Private Project

Business is Brutal

The norms of business negotiations are challenged to the limit in this thrilling and energetic dance film from choreographer and film maker Jack Thomson.

  • Jack Thomson
  • Jack Thomson
  • Michele Cadei
    Director of Photography
  • Giulia Scrimieri
    Director of Set and Styling
  • Chihiro Kawaski (Lead Female)
  • Sam Coren (Lead Male)
  • Natalie Alleston
  • Sandrine Monin
  • Carlos J.Martinez
  • Carmen Vazquez Marfil
  • Vanessa Vince-Pang
  • Prentice Whitlow
  • Asmara Cammock
  • Joseph Thomas
  • Uja’, Written and Performed by Tanya Tagaq (SOCAN), Jesse Zubot (SOCAN), Jean Martin (SOCAN), Michael Robert Edwards (SOCAN). Courtesy of Six Shooter Records Inc. Published by Just Isn’t Music O/B/O Third Side Music.
    Music (Sound Score)
  • Ian Fenton
  • Patrick Collerton
  • John McNabb
  • Stephen Quildan
    1st AD
  • Leanne Thompson
    Production Manger
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Dance, Thriller, Horror, Social, art, political, short
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 4 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 7, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Playback Tour
    Touring Exhibition (UK)
    United Kingdom
  • Encounters Film Festival (Random Acts 1)
    United Kingdom
    September 20, 2017
  • Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA London)
    United Kingdom
    October 1, 2017
  • H.O.M.E
    United Kingdom
    August 22, 2017
Director Biography - Jack Thomson

Born in York, in the North of England, Jack Thomson is an artist, with practises in performance,choreography, photography and film. Beginning dance aged eight and continuing to then graduated from The Rambert School. He now dances professionally and in 2015/2016 was a recipient of one of Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries to his further develop his artistic practice (At Phoenix Dance Theatre). He first picked up a camera aged 13 and for the past decade has being exploring how his differing disciplines of performance, photography, choreography and film making can be aligned, to inform his decisions aesthetically and intellectually, resulting in a vision uniquely his own. Currently he solely works with dance artist's in his making of still, live and moving images.

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Director Statement

As a 17 year old British boy, it was in a New York City hospital, whilst receiving treatment from a business person with a stethoscope, that this film concept was born. Post my 15 minutes of treatment, I was left with a $900 medical bill and a demand to pay one third before leaving the hospital. I firstly, was unable to comprehend why my insurance did not cover the cost’s and secondly I could not understand how, in a place of wellbeing and a time of vulnerability, I suddenly became a hostage in a clinical prison. Was my own flesh and blood about to become no more than a minor transaction in the city built on capitalism?

This is where the negotiation began.

‘I can not afford to pay for this’ was met with sharp ‘perhaps we can come to an agreement’. The aggressive undercurrents and uncompromising brutality in the tone of this response, quickly shattered what was left of this ‘hospitals’ facade. I was clearly in a conflict of business and the strained tension between our gaze quickly informed me, that I was her prey, in her territory.

I left the hospital $180 out of pocket and feeling about 180% worse than when I entered but surprisingly, I did gain from this surreal experience. A visceral feeling of the undercurrents and hidden dynamics that are driving businesses.

This triggered me to create a series of still images that paired the formality of corporate conduct, against the invisible animalistic and competitiveness this conduct is exercised. The series of dance and fashion images, also titled Business is Brutal, led to Random Acts (Channel 4), commissioning the unravelling of this idea through moving image.

The film itself draws and references surrealism as a philosophical tone, to unpick and go beyond what our perceived reality tells us. My hope is the film is able to challenge our perception and decontextualise business in the 21st century.