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LGBTQ+ production company launches with alternative music video for Charli XCX’s “Boys”

09 December 2017, 10:00 | Written by Pip Williams

You already know the song – the ubiquitous “Boys” (pipped to the top spot in our tracks of the year by SZA’s potent “Drew Barrymore”) is Charli XCX’s inescapable pop titan.

Director Harry Adams, founder of production company The Queer Collective, took inspiration from the original viral video – featuring pretty much every famous man you can think of – seeking to recreate the pastel aesthetic with LGBTQ+ boys. There’s plenty of nods to the original, from the colour palette to the somehow suggestive cereal slurping. More importantly, though, there’s also racial diversity, a wide range of body types, and an enormously varied spectrum of gender expression.

“I got the idea for the project when I was messing around on my Instagram a couple of weeks after Charli XCX’s ‘Boys’ video came out,” Adams explained. “I posted a video of a montage of androgynous people whilst playing Charli XCX’s song in the background, and an Instagram friend sent me a message saying, ‘Make this a real video!’ and I replied with ‘Yeah!’ and I did.”

“My whole drive and push for this project came from my frustration with the lack of LGBTQ+ representation that I recognise and can relate to, and also my frustration with the lack of non-binary and transgender representation in general. The video is about breaking down the stereotypes and traditional ideals around the word ‘boy’: there are boys everywhere who don't fit into the conventional box of the word ‘boy’, and I wanted to showcase that these people exist and that they are looking good whilst doing it.

“I’m big fan of Joe Jonas in general, and his pancake scene in the original video is so good and I knew that pancakes had to be included. Filming that scene at on the shoot day with Sukey and Hamish was a lot of fun too, and they both went for it and it was great! The shoot was a super fun day with a lot of laughter, and everyone was up for it and excited and it was a really good and energetic space. I think the fun we had comes across in the video. Also, the shoot day was important in terms of creating a good and comfortable LGBTQ+ space. We are all in the LGBTQ+ community and we were making this video together and having fun and the sense of togetherness was really comforting and good.”

Charli herself said of her own video “boy crushes are important”, and even if you’re not LGBTQ+, this a visually stunning project (perhaps even more so than the original) full of gorgeous people, and I refuse to believe anyone could watch it without developing at least one tiny crush.

As for the future, Adams assured us they have plenty more where this came from. “I have just started a production company called The Queer Collective. I’m currently in pre-production for a short film I’m working on with some cool people in the new year, and I have a couple of other projects still in the idea phase. My main goal for this next year as a creator and filmmaker is to do my bit to increase the representation of non-binary people on screen, and also to meet as many people who are doing the same as I am.”

Follow The Queer Collective director Harry Adams on Twitter here.
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