Like all good old fashioned success stories, this one begins with an individual who didn’t much enjoy the institutional choke hold that schools and universities can sometimes be. 27 year old film director and advertising art director, Raine Allen-Miller, started her creative educational career at the Brit school before gaining a pot on the much feted Illustration course at South London’s Camberwell University. She hated it. So, she left and didn’t look back, beginning her formal career as photography and illustration agent and then art buying and creative production at advertising monoliths Exposure, Havas and Wieden+Kennedy.
Then, in some dreamy-sounding, Mad Men style cinematic twist, Raine left her rather cushy title, rolled the die, and teamed up with her school pal and fellow creative Lisa Turner-Wray. The two, coming together in ad-land’s traditional union, moved from agency to agency before settling permanently at East London’s advertising Mecca: Mother.
While Raine continues to freelance at Mother, a job that sees her residing over big, bad accounts such as Money Supermarket (iconic, no?) her career as a director has somewhat snowballed in the last 12 months. Championed by envelope-pushing video platform Somesuch, and working in close quarters with Hannah TW, Raine is producing some of the best short-lead British creative video work going. Inspired by Mother Agency’s founders’ advice along the lines of “no one actually wants to watch ads, so they have to be really fucking entertaining”, Raine’s continues to test our definitions of branded content, advertising, art, entertainment and music video.
Storm a music video for artist Salute, was Raine’s first video that set industry tongues wagging. A post Brexit love-letter to everything we were chucking out with the baby and the bath water, by voting “leave”: it’s a strange and beguiling- it’s a challenge to the standardised concept of Britishness. The video sees Magdaline Ifill coated in the Union Jack from head to toe, executed in an African style of dress. Locked in a dance of constant movement, Magdaline demands the audience's attention. While the characters behind her emit a stillness which casts them comparatively in slow motion. In the final shot, Magdaline lifts her head with an unwavering display of authority and pride. 'I am British,' her body language pronounces her. Its about the beauty of the melting pot that the UK really is, a celebration of the diverse cultures the island is home to and it’s totally weird- which is also important, because, FYI Raine doesn’t do boring. From her witchy women in Denai Moore’s music video for her single Trickle, to her work with Nike, strong, strong women take centre stage.
Take her Nike Beautiful x Power video with Riposte Magazine, that stars Tia and Nadine of BBZ collective. It’s raw, confident and not your run of the mill piece of blasé branded video content. Powerful to me means inner strength,' a voiceover echoes at the beginning of the video, and you can’t help but feel that the same stands for the director. Then there's her video for South London artist Georgia- Feel It. A series of female drummers, from little girls to middle aged women, thrashing away at drum kids, lost in their own rhythms.
In a world of low-grade misogynistic rom-coms, boring action films and vapid reality TV, thank god we have Raine Allen Miller who’s work is a perfect, fizzing alka seltzer, as we meander through the hangover that is the drudgery of everyday marketing.