Just My Imagination: interview with Rick Fuller & Philip Harder

November 2, 2020  |  5 Comments  |  by Webmaster  |  The Cranberries

As the Cranberries World team was investigating as to where exactly some scenes of the Just My Imagination video were filmed in order to add this information to the map section, we tried to get in touch with Rick Fuller, producer of the video, who very kindly shed light on this mystery for us and invited director Philip Harder to join in the discussion.

Rick explained that the video was filmed over two days, on 27 July 1999 in Poolbeg, Dublin in the area around the Pigeon House Hotel near the old Poolbeg Generator Plant, and on 28 July 1999 in the Ardmore Studios, Wicklow

The two of them went out of their way to answer our questions and sent us never seen before pictures of the making of the video, as well as pictures of the CD and the microphone used on set, even including the STORYBOARDS. We can’t thank these two gentlemen enough for their kindness and availability.

Do you know what the band’s expectations were for this music video?

Director Philip Harder – Dolores wanted a visual fantasy, where she can magically step out of a rough Irish setting and into a playful fantasy. But each time she goes there and loses herself in her imagination, she is interrupted by reality.

What was the inspiration behind the video for Phil Harder and yourself?

Director Philip Harder – My wife Isabelle told me a story of walking with a Walkman, listening to music and imagining a surreal world.

How was the location (Poolbeg Power Station, Pigeon House Hotel etc…) chosen for the shoot?

Director Philip Harder – Since the Cranberries are Irish, and I recently lived in Dublin, we knew these areas would offer great locations with an industrial edge, all within a few blocks of each other.

Why did you choose to use such old cars?

Director Philip Harder – The Citron that the guys drove was a very rare car that one of the crew members had access to. The microphone Dolores uses was designed for the video to match the shape of that car. The rest of the vehicles in the background were designed to make the video feel out of time which reminded me of Ireland in the early 1980’s, or perhaps a classic Cranberries-style music video like the vintage stock footage in Zombie.

How would you describe your collaboration with the band?

Director Philip Harder – I spoke with Dolores on the phone after she read the treatment which described her listening to music and falling into an imaginary world. Dolores was really excited to shoot the video with this concept in mind. Dolores is a pro. She made many videos before this. On the shoot we were very collaborative, discussing scenes in detail, including the settings and background actors as well as cameos by her band mates. Dolores seemed to love acting and playing a “character” in the video. She gave it her all to act out the part and always gave feedback on how she wanted to be portrayed. On set I followed her lead to make her feel comfortable in the role. As I recall we discussed in detail every scene we shot.

Philip & Dolores

How was the atmosphere on set? Dolores once explained she declined to shoot a scene where a car would have stopped right before hitting her [Interview for German NBC show GIGA].

Director Philip Harder – Dolores actually shot the car scene and I explained how to do it, (there’s a photo of me directing her for that scene) but for safety we used a long lens and editing to make the car appear closer than it was. Dolores really liked the fantasy we were creating and loved acting the part. She also really enjoyed working with cinematographer Matty Libatique, who shot films for Spike Lee, A Star Is Born and many other well known movies. Matty and Dolores really hit it off on set. At one point we were using an experimental, high contrast black and white film for the band performance. The film quality is either black or white with no gray scale. I was concerned the film would exaggerate Dolores’s freckles and could become black dots all over her face. I brought this up but she referred to Matty for advice. Dolores said that since she and I both have freckles I might be bias. Matty told Dolores her freckles were beautiful and we should exaggerate them. She in turn looked at me and winked, as if to say I told you so.

Philip & Dolores

DP Matthew Libatique

What’s the best memory you have from this experience working with The Cranberries?

Director Philip Harder – After the shoot Dolores invited my wife and I to her home in Limerick. When we arrived she showed us around her entire property. She was an amazing, gracious host. (I think it’s an Irish trait!) Later we drank Guinness in her private western bar, sitting on saddle bar stools. That night Dolores set us up in one of her guest cottages. In the morning she was leaving for a tour so called us from her helicopter to wake us and let us know there was a servant with breakfast waiting outside our door.

Philip Harder (center) and Rick Fuller (back) with the band

Do you know how the video was received by the band?

Director Philip Harder – The band loved it. We saw Dolores on tour in the states. After the show we met up again, Dolores went on and on about the fantasy world we created in the video. She could only imagine the imagery when we were shooting so she was very pleased what we were able to create through our fantasy images and experimental film techniques.

What does the song mean to you, and how does the imagery of the video represent that?

Director Philip Harder – I think the feeling comes not only comes from the lyrics but from Dolores’s unique vocal delivery. Even though this is more of a pop song, I felt the images needed a contrast between edgy or perhaps grungy industrial settings, smoke stacks, rough neighborhoods etc. which can magically disappear by just using your imagination. Reality transforms into animated fantasies of color.

Producers Seamus Byrne (left) and Rick Fuller (right)

All photos courtesy of Producer Rick Fuller.

A very heartfelt thank you to both Philip and Rick for providing us with all these materials and info, it was a pleasure to (re)discover all these gems!

Please note that none of the items shown above are for sale, we’d be grateful if our readers could behave well, show respect, and refrain from sending inquiries to these already very generous gentlemen.

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5 Responses to Just My Imagination: interview with Rick Fuller & Philip Harder

  1. Matt

    I never realised the mic was looking like the old car. Great stories!

  2. Eddie C.

    Awesome!! Such great and detailed story board, very impressive. Too bad the guy just does not know how to write Dolores’ name correctly. Come on, it is not Delores FFS.
    Also I would have asked about the idea of the basket. Where did it come from. Anyways, great job, great pics. And if the producers want to give away the custom mic and cd, let them know I am interested!

  3. Víctor giardina

    hi, beautiful gift!!!

  4. Sören

    Amazing photos and informations! I always fought that this strange looking microphone was a vintage model and not custome made. Love the info about the high contrast black and white film they used – a great scene in the video. I hope that all Cranberries videos made on celluloid will be released in 4K.

    You should do a book about all those insider stuff.

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