Promonews - 26th Oct 2020

Mick Soiza combines a sense of theatre with almost abstract animation in his video for Australian singer-songwriter Jarryd James.

In the main part of the video for Miracles, James is quizzed by two old style doctors - whose method bears more resemblance to a police interrogation than accepted medical practice. Well, he does start out in a straitjacket.

Then we periodically travel to another dimension inside James's head - a graphic representation of teeming psychological activity.  

MICK SOIZA:

I decided to create a world where we could see the inner dialogue that Jarryd presents play out.

"I really wanted to come up with a concept that I felt not only works with the song visually but also delivered on a slightly deeper level. Really aiming to give the video the same sense of darkness, distinction and intrigue; featuring Jarryd and two doctors, Miracles allows you to enter the multi-layered world of Jarryd’s psyche - where we experience his inner thoughts, struggles and realisations.

"After chatting with Jarryd and spinning the track a few times I could really hear the inner dialogue that Jarryd presents; so I decided to create a world where we could see this internal interrogation play out. The doctors are essentially himself interrogating himself.

"To add another layer to this, we enter Jarryd’s mind. Jarryd and I both knew that we could give more creative freedom and enjoyment to the project if we were not literal and more metaphorical with the animation. Collaborating with animator, James Siewert (New York), who put in countless hours and the guys at Heckler (Sydney) - who are not just animators and online artists, but talented visual artists - allowed us to really explore these creative ideas of trying to reach into what feels like the abyss of our minds.

"I feel like as humans and creatives in general we are really pushing ourselves to the limits, trying to find the key that unlocks that magical answer. As we go through this process, we break down to build back up realising if we just let go and follow the process we can stay on track and not overwhelm ourselves. Giving the video the infinite dark space really helps push the notion of unknown space and time.

"As well as the location, casting was a crucial part of the video - I am obsessed with uniqueness and really wanted to cast compelling characters. Charles and Michael were a great complement to Jarryd’s performance, providing a mix of curious and disturbing surrealism that I feel all nailed exceptionally well.

"The last element I’d like to touch on was the visual style. Sean Ryan [DoP] and I really tried to work on creating a world that felt singular. We linked all scenes by a black void space, but we wanted to find ways of differentiating one scene from the next. We restrained the clip to two main looks - one a monotone space and the other a golden hue. This allowed us to differentiate between scenes and by keeping it simple allowed us to focus on the story being told by Jarryd and our actors.

"We stuck to quite classic coverage for the interrogation scene to appeal to our audience’s familiarity with this sort of scenario, to help them understand the relationship with our doctors and Jarryd without a lot of back story. In the scene where Jarryd is restrained on a chair, we wanted to be able to see a practical light fixture in shot. We never wanted to build sets or have many props so by designing quite a unique looking light we were able to use this to set the heightened tone for the space.

"In the grade we added quite a bit of additional texture to the image by way of film grain - the void is quite a simple clean space, so it was important for us to dirty this up a little and create some grit in the image that matched what was happening on screen."

Credits

DirectorMick Soiza
ProducerCoralie Tapper
Director of PhotographySean Ryan
Focus PullerBruce Truong
2nd ACDanny Haneman
GafferGlenn Jones
EditorLucas Vazquez
ColouristFergus Rotherham
Post production companyHeckler
Post ProducerBrittany Jones
VFXHeckler
Lead actorMichael Croaker
Lead actorCharles Allen
LabelUniversal
Other creditsAnimator/Artist: James Siewert

Promonews - 26th Oct 2020

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