TheeBlog Q&A Sessions: Danann Breathnach


Last week, I posted BLAME’s new music video directed by Danann Breathnach and I received a couple of emails asking me about it. As a fan of his vision and work, I decided to contact him again to chat about the video, his background, work and future plans. Hope you enjoy this brief interview that kick starts TheeBlog’s Q&A Sessions and stay tuned for more to come!

How would you describe your work?
I have no idea how to describe my work! I just like telling stories. It’s a great privilege to, not only be able to direct my crew, but also be able to direct the emotions of an audience.

Do you have a set process method or do you approach each challenge or project individually?
Every project is different and the approach consequently has to be different. There only ever 2 consistent elements. 1. That I’m the director & guiding force and 2. I will begin having a consistent series of heart attacks directly after hearing ‘hey kid you got it’ to after the project is first screened!

Do you think that having studied design helped you or has given you some sort of advantage in your career as Director?
I have always been interested in design, be it art, graphic design, typography, fashion… I had, for various reasons, fallen out of the filmmaking world for many years, doing other things. Then, in a panic trying to decide what to do with my life, I decided to get back into the more creative arts. Graphic media design opened up my mind again and totally confirmed for me that I think & feel in images. It totally kickstarted my filmmaking career. Because of that, 4 years later I’m still doing it.

What got you started in the music videos industry?
The need to work on something! Someone said they needed a video. I said “I can do it”. I did it and more came along, somehow. I’ve not done a huge amount. I’m now working on my 6th. I have never shot a performance video though. All my videos have been narrative based. In fact, I feel the last three were condensed feature films!
Again, it’s the need to tell stories. Performance videos can be great, but up to this point, I’ve wanted to find emotion and a strong story in the visuals I create for a song.

How did you got hooked on collaborating with BLAME on this music video?
I pitched along with 20 other people! They liked my idea. Nothing ever drops onto your lap, unfortunately.

How was the concept and story conceived?
I’ve a huge image bank and tons of art/photography/graphic design books that I’ve collected over the years. I interpret the lyrics in my own special way, then sit for hours, often days, looking through them all! I just keep honing them down until I have one strong idea and then I write up a brief. Sometimes Ill do 2. I’ve pitched on far more promos than I’ve got, so thats a lot of sitting around staring at images! But really, after sitting around staring at visuals for hours, the full idea usually comes to me on a walk to the shop for milk.

Any fun or interesting anecdotes from behind the scenes?
I ended up writing 5 more treatments for the Blame video once I’d got the gig, due to the fact that the main singer’s (Tinchy Stryder) availability became more and more uncertain. The last treatment was written and approved on Tuesday and we were shooting on location on Saturday! How we did it, I don’t know, seeing as my idea called for ghostly tower blocks, huge abandoned warehouses, and an astronaut! All in all, the whole thing was done in 10 days. I was zombie nation on the day of delivery. I actually walked in front of a truck. Thank you for stopping Mr. Truck Driver.

What are your next projects, what should we expect?
I’m working on another music promo! It’s going to be more of a performance music promo (cos having never done one, it’s a challenge!), but it’s got a twist! It’s going to involve designing and building tons of cardboard amps and speakers! Then I have a few scripts in for funding, which I should be hearing about in the next few months. I’ve becoming a praying man of late.

Thank you for your time Danann!
No, thank you!

Want more? Visit his Danann Breathnach Vimeo Folio

Danann Breathnach – Thee Blog

  1. I like this! It always inspires me to hear from other creatives. I’m excited about this interviews, who’s next? :P

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