Cat Velez - 30th Nov 2015

Coldplay's first music video from their new album, A Head Full Of Dreams (out on December 4th) sees the band reimagined as chimps, thanks to the performance-capture technology pioneered at Imaginarium Studios (co-founded by actor Andy Serkis), and turned into a fun-loving performance video by the band's longtime collaborator Mat Whitecross - who also directed Serkis in the Ian Dury biopic Sex & Drugs & Rock N Roll.   

The idea for the video for Adventure Of A Lifetime began when Coldplay's Chris Martin and Andy Serkis met by chance on a flight. "I was delighted to hear that [Chris] often worked Mat Whitecross, who’d been convincing him that Performance Capture was the best medium for the next Coldplay video," says Serkis. "Within no time at all, we were jumping and climbing around the studio, bringing out our inner apes."  

This was a studio shoot with the four members of Coldplay in full performance capture rigs. That was just the start of a process that took several months to complete, with Paris post production house Mathematic carrying out extensive VFX work - over 50 CG animators and designers worked on the project – plus the active participation of the Beats brand, who have also cut a 30 second ad for their Pill speaker from the full video. 

"The video is nearly five minutes long, and comprises of over 100 shots, all of which feature at least one chimp, and therefore required extensive animation, and fur dynamics," explains producer Hannah Clark. "As creatures to animate go, chimps are one of the more difficult. Not only are they quite human in their movement, but they are covered in hair. Add to this that we had no backgrounds shot, and we were asking an awful lot of any post collaborator. The Imaginarium and Mathematic did a fantastic job of leading Mat and I through unknown territory."

The result is a gorgeously visual and fun-loving video which sees the four Coldplay chimps enjoying an 'Adventure of a lifetime' as they discover music. Andy Serkis adds: "We are delighted to have worked with the band on this and now are thrilled to share the finished video with music fans worldwide.”


"Every Coldplay video is a completely new adventure. They usually begin with a midnight call from Chris, and end with a unicycling elephant or a music hall built in the snow on the bank of the Thames. 

"This time was no exception - Chris & Andy Serkis texted me a selfie from a plane heading to LA, and a month later we found ourselves on the floor of the Imaginarium studio, with the band pretending to be dancing chimps! It’s the most fun I’ve ever had as a filmmaker, and one of my all-time favourite Coldplay tunes - I just hope we’ve done it justice…"

PRO Credits


DirectorMat Whitecross
ProducerHannah Clark
Motion CaptureThe Imaginarium Studios
Post production companyMathematic
AnimationThe Imaginarium Studios

Cat Velez - 30th Nov 2015

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