Part of the fun of music collaborations is to experience artists trying to one-up each other. Be it on stage or in the recording studio, the clear drive to out-shine performer peers makes for entertaining listening. 

However, the battle-ready nature of sharing the limelight is rarely transferred to the super-shiny world of music videos. That’s probably why we sat up and took notice when Henry Scholfield’s hyper-kinetic promo for Boasty burst onto our screens late last week. Featuring Idris Elba, Stefflon Don and Sean Paul swiping, bashing and scrunching the camera from each other, the vid’s infectious energy and lightning-pace was a joy.

We grabbed Scholfield for a quick chat about how he brought the energetic performances to screen, what prep was needed for the transitions and his favourite moments from the shoot.

Wiley, Stefflon Don and Sean Paul – Boasty ft. Idris Elba

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How did you get involved in the project?

I got sent the track, loved it and immediately kinda had an idea for it. 

Where did the concept of having the artists fight over the camera come from? Did you have any specific transitions in mind when you came up with it?

The idea came straight from the track. I liked the idea of creating a visual riff on the lyrical one-upmanship that was happening in the song. Like something like the transitional equivalent of pushing someone off the stage…. 

Then, yeah, I pretty much thought of scrumpling, folding, stomping, even knocking out (which was too harsh apparently). I was away at the time, did a little test vid and that was it… 

Boasty - concept test

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What prep was needed for the shoot? Was the movement and interaction with the camera pre-planned or did you improvise on the day?

Ooooh yeah. It was planned. I’m kinda in the habit of that for this kind of thing. We did an iPhone video version with me stepping in for each of the artists to map the whole thing out. You should see my version of Stefflon’s bit… it’s pretty terrifying TBH!? Easy to let the artist bring their magic when you’ve got a tight plan in place. 

How was the shoot? Did any of the artists need wrangling? Where can I get Idris' coat?!

The force of nature that is Stefflon Don caused a metropolitan event, as hundreds flocked to see her on the streets of South London. The ever humble-cool Mr. Idris nailed every first take, whilst giving us however many more to get our shit together. The legend that is Sean P telling Toddler T to stop pretending and just hit him. And, of course, the G himself, literally calling it in having been denied boarding. What a killer quartet of awesome artists.

I don’t know about the coat… but it was for sure Boasty as!!

The 16-bit intro is a lovely touch - where did the idea of that come from and how was it executed?

Actually, the idea came from the track. When I was listening back to it, the first part of the track sounds kinda like the Game Over noise of an old-school arcade game. So I figured that would be a great place to start it. 

I wanted it to be like old-school Mario or Donkey Kong, but with Wiley running through the airport. It was awesomely executed by the very creative studio Martes EStudio in Barcelona. 

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Above: Behind the scenes images, from photographer Claudia de la Mata

How much work was needed in post/the edit?

Not too much in the edit 'cause we’d kinda mapped it out, but there was some tidy craftsmanship required in post. Luckily, we had ETC on standby and they knew how to nail it. It was a fun one really. When they saw the Styrofoam model of the mouth we’d built in the rushes, they were like “what the f**k  is that for… ???”

What's your favourite moment from the vid?

I love lots of bits, but maybe top three: Stef throwing unwanted oggler against wall; Sean Paul with his big boasty mouth; and Idris’ with his excellent boasty dancing skills.
The fact that the kid actually has a wallet full of Wiley’s credit cards, Maybe Idris’ own handwritten lyrics in the mouth of his trusty falcon, or when Sean Paul closes the mag on his face the back cover is advertising ‘Boasty: A new fragrance’…

What's up next from you?

I've got an ad coming soon, at the beginning of April, with some cool CD’s at Fallon. Then maybe/hopefully a vid… but I won’t say what yet!!