CHEMICAL BROTHERS out of control feat Rosario Dawson

‘Huh, you thinks it’s funny turning rebellion into money’ -White man in Hammersmith Palais, The Clash.


Award: Winner, Bill Yukich MVPA Best editing 1999
35mm, Colour, Running time: 4mins, 27secs
Production co: Oil Factory Inc
Label: Virgin Records
Location: Tepito, Mexico City
Shoot date: 19th August’99

Cast: Rosario Dawson, Michel Brown, Jose Ludlow, City of Mexico Police Department

Screenwriter: Pierre Angelique

Exec producer: Billy Poveda
US Producer: Alison Newling
Prod man: Agnes Gardette @Milk & Honey
Commission: Carole Fairbrother, David Levine

Ist A.D. Rene Villareal
DoP: Christopher Soos
Cam asst: Andy Hallbach, Antonio Uruñuela
Gaffer: Sergio Suaste

Prod design: David Faithfull
Art director: Roberto Bonelli
Sfx: Laurencio Cordero

Costume design: Kim Bowen
Make-Up: Alex Mendez

Location manager: Isaac Pineda
P.A’s: Javier Solar, Alberto Rebollo, Alejandra Rodriguez, Carlos Larios

Catering: Ana Ballesteros

Storyboard: Mark Bristol
Editor: Bill Yukich
Grade: Dave Hussey @Company 3
Post: John Myers, Jerry Spivack @Ring Of Fire
Beautiful People: The Music Videos of cinematographer Chris Soos. By Tommy Nguyen, November 2000

On “Out of Control,” also by WIZ, Soos found himself in another situation where he inadvertently became a cameraman’s counterpart to the method actor. For the final sequence of the video, he picked up an infrared night camera to shoot a riot scene that unfortunately became a real riot, as the extras assembled for the shoot went head-to-head with 40 officers of Mexico City’s police squad. “It was a joke, but when the extras were marching, the police created a real barricade,” Soos said with noticeable excitement. “There was no bulls***, to the point where these young kids were having it out with the cops, and my friends operating the cameras were tromped on a few times. We had only a few hours of nighttime left, we couldn’t rehearse.”

What makes the newsroom-reality feel of the riot sequence stand out even more is its abrupt relationship with the first part of the video, a straightforward exercise of artifice. Complete with dissidents running around in revolutionary garb and federal troops in search-and-destroy mode, the setting is political turmoil in an unidentified Latin American nation, where the sun’s incessant heat throws intense warm lighting on people’s flesh.

The widescreen composition of the ensuing chaos, which also was shot on the 5279 color reversal stock, makes the experience forthrightly cinematic, while the lighting of actress Rosario Dawson, the sexy heroine of the revolution, took its cue from a few decades back. “In the 1970s, I always saw the film sets with these huge carbon arc (lights) behind the camera, banging into people’s faces,” Soos said. “It was an obvious presence of frontal lighting, and I wanted to parody that, so I was always sticking this huge 18K HMI right in front of her face.” The gratuitously polished surface of her skin and the deep focus shots (along with the quick close-ups of an effervescing so Tft drink) give clues to the music video’s product-selling artistry until the grand narrative twist comes flying at you in the form of a whirling cola bottle. It turns out the first part of the video is just a commercial, and the revolution doesn’t take place in the streets but in the people’s consumer habits. The video’s letterbox vision then suddenly collapses to fit the dimensions of a television set, where we eventually see the pop-culture presence of the Chemical Brothers smack in the middle of the consumer box. But, as the ending indicates, there really is a people’s revolution in the streets, and they’re smashing the soda vending machines.

All this reflexiveness is pretty heady for a music video, but it’s no surprise that it comes from WIZ., the Oil Factory director known for pushing the intellectual imperative of the art form, from the political eroticism of female dominion in Mel C’s animated video “Word Up” to the arrestingly earnest romanticism of communist infiltration in Leftfield’s “Dusted,” shot by Dan Landin. “WIZ is very serious about his creative connection with the project and whom he chooses to work with,” Soos said. Though the project was extensively storyboarded by WIZ, limited prep time meant rehearsals of the narrative sequences took place in a hotel room a day or two before shooting started. Coupled with the unexpected occurrence of the riot, it impressed Soos that the more-spontaneous elements of the production ended up working so well. “WIZ. rides an interesting tightrope between being this incredibly focused, work-ethic professional, and being a real human being, which is sort of about being unfocused.”