Thursday, 24. July 2008 - 7:05 pm
R.E.M.’s new video is the second in quick succession by Toronto design-direction team Crush Inc. The first one, for Hollow Man was very good, and this one for Man-Sized Wreath, very much in a similar style, is arguably even better.
It’s a visual metaphor for a populace too distracted to notice the mayhem around them – the runaway motorcade being the most powerful element of that metaphor.
“When we first talked to Michael Stipe, he gave us the background to the song, concerning Bush’s visit to Martin Luther King’s memorial,” says Crush’s creative director Gary Thomas. “We felt that there was a point to be made about disconnected power and the obliviousness of authority to people. Toward that end, we seized on the idea of a motorcade from the lyrics and built a number of scenes with a crudely animated motorcade crashing through people and anything in its path.
“The other strand that runs through the video is a live action thread with an “everyman” figure, moving through the world being followed, surrounded and eventually chased by the bright colours and diversions of the media. His moment of realization is the denouement of the film.
“Although the band and label allowed us to flesh out our ideas, the main challenges were partially time, and technical. We wanted to keep the video fluid and rough, so shooting was guerrilla style, meaning a lot of laborious 3D tracking.
“We used every tool at Crush. We shot all the elements, edited with Kim Knight at our sister company, Sons and Daughters, did After Effects design and animation, Flame work, 3D Tracking and Maya CG.
“The project was a huge labour of love for everyone at Crush. It is rare that we get a chance to work on a project as satisfying as Hollow Man, which allowed us to spread our wings, and then be able to develop on those themes.”
Man-Sized Wreath (Warner Bros.)
Prod Co: Crush, Toronto
Director: Crush, Toronto
Producer: Stephanie Pennington
Assistant Producer: Kristen Van Fleet
Shot, Designed & Animated by: Crush, Toronto
Editor: Kim Knight, Sons and Daughters, Toronto
Watch: Quicktime movie