posted: 07.02.00
Motherless Child
by Brian Miller.

(set to music: 'Motherless Child' by Portishead and Tom

We ZOOM IN on a closed curtain (dark red in color) as the
following is heard

MAN (O.S.)

(on the phone)
So that's it?


(talking to him)
I don't know what else to say...


MAN (O.S.)
fine then... i have to go.

call me... if you want.

sfx: CLICK

The song starts as the curtain pulls open revealing the MAN
sitting in a nice chair next to a desk. Lit by overhead only,
He hangs up the phone and lights a cigarette, sinking into
his chair and turning slightly to face the CAMERA.
As Tom Jones begins his mournful wail, the man quietly mouths
the words as he sits there, eyes closed, smoking his

We ZOOM OUT as he continues, revealing that he's alone on a
stage. A man appears with a guitar stage left doodling

We now see a drum set being pushed into frame from the right,
just in time for his cue.

The man keeps his eyes closed and keeps mouthing the words as
he sits very still, leaning back in his chair.

A large light turns on, revealing a string section in the
back left.

At the crescendo, a light flashes on the drummer three times,
as we PULL BACK more to reveal a smoky nightclub filled with
patrons at tables watching the show.

A pianist can be seen playing off to the right next to the
drum set, and a horn section pops up in the back right,
wearing identical red tuxedo jackets and strutting to the
rhythm in sync, blasting their instruments along to the song.

The stage is alight now as every musician does their thing.
Flashes of color appear, but the man center stage is still
sitting in his chair next to his desk with his eyes closed,
mouthing the words.

As the drum solo starts we start moving to follow a waitress
as she makes her way through the club with a drink. We pass
her as she stops at a table to see the piano player slam home
on the rising crescendo.

We move up on stage now, huge sweeps over each section,
centering on the man in the middle as he scrunches his face
in pain and mouths along 'sometimes i feel my soul is on

We keep moving around him as the energy on the stage grows.

Finally the music stops and we're in a close up of the man's
face as he slowly mouths "and i'mmmmmmmm aboooouuuuut....

then as Tom Jones sings out "diiiieeee" the man opens his
eyes and looks into the CAMERA.

We start PULLING back now as the man is looking into the
CAMERA and still singing along. The band still plays as they
appear back in frame, but the color is somewhat muted now.
The overhead on the man is still strong but the rest of the
band darkens out until we're in the same frame as we started.

The curtain closes as the song fades out.


This is part of my ongoing music video project. This is one of my favorite songs that evokes this vision in me whenever I hear it. I urge you to DOWNLOAD (5.89 MB) this song and listen to it while you read. Hopefully It'll make sense.