Sir Franz Pagot shoots Janet Devlin video – ‘Better Now’
Award-winning cinematographer Sir Franz Pagot shoots epic Janet Devlin video – ‘Better Now’
Northern-Irish singer-songwriter Janet Devlin has released the final music video to be taken from her 'Confessional' album via YouTube. The single 'Better Now' received its visual treatment from a creative team consisting of legendary cinematographer Sir Franz Pagot, director Katya Ganfeld (who directed Janet's last four videos), plus a crew local to Gortin, NI where it was filmed.
Seeking to fulfil a career ambition whilst simultaneously bookending the most intensely creative and work filled period of her life, the video for 'Better Now' features two of Janet's great passions; her hometown of Gortin, Northern Ireland and horses. Due to funds generated by an unwavering fan base, Janet was able to realise her dream in not just a practical sense by filming on location, but in a conceptual sense too, bringing one of her most inspired ideas to life.
Gathering the team of trusted director Katya Ganfeld, cinematic visionary Sir Franz Pagot, and a host of crew hired locally in Gortin, Janet has created a stunning accompaniment to the track, with the emotional investment of all involved plain to see in the final product. So much was Sir Franz taken with Janet's work that he even agreed to work pro bono, "It is very rare for me to accept shooting a music promo, but when director Katya Ganfeld told me what she wanted to achieve and played Janet's song, I was completely hooked… it's just so mesmerising, Janet's voice is so unique and her lyrics touched my heart profoundly."
The concept saw Sir Franz in his element as Director of Photography, as he is well known in Hollywood for his equestrian work on camera (including Sleepy Hollow and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), "When she said that she wanted to shoot in Ireland, with horses well… that was it." Commented Sir Franz, who initially was convinced to work the project by his daughter who happens to be a big Janet Devlin fan, "Katya's vision as a director gave the song an unusual visual, combining Ireland's beautiful nature with the most magnificent creature of the animal kingdom: the horse. It was hard work to accomplish what Katya wanted and yet incredible fun, galloping at full speed next to Janet, herself a fantastic rider."
Tasked with bringing Janet's idea to life, director Katya Ganfeld's treatment has done a world of justice to 'Better Now', as she remarked that "The song is powerful, graceful and delicate. The vision of horses were instant and the synchronicity of this vision alongside Janet's made it clear which direction we wanted to go. Horses symbolise the perfect combination of power and grace. A story to be told through a narrative of reflection and escapism.
The crew, location and working with incredibly talented DOP Franz all contributed to the magic of this piece, orchestrating a symphony of shots that wouldn't have been possible without the team coming together like we did." Continued Katya, whose apparent enthusiasm for working with Janet is palpable.
Filmed in what was essentially Janet's back garden growing up - the Gortin Glen Forest Park is truly is her happy place, as is being on or around horses. The breath-taking scenery seems almost lifted from a fantasy novel; so with Sir Franz' keen eye and a stroke of luck providing the crew with perfect weather conditions for filming, Katya certainly speaks for all involved when she comments that, "The hope is this piece resonates through to the audience in the same way it touched all those involved: a reminder of power, grace and magic that's present within us all. Franz was filming on horseback, in drysuits and adapting to changes that ensured we got the shots, it was a pleasure and an honour working with him"
In true Janet Devlin fashion, filming didn't come without a surprise or two, as the crew found out the house they rented had been bugged in an MI5 sting a few weeks prior.
Janet has had an incredibly busy year, showing no signs of slowing down even with the pandemic looming. She released her highly anticipated album "Confessional" to rave reviews, and her debut book "My Confessional" completely sold out in its first week. The album also reached number 6 on the Indie Charts, number 3 on the Indie Breakers Chart, and cracked the Billboard top 100.
"This is a captivating and triumphant work of art from the depth of Devlin's heart and soul."
– Music OMH
During lockdown Janet also reached her 115th show on StageIt. Janet was an early adopter of the format, and cited with helping popularise streamed gigs, even before Covid19, as she has been identified by the platform as one of their top ten performers in revenue and in number of shows. She's also taken time this year to open up to the world about the struggles she has faced in the years she's been in the public eye; she was on Loose Women where she spoke candidly about her mental health struggles whilst on the X-Factor, as well as sharing with her half a million plus loyal subscribers on YouTube about the issues that she has faced. Her video tackling personal struggles with alcoholism was shared to millions of readers through popular multimedia website Ladbible.
Whilst in lockdown and obeying strict social distancing regulations, Janet filmed the music video for the single "Big Wide World". The idea, born from a concept devised by Janet, was to make a joyful (and, quite literally, moving) homage to Forrest Gump's famous running sequence. "When I was in rehab, I rewatched this particular film numerous times. There was something about this scene that spoke to me. I felt the urge to run – not away from something… but towards something. Directed by Katya Ganfeld, the video was no mean feat, being filmed using social distancing techniques and featuring heart-warming vignettes of happy moments submitted by fans all over the world. Other videos Janet has released for this album campaign include, "Away with the Fairies", "Honest Men", "Holy Water" and "Saint Of The Sinners" – which was premiered on 1883 and jumpstarted the album campaign.
Furthermore, Janet's helped to raise thousands of pounds for Nordoff Robbins performing at 'The Takeover Festival', while navigating a hectic filming schedule for her YouTube channel, and creating content for her fast-growing Tik Tok account, which she started while in lockdown and now has over half a million followers and over 7 million likes. Her videos include hilariously relatable rants about the strange people on the internet, many popular Tik Tok challenge videos and videos of her performing stunning renditions of her favourite songs.