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This Quirky Music Video Casts an Eye on the World of Dancing Dogs

Knucklehead director Fanny Hoetzeneder’s promo for John Grant is a brilliantly observed portrait of dogs and their owners

This Quirky Music Video Casts an Eye on the World of Dancing Dogs

Knucklehead director Fanny Hoetzeneder (who we profiled here) has directed John Grant’s new promo, which takes the form of a beautifully observed kitsch portrait into the competitive world of 'Heelwork to Music', where beloved dogs dance with their owners. 

In ‘Love is Magic’ hypnotic camerawork and stunning symbolic snapshots reveal the competitor's world, dedication and unconditional love.

"I first saw a Crufts video of competitive dog dancing a long time ago and I loved how bizarre and surreal it was but also how the longer you watched on, beautiful glimpses of emotion shined through,” says director Fanny. “It was pure devotion, tenderness and you’d witness beautiful love stories between master and dog, played out through dance.

“Talking with John about his song, those themed really matched with his lyrics and we wanted to make a video that was surreal and suburban-kitsch but which also explored the life of master-dog duos; training and practising at home, preparing for competition and performing on the big stage itself. All climaxing with a mesmerising inter-species romantic dance.

“It was really good fun to make and collaborating with the three handlers was really the best: it was lovely to witness the life devotion to this sport and learn more about their passion and what it takes while filming from their living-rooms.

“For the style of the video, I wanted to keep this photographic observational style; the DOP, David Bird and I used Stephen Shore’s American suburban photography as a guide.”

In a statement to Billboard, Grant succinctly sums up why he decided to use this very specific vision for his video. “Fanny’s video is a beautiful snapshot of unconditional love.”

Knucklehead sends a very big thanks to the glorious ladies of British Heelwork: Nicci, Sandra and Jill as well as their four legged companions: Nala, Elsa, Leo, Fiz, Chelsey, Demelza and Matisse.
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Production Company

Production Company: Knucklehead

Executive Producer: Ore Okenodo

Director: Fanny Hoetzeneder

DOP: David Bird

Producer: Barbara Maria Hauser

Gaffer: Leopold Naessens

Art Department: Laura Little

Trainee + DIT: Tobias May

Runner / Driver: Matt Heath + Anthony Ilott

Focus Puller: Brendan Harvey

1st AD: Jordi Estapé


Editor: Charlie Von Rotberg

Category: Music video , Short films

Genre: Documentary , Scenic , choreography