Dropkick Murphys "Rose Tattoo"

DIRECTOR: Chris Friend
EDITOR: Chris Friend
COMPANY: Dirty Robber


Before I was given this video, I had never heard of The Dropkick Murphys. I did a lot of research on them online and started to understand thier working-class vibe. I decided what their fans would appericate the most is some kind of journalistic approach to a working-class enviroment and it's people.

I handed in this treatment:

Drop Kick Murphys
Rose Tattoo

Director: Chris Friend

This video is about the a day in the life of a working-class man. It is all shot in black and white to evoke the timelessness of the themes, it could be about you or your father or your grandfather. We open with a sunrise through shipyards, cigarettes in ashtrays, smoke curling up through the morning sun. Whisky bottles. We see cargo being loaded from giant cranes onto boats, we see oil rigs. hands of bike mechanics fixing bikes, car mechanics fixing cars. We see working-class areas going by through the windows of a train. Telephone lines, power lines, fences with razor wire, graffiti on walls.

All the lyrics of the song are spelled out across walls as graffiti, over shop-windows, across peoples hands written in sharpies, scrawled on discarded newspapers.

We see the insides of bars and tattoo parlors.

We see tattoos in close up with shallow depth of field on all kinds of people, on arms, legs, hands. Young men, old men.

We see graveyards, back alleys, old Doc Martins, Flyers on telephone poles, dumpsters.

The sunset on water.

The budget was extremely limited, so I didn't even have the money to bring in a photographer. I decided to hit Long Beach and Huntington Beach on foot, armed with just my 5D camera. I went into tattoo parlors, bars, bike shops, construction-sites, and I spoke with street kids and anybody who had a tattoo. I rode the local bus, interviewing people about their tattoos. I went to a cemetery and stumbled across Dee Dee Ramone's grave.

When I thought I had finished, it turned out that Jeff Castelaz, the head of Electa Records loved the video so much, and was so moved by it, that he wanted me to include a shot of his son Pablo's grave.

Again, I thought it was finished. But, what had been commissioned as a lyric video had moved up to become the official video for Rose Tattoo. For a week, I was in close contact with Ken Casey, one of their lead singers, who was so enamored with what I had done that he wanted me to include pictures of his kids, his family and the boxer that he manages.

At the time of this posting, it has 8,162,278 views on Youtube and 35,590 likes.

I believe I was successful in striking an emotional chord with the fans. Showing that even on a shoestring budget, it's possible to make a piece of art with lasting impact.

-Chris Friend