigh. Same brilliant brain, different canvas. Also in the mix: Jeff Nichols, Molly Dineen, Kim Longinotto, Marc Isaacs.
11. What are you watching at the moment?
What aren’t I watching at the moment goddammit? I recently released my film through Curzon / Artificial Eye - and they have two new films I highly recommend: 'Quo Vadis, Aida?' by Jasmila Žbanić (harrowing but excellent) and 'Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets' by Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross (a riotous beauty).
Otherwise, best from the last fortnight: 'Dick Johnson is Dead' (Liked it) 'Sorry To Bother You' (loved) 'Time' (favourite doc of 2020)
Ultimately if none of that is of interest: Four in a Bed is an absolute tonic for lockdown.
12. Greatest influence on your career?
It’s hard to pinpoint - I think the films of Marc Isaacs and Molly Dineen.
13. Best use of music in a commercial?
Andy Williams belting out ‘The Impossible Dream’ for the good of Honda worked pretty well, didn’t it?
14. What can’t you live without?
I’m pretty fond of my dog.
15. What has got you through lockdown?
Negronis. And yoga. Often in that order.
Thank you, Fred!