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Pitching: The Alt_J brief and winning treatment

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8 years 8 months ago | Guides

We regularly get requests to see examples of the briefs and winning treatments which went on to result in exceptionally good music videos.
Here's the brief and treatment for one of the most successful videos commissioned through Radar to date -Alt-J's 'Breezeblocks', made by Ellis Bahl.

Stop press! We just heard Ellis' Alt J video is selected as one of Vimeo's Best 12 Videos of 2012. Amazing result, well done Ellis. Another trophy for the mantlepiece.

The band are based in the UK. Ellis is based in New York. He'd made some music videos before and was looking for an opportunity to make a video that would get him repped. He is now repped by the prestigious Doomsday Entertainment in New York. The video has been prolifically featured on blogs worldwide and has been nominated for and has won several awards.
Feel free to comment or post questions below.

THE BRIEF (exactly as it appeared)

"...Alt J, Breezblocks
Video needed for future single 'Breezeblocks' by alt-J. Listen to the demo here:
Lyrics to follow shortly so check the comments box.
No brief for this just get inspired by the music!
We don't have the exact final track length yet but it won't deviate much from the demo length..."


£4,000, approx $6,400 or Euro5,000

THE WINNING TREATMENT (exactly as it appeared)

from Ellis Bahl
by Ellis Bahl (of Earth vs Space)
Three shots, slow motion, played in reverse. (I am determined.)
Cool tones. Blues and Whites.
Scene 1: A man sits on the floor of a bathroom, head in hands.
The camera moves to the bathtub, the water is running, a fully clothed woman lies submerged, a breezeblock on her stomach. Her hair floats on top of the water, hiding her face. Blood slowly runs backwards into her head. The man gets up and the breezeblock bounces up off the woman's head and into his hands. He puts it on the ground next the the tub. The two of them scuffle.
Scene 2: They sprint backwards down the hallway. Her in front, him in back. (he's chasing her) They backwards fight through a flat. They unshatter dishes and bookshelves stand up with books placing themselves back into order as they reverse fight their way through the apartment.
Scene 3: They make their way towards the front door. A knife flies off the floor and into the woman's hand. The man grapples with her. He turns away from her and she recedes into the shadows.
The man looks down into a cupboard. ANOTHER woman is tied up and sucking in a scream. Her eyes close. They kiss. They stop and the man slaps ducktape over her mouth. He closes the door. He walks backwards, flips the lights off and exits out the front door.
The woman with the knife returns and opens the cupboard. The tied up woman's eyes are filled with terror. The knife woman says something. "I think i'll have a bath while we wait for your Husband to get home. You don't mind, do you?"

Ellis Bahl's profile page.


From Connie Meade, commissioner at Infectious Music: "...Excellent response, easy to manage, we commissioned a great video and got extensive blog coverage..."
From Caroline, Radar's Managing Director: "...This brief attracted great quality treatments, probably a result of having a good budget, being open to directors everywhere and of course it was for a great track, for a fast-rising band. It's fair to say Alt-J were relatively unknown at the time - it was the smaller, cool blogs which were buzzing about them. The fact the brief came from a good label who would clearly run an effective promotion campaign will have helped too..."

See the video here