INTERVIEWEE: LISA DOWNS
Lisa: HI, can you tell me who you are and what you do?
Ashley: HI, I’m Ashley Pugh and I run a company called The Bigfoot Project. We’re a specialist company in long and short form music content.
Before that, I ran a company called Alchemy and produced over 200 music videos in 5 years.
Lisa: What were some of your career highlights?
Ashley: Working with Paul McCartney was pretty cool. He really cared about the production, he literally took over the studio next door. He also prepared a whole evening for the crew after the shoot- he was just a really nice guy. In my opinion, Artists that have been doing this forever are much more fun to work with compared to flash in the pan artists.
Lisa: Out of all the projects you have worked on which was the one you are personally proud of?
Ashley: It’s so hard to pin down my favorite, I’ve shot so many video and all over the world. I‘ve shot underwater, in the water, on boats, planes, helicopters…the whole shebang! I think the video I’m personally proud of was for Audio Bullies, which was really good fun.
Personally artists that are already established and understand what they are doing, there the ones you really enjoy. We done tones of Pop videos back in the day for bands like the Sugarbabes, Atomic Kitten and other Girl bands who drove me crazy, day in day out. But when you work with established artists who have real vision of what they want to do – then that’s really good fun!
Lisa: From the submissions you have seen, what were the standouts for you and why?
Ashley: There was a great French rap video that I voted for Best Cinematography, which was great standout video. With cinematography, certain things really grab you and that video was incredible. It had loads of really beautiful cinematic scenes. There was also a great Icelandic video that was beautiful from a Production perspective. So lots of very different approaches, which was cool.
Lisa: What makes a video interesting to you?
Ashley: I think what makes a video interesting to me is something you remember after. There are so many videos that come and go, so when you get a video that stays with you, you know it’s good. For me, videos like Verve, Faithless as well– it was so great to be on a panel with Sister bliss because their heritage
of videos are incredible. Chemical Brothers made amazing videos too. There was a real synergy in that time of expressing the visual and the audio at the same time. That’s the era of music I really respect.
Lisa: Why do you think this festival is right for people who are interested in the craft of the music video?
Ashley: I think music videos are going through a very difficult time. I think it’s important that people celebrate the art of the music video now because it could be conceived as a dying industry. Music videos are an incredible testing ground for creativity and although budgets have gone really low and things are very difficult, it’s one of the last remaining areas where directors can grab hold of some camera kit and make an incredible idea and really express themselves. So I think it’s a good idea to celebrate rather than commiserate the art of the music video.
Lisa: What would you like the Delegates to take away from today?
Ashley: I would like the delegates who have been here today, to go away and still believe there is a future in Music videos. I think if we can celebrate music video as a concept and encourage young directors to get involved, then that’s a really great thing!
Lisa: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your past self?
Ashley: I think being on set is a really important thing. Rather than just talking about it- get involved, make a short film, make a music video. Find people that you know who are interested in film making and just make a video! Most of the people I know who are doing well now have basically spent their evenings and weekends making films- there passionate about it! I think every second you spend on set is time when you are learning, so get out there, make videos, make mistakes but make it happen!