An interview with film maker Theo Watkins

Theo Watkins is a film maker influenced by the horror movies of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci. Theo also makes videos of bands that include IDLES and Bring Me The Horizon.  We were able to catch up Theo and conduct an interview with him, this was before the current real life horror show of Covid-19 unfolded across the globe.


Theo Watkins video still: BEEGOOD -God of Nowhere

DS: What are you working on at the moment?

TW: Some top secret music videos hanging in the air but also trying to get some short films off the ground, as exclusively doing music videos can get a bit samey.

DS: How much are the videos that you make with bands and solo artists, a collaborative process?

TW: Very much depends. Often artists will have the basis of an idea that we then build on, and that can be a really creative and fulfilling process for me. Then on the other hand, some artists/labels have been very hands-off and we’ve been able to run wild. Complete lack of creative freedom pretty much guarantees the worst product and most unfulfilling process, but we won’t talk about those.

DS: In 2018 the video you made  for Bring Me Horizon ” Wonderful life” won a lot of critical acclaim , can you say what that was like .

TW: Really fun and surreal. I was phoned up out of the blue and the next week we were travelling around Sheffield filming the band members do mundane tasks. The idea was thought up by Ollie Sykes, the lead singer, but it chimed perfectly with my sense of humour. Lots of people didn’t get the deadpan comedy of it but that was always to be the case — I love confusing people!

Theo Watkins video still: Bring Me The Horizon – wonderful life 

DS: You’ve also produced a couple of videos for Idles , which are very different from each other . One working with the band ,the other using archive film footage . How did they each evolve

TW: Both those videos for Idles are to date my most fun and creative music video productions. Joe, the singer, is very screwed on from a thematic standpoint and puts a lot of trust in you as a fellow creative. ‘Great’ grew from a single meeting and ‘Samaritans’ came soon after, both from his initial ideas, which I then ran wild with. There wasn’t loads of back-and-forth after that, as I seemed to have quite an instinctive understanding of what he would like. The absolute dream.


Theo Watkins video still: IDLES – Great

DS: Although working with several known bands, your not based in London .is that something you have purposely chosen to do and if so why

TW: There’s not a ton of money to be made from music videos unless you are consistently winning big budget pitches, which I’m currently not! Moving to London would be nice in the future but right now there’s not much need. It’s been pretty easy travelling up for a couple of days to make videos whenever it’s a London shoot. That and I just love Bristol.


Theo Watkins video still: Both Of You – Patrick Martin

DS: Finally In one of your videos you reference 60s and 70s horror movies , but what two full length  films from that period  would you recommend  people to watch

TW: My goodness, where do I start. Horror films from that era are my comfort viewing. I love Italian horror, Argento, Fulci and the like. Most recent recommendation from that wheelhouse is ‘Four Flies on Grey Velvet’, an ESPECIALLY stupid and nonsensical plot, which makes me love them even more. An amazing British weirdie that I always go back to is the 1974 film ‘Symptoms’ — something about that film that stays knocking around my head.

Thanks Theo

Stay Safe


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