Stills from the Understand video, New York, September 2002.


September, New York
Understand is a wonderfully expansive song, big in its scope and production, anthemic almost. New York seemed a suitably broad and dramatic backdrop for that, though I wanted to steer clear of shooting the over-familiar. The track also clearly demanded a strong and animated performance from Cormac and he did a tremendous job of that.

I liked the visual irony of a car rendered ineffective by virtue of its being on a boat and it related to the sense of frustration suggested in the track (as well as more literally to someone taking 'so long' - as the lyric goes). That stasis is tempered in the video by movement and fluidity in the night footage.

The daylight footage was shot on a barge which is rather like a large floating tea-tray loosely clasped to a tug boat and it bobs around just as much as a tray would. Furthermore, the feeblest looking piece of string goes only half way round and barely pretends to insure any wrong-footedness from plunging you into the fetid East River. It was all rather disconcerting initially, sea-legs akimbo, because the river is choppy. We adapted quite quickly however and it felt like land again. Strangely, it took about two days to get over the sea-legs and revert back to normality though. We noticed in the bar after the shoot that we were getting sea-flashbacks - where you find yourself inexplicably swaying around and that half your pint's on the floor. How is it the mind fools one so?

Ben Telford, Director


Watch the video here.