David Knight - 11th Aug 2020

The times when a music video really astonishes are rare nowadays - but this is one of those occasions. Arnaud Bresson's remarkable video for Flatbush Zombies' James Blake-produced Afterlife creates something impossible, but in such a way that it is, for all intents and purposes, the real thing: an X-Ray version of a hardcore hip-hop video. 

From the first shot, of a gang carrying the coffin of a friend, to the last, everything is seen through the prism of X-Ray photography... or so you will believe. This is a situation of an essentially straightforward idea that lives or dies by dint of the execution - and the execution is completely flawless. So while your mind will tell you that this just cannot be done - X-ray machines are not safe to use on a film set or location - your eye tells you otherwise.

This was the result of a combination of brilliant vision, skill and that luxury rarely afforded music video production - time. The effect of X-ray photography wa achieved through 3D animation and VFX work that took place via Machine Molle in Paris over a period of months - the initial foortage of the band and cast was shot before lockdown began. 

As Bresson has explained in a press release: “Today, there is no technology that X-ray films a living being without endangering it, so we worked hand in hand with a post-production company to develop a technical device that would allow us to achieve a similar effect. We used multi-camera tracking, recorded the positions and movements of our characters to extract and apply to our 3D compositions. It took four months of work to find the perfect style.”

The result is transparent - one of the music videos of the year so far.

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorArnaud Bresson
Executive ProducerThéo Gall
Line ProducerLéa Villain Barachet
1st ADMark Zarka
Director of PhotographyTeva Vasseur
Production designerClemence Janesky
Stylistmarion brillouet
EditorMaxime Caro
VFX CompanyMachine Molle
VFX SupervisorJF Fontaine
VFX SupervisorSelim Mondzie
ColouristArthur Paux
Other creditsSPECIAL THANKS: Jules De Chateleux, Paul Guilhaume, Florie Vitse, Patrice Balcon

David Knight - 11th Aug 2020

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