Iconic art and video director Nick Egan agreed to a Written Interview with the Duran Duran VIP Fan Community. In one of our best Q&As, Nick gives a thorough and interesting look at his career. We were so impressed we wanted to share a bit of it here on DD.com, along with some photos Nick took on the set of the video for "All You Need is Now." Members of the Fan Community can read the full interview on the site today.
What was it like reuniting with Duran Duran for the "All You Need is Now" video?
To be honest, it was easily the best experience I've had making any kind of film. I had just finished a couple videos for two new artists that were unbearable experiences. I won't bore you all with every detail but it came down to the same problem confronting the Entertainment industry. This general attitude that if you have a computer that it entitles you to thinking you know more than anyone else, press a button and you're an expert. There is a total lack of skill involved and suddenly these people are on (in their minds at least) the same level, in 5 minutes, what it took someone else 20 years to achieve along the path of discovery. That experience means you have pretty much dealt with every aspect of problem solving, knowing how to adapt and thinking on your feet. Let's just say that on the previous jobs the people I was working with were complete amateurs and glory seekers who thought that my name would help them to jump a few steps up the ladder. So to then to be asked by the band to do the lead video from the new album was great in every sense of the word. A band who has such a strong visual history, but who still respect every artist they work with brought out the best in me. It was a risk for them too as a lot of it was on trust. There was no real concept as such, just a few loose ideas. I didn't want it to feel contrived I wanted to capture a moment in time. Nothing was staged, we shot in their rehearsal space in London, decided to jump in a car and drive down to the Tate Modern, no permits, just whatever happens happens. The band were strolling along the embankment with no security and no streets were roped off, people were doing double takes, not sure if really was Duran Duran. Then I wanted to spend half a day with each member and capture who they were in and around where they live. Simon down on the banks of the River Thames in Putney, Nick in his house and at the beautiful old Brompton Cemetery, right next door to Chelsea Football Club. I went for a stroll with Roger in Richmond Park and dropped in at Black Market Records in Soho which is one of the top record shops for Dee Jays and finally I went down to John and Gela's beautiful house in the country. John and I got up at dawn to shoot in the snowy fields that surround the house, then back on the plane to Los Angeles. It makes me laugh when I hear people criticize the video because it doesn't look expensive or that there are no super models in it. Well those people obviously don't have a clue, Duran have done that in fact they created that whole genre. They wanted something more personal. I wanted it to be right in there with them as if you could touch them.
Is the concept of the video a collaborative effort, and is that different from when you work with other artists?
It depends on the artist. I much prefer involvement from the band, especially Duran Duran. When I was involved with Punk the bands were always hands on, for example the Clash's 'Tommy Gun' sleeve I did with Paul from the band, Dexy's Midnight Runners were very involved. The 'Kick' Cover for INXS, I made Michael take part, which he had never really done previously, he also worked very closely with me on his solo project Max Q along with Ollie Olsen. Bob Dylan was involved with all the covers I did with him, but in particular 'Drawn Blank' his book of sketches. The Psychedelic Furs, The Cult, Iggy Pop and Wendy and Lisa all had a big part in those album covers.
With the videos it varies, but Duran, Motley Crue, Oasis, Kylie Minogue, Deftones,Sonic Youth, Digable Planets, Rancid, PM Dawn, Alanis Morissette, Soup Dragons, Terence Trent D'Arby, Uncle Kracker are all the people that had involvement with the videos from the treatment to the final cut. Some bands just get involved in the shoot itself, others just show up and leave. Some involvement has been inspirational and others have been a nightmare. It depends on where the band are at in their career, whether they are on the ascendency, the pinnacle or descendency has a lot to do with how involved they are.
***Look for photos from Nick Egan in the DD.com Gallery: http://bit.ly/pkWtcv