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Chris Hopewell is in the middle of directing the video for "There There,"" the first single off of Radiohead's new album, Hail to the Thief, and his knees are sore. Hopewell's been down on his hands and knees, scattering moss around the set of the shoot – a shoot he will only describe, at this early phase of production, as being loosely modeled after a Grimm’s fairy tale. But Hopewell downplays his own discomfort, instead commending Thom Yorke, Radiohead's infamously intense frontman, for his dedication and good spirits. Again, Hopewell won't say much about what, exactly, Yorke has been forced to do not surprisingly, perhaps, given the album’s early leak to the public via online file-sharing - except that it's a kind of human animation that's extraordinarily labor-intensive and not particularly easy.

"Thom was an absolute star, really, for a person of his stature," marvels Hopewell. "He was so down to earth. He just wanted to get it right, and he did. We had very long days, very intensive hours under the lights, and he was absolutely amazing. I've done this type of human animation before, and it can be very difficult to pick up, but he had it down almost instantly, within the hour."

In this light, perhaps it's not surprising that Radiohead chose Hopewell and his Collision Films company to make the video for "There There." Hopewell, an audiovisual autodidact who worked previously at the animation company Bolex Brothers, got his start booking the kind of North American punk bands whose fierce independence Radiohead has taken as its own model.

"I’ve written it around a Brothers Grimm-style fairy tale," says Hopewell, who, inspired by the song's forest imagery, went biking into the woods at five a.m. to scope locations. "They generally have a moral gist to them. Like a person gets lost, gets offered something or given something or takes something, goes a little bit too far, takes too much, is greedy, and gets punished for it. That’s the gist of most Brothers Grimm stuff."
Chris Hopewell, the director of this video, has described the shooting of this video thusly:




Deep in the woods with Thom Yorke - This was my first video and probably still my favourite. Video commissioner Dilly Gent and the band gave us complete carte-blanche to just get on with it. I think Thom found it a bit of pain as it was really quite a demanding physical performance. He was brilliant throughout and really could have been a damn fine actor in another life.



We shot some of the woodland folk sequences out there in the wood too - I loved setting up and filming all this in the woods, it was just such an odd thing to do but really worked in the film.



This would be my favourite bit of the video - the idea was to create an almost euphoric feverish dream-like feel - A friend once told me it made him slightly queasy watching it so I guess it worked. These scenes were based on a particularly weird "experience" I once had in the woods when younger...



I built the sets myself using real stones, logs, moss and lichen collected from the nearby woods - these were the same woods where we earlier shot Thom just to tie it all in. The whole set was crawling with bugs and insects.



This scene, as well as the other scenes featuring the taxidermy animals - where heavily inspired by the bizarre creations of Victorian oddball Mr Potter. He stuffed a whole bunch of kittens to make a “Kitten Wedding”. We used toy ones dressed up. The other animals were real taxidermy on hire.



I still get nervous butterflies when I watch this video even now ten years on...