David Bowie ‘Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)’

— Tom Hingston

TDC Prize


David Bowie ‘Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime)’

The film is a promo for the single ‘Sue (Or In A Season of Crime)’, taken from the album ‘Blackstar’. Tonally the score had a very cinematic feel – dark and evocative, conjuring a sense of the film noir – so we took the idea of a title sequence that referenced that era, mixing live action, graphics and moving typography.
Taking original footage of Bowie recording with the Maria Schneider orchestra in New York, we used this as our base layer and then imagined a nocturnal world upon which this could be projected. The narrative told through the lyrics, then formed the basis for our typographic approach.
There is a dissonant, melancholic edge to the story and the music, so for us it was really about capturing this feeling through a moving piece. As well as our silhouetted figure, we were keen to create a sense of mystery and intrigue through the smokiness and the atmosphere of our protagonist’s surrounding environment.
The type compositions were created here in the studio and then projected onto the distressed surfaces of a real environment – everything the viewer sees was shot entirely in camera. The movement of the projected words was tightly synchronised to the track itself, so as the song builds the lyrics slide along a series of surfaces – walls, ceilings and floors – gradually becoming more layered before dissolving with a ghostly trace.

Tom Hingston
Tom Hingston is an established creative director and designer, based in London.
Renowned for his innovative and highly considered approach to art direction and design, his work spans print, moving image and digital. Hingston Studio, his creative agency, has won numerous awards, particularly for its work in music. Over the last 19 years Hingston has collaborated extensively with some of the world’s most well-known artists, including Grace Jones, Nick Cave, The Chemical Brothers, The Rolling Stones, U2, Lady Gaga, David Bowie and Massive Attack.
Fusing a distinct design ethos with imaginative art direction, Hingston has been appointed as creative director for a number of fashion, lifestyle and beauty brands, including Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen, Orlebar Brown and Lancôme. As a graphic designer working in moving image, Hingston has also worked extensively with a number of film directors, creating title sequences for, amongst others, Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, Anna Karenina, Control and A Most Wanted Man. Represented by RSA Films in London, his recent work as a director includes promos for David Bowie, Bentley and Naim Audio.