Searchlight: The Sacred Egg

By day Alex Mavor and Ed Kaye are a mild-mannered creative team at ad agency VCCP. When night falls they don rubber suits and fight the crime of Gotham City. Oh wait. Soz. No, that would Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne. What I meant to say is they transform into shit-hot directing duo The Sacred Egg who have carved out a niche in clever, conceptual music videos – who else would think to translate a song called ‘Fires’ into a film about sunburn? We caught up with Alex and Ed to talk enthusiastic nudists and their new video Black to Red which has an ingeniously DIY approach to 3D.

Why did the two of you decide to form The Sacred Egg?
We’ve worked together as creatives in advertising since one lunchtime in October 2006. We finally got around to directing this, our first promo, after months of setbacks, prevarication and obstacles of varying weights and sizes. Directing is fairly new to us and it’s good working in a duo with someone whose creative judgement you know and trust. That said, we do argue like a teenage couple on a cheap Valentine’s Day date.

As I understand it, you both work for VCCP – how has this experience influenced your filmmaking? Why do you feel its important to stretch your creativity beyond your day job?
We like concept based promos. Our job titles are Art Director and Copywriter but the majority of our time is spent just coming up with ideas. We’ve been trying to translate that into doing quirky promos and and have been lucky enough to work with people who make up for the chasms in our technical knowledge. One of the main things our job has taught us is volume – come up with fifty ideas and then hopefully there’ll be one exceptional one.

Outside of filmmaking, what do you enjoy and what inspires you?
Jonathan Franzen. Tobias Wolff. Richard Yates. Euan Uglow. Richard Diebenkorn.

How did you come up with the idea of the Fires video?
We started talking about men with their (ZZ top style) beards on fire. It turns out that this is very expensive. According to one stunt man we entered into talks with the cost of a flaming beard quickly runs into the tens of thousands (we didn’t want to do it in post). We kept on trying to think of non-narrative visuals for the lyric ‘fires in the night’ and eventually came up with sun burn.

And where did you find the cast? How did they feel about bearing all for the video?
The cast all worked for free. They were great. One was pretty keen to get butt naked. Even before he was anywhere near the set. We’ve since seen him on the news attending nudist cinema nights. I think it helped having Darran Bragg as the DoP so it was clear this wouldn’t turn into a lo-fi porno.

What’s next for The Sacred Egg?

We’ve just finished our first video with the production company Stamp. It’s for Sparrow and the Workshop and it’s two and a half minutes of home made 3D. We’re now busy pitching for the next video, hopefully with a little more budget so we can pay some people.

To find out more about The Sacred Egg and Stamp Films, click here.

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