Essential: Works is an interview format that Directors Library regularly hosts with film and video Directors. We ask Directors to name three key works under the film, campaign and music video categories that have been influential to them and their work. We hope that the series will broaden horizons of reference and acknowledge works from the back catalogue that have been important on a Director’s journey.
For our fifth instalment, we got in touch with Charlotte Regan →.
You can check out Charlotte’s latest music video below and other work on the link →.
I Need – Wilkinson (2018)
Directed by Charlotte Regan →
Below are Charlotte’s picks and what she had to say:
Essential: Films – Charlotte Regan
I’ve always kind of been a story first craft second kind of person. So my answers might not be the most inspiring! Apologies in advance. Picking favourite films is an absolute nightmare too so it ends up being different ones depending on who I talk to. I feel guilty like the films are mates of mine and I have to evenly praise all my mates.
1. Fruitvale Station (2013)
Directed by Ryan Coogler →
I saw this film at Sundance London a few years back. Got given some free tickets to it and had no idea what to expect. By the end of it I was sat there crying along with the rest of the audience. It took us all on such a mad emotional journey. Everything about it felt so natural, to the point where at times you almost start to feel like you’re watching a doc. It all feels authentic. I think story should always come first and should dictate the other decisions you make. It feels like every decision Ryan Coogler made was one he made to be authentic to the story. Everything revolved around the actors as it should in a piece like this. To effect an audience how this film did is why I think most of us love cinema!
2. The Assassination Of Jesse James (2007)
Directed by Andrew Dominik →
I saw this when I was about 14. I didn’t really know much about filmmaking but this was the first film where I thought about all the people who must of been involved to tie it all together so flawlessly. It wasn’t just the storyline that I loved it was the world they created and how seamless it seemed – the cinematography, the score, the costumes, the cast. I started watching it over and over I think weekly which is pretty obsessive haha! I have no idea if it will hold up for me now I’ve not watched it in a few years but I just know it was the first film that made me think of the craft of filmmaking.
3. Starred Up (2014)
Directed by David Mackenzie →
I think this is Jack O’Connell’s best performance and I’m mad obsessive about performances and cast – everyone in this is next level Sam Spruell, Ben Mendelsohn. I think everyone is cast perfectly. I love the writing. It’s a proper experience to watch. Everything about it is brutal. I think it stands up alongside films like Hunger, A Prophet and Bronson. I’m also a big fan of films that are confined to one world or one space. With this its The Prison. Yet it never feels limited.
Some others that I love are La Haine, The Selfish Giant, Broken, The Guard, Under The Shadow.
Essential: Music Videos – Charlotte Regan
I’ve always preferred stuff that is more character and acting/performance driven than it is stylish when it comes to promos. I like stuff where I feel like I am on this journey with a character instead of stuff that is really concept heavy. Music videos that feel like short films yet still compliment the music are my favourite.
1. Badman – Roll Deep – (2007)
Directed by Jake Nava →
I grew up around the Channel U days and started shooting music videos when I was about 15 and this video was always an inspiration. It was one of the first promos I saw that had that type of music yet still followed a narrative instead of just being performance based. So yeah this will probably always be there. Mostly for how impactful it was for me as a kid. I loved Roll Deep’s music so to see them go with a storyline like this was mad and having grown up in and around council estates it was relatable. It had kind of got to that point where if you’d seen one performance based vid you’d seen em’ all at the type – it was starting to look samey. This for sure shook that up.
2. You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are – Keaton Henson (2012)
Directed by David Wilson →
I’ve already banged on about how much I love actor’s performances, work that centres around that. So I’m sorry for getting repetitive with this choice! I think its just a mad brave video. That lets an incredible visual performance take us through the story the singer is telling. It always reminds me to bring stuff back to basics. You don’t need the biggest budgets or the sickest sets if you can find an incredible actor.
3. Jay Reed – ASAP Twelvy (2013)
Directed by Simon Davies →
This is an odd one. But I love authentic gritty stuff. It’s what I grew up making with my friends who were rappers. Stuff where you just follow them around their area and capture them day to day. This video proper captures that style. Its authentic and gritty. In a way that brands are always trying to re-create but will never be able to. Going out with a camera, no permissions and just making use of natural light and the locations around you.
Essential: Commercials – Charlotte Regan
I’ve only recently started being a bit mad into watching any and every commercial, before that I barely saw them and when I did I rarely took notice. Now I’m often over here making my nan switch between channels so we can watch and judge the commercials! She’s not loving it to be honest.
I think it’s such an incredible skill to make people connect to a narrative or a person/scenario within such a short space of time, anything that can engage you that quick. Some of my favourite commercial directors at the moment are Christopher Hewitt, Aoife Mcardle, Tony Barry, Tom Tagholm, Us and Finn Mcgough.
1. Made To Move – Anthony Joshua (2016)
Directed by Christopher Hewitt →
2. Rewards – Harvey Nichols (2015)
Directed by Layzell Bros →
3. Icons – Sunday Times (2014)
Directed by Us →