Henry Scholfield on Making Music Videos Worthy of Hit Artists
Like many directors who found careers in music videos, Henry Scholfield grew up on the MTV diet. These are mainly thanks to his friend Benji, who had access to the channel. Scholfield would go around his house even though Benji wasn’t there (Benji’s mom would let him in) and he’d absorb everything. “I would watch music video after music video, and sit there, just waiting for my favorites to come around,” recalls. These include, among others, “all Gondry.” You would just have to sit closer to the screen. It was like watching the magic in some of these videos.” Jonathan Glazer, too, namely his video for Unkle and the Thom Yorke track, Rabbit in your headlights. “I’m curious because it was not like the film, it was not like anything you have seen,” an experience shared by many commentors YouTube. “Spike Jonze also, obviously.” But above all ? “99 Problems is my favorite video of all time.
Fast forward to Scholfield’s senior year at college and he was beginning to experiment with his own creations, gorging on science books on film and the UCLA reading list in place of the usual film degree route. . Armed with the handycam he swiped from his sister, Scholfield made his first amateur documentary about the hip hop subculture in the UK at the time. “He was like graffiti artists, scratch DJs, MCs, and stuff like that – a lot of MCs. I would go to places and I would interview them and I would shoot rap battles and all that kind of stuff,” he recalled. It eventually moved on to making him his first hip hop videos, which in turn formed the basis of career-guiding music videos (many of them award-winning) for some of the biggest artists in world music: Billie Eilish, Stormzy, Rosalia, and now Ed Sheeran, whose new video is out today.
Look if only a handful of video Scholfield and propensity to movement, dance and choreography is obvious. Are there a link? “My mother was a dancer, he says. “And also I was a B-Boy very ungracefully. All power moves and not uprock breakdancing or toprock. I was less good at it, but always with the idea of dance and I saw a lot of things growing, contemporary dance, which influenced me. But I’ve always been interested as a form of expression and the way you use the dance to make sense of choreography or use to impress “.