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David Wilson's Advent Calendar

The director/designer talks about his alternative countdown to Christmas in which everyday he posts a new film with a unique soundtrack

Bored of month-old chocs sitting in a box, award-winning director and designer, David Wilson has done no small feat for an alternative take on ye old advent calendar. Preparing a festive surprise utilising his unique visuals by collaborating with a huge range of musicians, Wilson has created original and rare soundtracks for each daily film from his upcoming Alternative Advent Calendar. Having convinced the likes of Metronomy (whom he directed their 'The Bay' video for), Bo Ningen and Caribou - the director will be posting up one new film and track daily for the whole of Advent, live on his Vimeo Page as well as making it available as an iPhone App. Here we speak to the man about how he got it all together and the joy of exploding Christmas dinners...

Dazed Digital: How did the Advent idea first come about? Are you a particularly 'Christmassy person'?
David Wilson:
I do like Christmas, but, as you'll see as the Advent Calendar develops there's only one clip that'll feel Christmassy, and that's on Christmas Day. Over the past few years I've always done a Christmas project; from exploding a Christmas dinner and capturing it mid-flight as a collaboration with photographer Owen Silverwood, to a series of rejected Christmas card. I wanted to take this project one step further.

DD: What was the selection process like for the musicians involved as they're quite diverse?
David Wilson: It all started off with friends and artists that I've worked with this year. Bands such as Metronomy have been amazing. I'm getting contributions from Joseph Mount, Oscar Cash and Gbenga Adelekan from the band. I also managed to get All Tomorrow's Parties involved; I did an installation at their 'I'll Be Your Mirror' festival earlier in the year, and we're tying the Advent Calendar to this year's Nightmare Before Christmas ATP, with Les Savy Fav, Battles and Caribou contributing tracks that'll be released on the days they're playing the festival. The diversity of music came as a result of the diversity of clips. I wanted to make sure there was a balance, as the video clips range from a strobing exploding lemon, to a slowly melting wedded couple.

DD: Are there any particular links or themes that will run across the videos in the calendar?
David Wilson: There is very little narrative in this work. The work was created over the past year as visual experiments and a release of ideas. It's a variety pack, but it all fits in a graphical world. Very stripped down, and raw. It's less about putting out polished end results, and more about putting out psychedelic nuggets. I hope that people really won't know what to expect when they check back on the calendar each day.

DD: Is all the visual material created just for the project too or have some of them been sourced from your work before?
David Wilson: The work mainly pulls from the content I've created for my live shows that I've been touring for the past 9 months. I've created a lot of new clips for these events, but they haven't been seen online yet. So, if you haven't seen my VJ show, then this'll all be fresh, new material. If you have, then hopefully you'll see some clips that you missed when you were at the bar.

DD: What are you most looking forward to this Christmas?
David Wilson: I actually really enjoy the journey out of London to York (where my family is). The transition you psychologically go through as you shift that mental gear into Christmas is really relaxing; no matter how busy the train is.

DD: Lastly, what will you be working on in the new year?
David Wilson: I'm working on a very exciting sculptural project that'll see the light of day early next year, and there'll be two new music videos that I've directed coming out this month as well.

Follow @alt_advent Twitter accounts for more updates.