Director: PAXI

With a new album releasing on the 9th of June the importance held on Tom Vek’s – Sherman is of the highest order. Fortunately for him Paxi has come in and sliced to success. Performance videos rarely capture any kind of creative interest so it was a pleasant surprise when Tom delivered the odd protagonist whilst performing in his own unique way.

Paxi has been a friend of word is cheap for a while now so it was inevitable that we sat down (over email) and thrashed out the what’s what of her latest promo. The editing, colour, location and most importantly, what Tom Vek brings to the house party table.

word is cheap: Is this your first project with Leap Films? How did the project come about?

PAXI: Well, the project actually came about through a personal relationship with Tom. Last year I saw a funny lo-fi video he released where he’s playing with a remote control toy car. I thought it was rare and hilarious, so I decided to contact him. We got talking and exchanged emails, etc. and then I waited for around 7 months for the new album to be ready. During that time I also shot a smaller budget video for our mutual friend Rory Attwell, Then, when the new material was ready, Tom got back in touch and we went from there. So we didn’t go through the traditional pitching route as you would with a rep or a production company. I prefer working this way. I’m an independent video maker and I like to be in control of my own process where possible.

That said, I’d like to thank Leap for being so supportive of this production. They kindly offered to put their production manager on it, and helped out with logistical issues that would have been such a headache for me. I’m terrible at taxes. The worse I am with taxes, the better my videos are.

The editing is incredible, was the two-shot merging technique pre planned?

Thank you! I’ll relay this kind compliment to my dad, and he will call his nearest 40 relatives and tell them. Yes it was pre-planned. It started out as a lo-fi idea that ballooned into something more stylised – proof that when DPs and directors have too much coffee together, ideas can run wild.

The location plays an important role in setting the mood, how was it picked?

I was looking for an empty Art Deco hotel lobby and was about to book Cafe Zedel when my good friend took me to THH. I don’t know this city too well, so I’m grateful for the help on that one. It was a great find because it has so many different areas. I shaped the rest of the idea around the locations in there – which was scary because our contact at THH was answering about 1 in every 10 emails, so we thought we’d turn up and they would be like “what shoot?” Then my production manager would strangle me. Then there’d be no video.

Lighting and colour play a big part what was the influence behind this?

There’s a real sinister tone to this track,  and it needed something colourful but surreal to compliment it. I didn’t have many references for the lighting. It’s more fun not having to scroll through the internet looking for the exact thing in your head. I quite like those shots that are unplanned, because it means the DP and I can work more with the scene and with our imaginations. The only thing we knew we definitely wanted was a big flashing blue light – like a swimming pool vibe.

What was it like working with Tom Vek, if you were to work together again would you follow suit?

He is amazing. You might have this image of him as an impossibly cool guy with amazing taste in everything and great one-liners every 2-3 minutes… and that’s exactly what you get when you meet him. We had fun editing in my studio, and he has a good balance of being involved in the project while respecting creative decisions. And also you get corporate lunches. I would definitely work with him again. Or at least accept more corporate lunches. Tom sometimes turns up to your house parties if you work with him too. Bonus!