Having gained attention and acclaim with his 2005 RCA graduation film Collision - an abstract take on the War on Terror - animator Max Hattler has divided his time between commercial projects through Bermuda Shorts (for IKEA and others) and more personal projects, including experimental shorts, music videos and live visuals, for which he has won various awards.
A Japanese tour of his live visuals, vids and shorts with Robert Seidel led to him being commissioned by W+K Tokyo Lab to make Aanaatt, a mesmerising stop-motion film for Japanese electronic artist Jemapur.
Now he has recently completed visuals for Basement Jaxx's smash Where's Your Head At for their 2009 tour, working with a select team of collaborators - Milad Firoozian producing 3D animation and CG elements that were further animated in 2D by by Noriko Okaku, Rodrigo Vives and Papaya Gonzales - Noriko and Rodrigo both worked with Max on Aanaatt.
Where's Your Head At (visuals for 2009 UK tour)
Directed and produced by Max Hattler
Animation by Max Hattler, Milad Firoozian (3D), Noriko Okaku, Rodrigo Vives, Papaya Gonzales
Dimensions: 7x2 m LED screen / 1080x288 px / 15:4
Max Hattler on making the 2009 live visuals for Basement Jaxx's Where's Your Head At
"Last autumn I got a call from Basement Jaxx's management. Simon and Felix had seen my film Drift winning the award for best digital film at the London International Animation Festival. They liked Drift enough to trawl through my website and get their manager to call me. They wanted concert visuals to accompany their hit song Where's Your Head At. It was an absolute dream commission. There was no brief, no pitch, they just wanted me to do whatever I want - as long as it didn't involve monkeys!
"So I decided to base the concept on the grid structure of the LED display on which the visuals are shown. The 7 by 2 meter screen is made up of 60 square LED elements, four rows of 15 elements. I decided to go for a very flat, two-dimensional aesthetic, in which the screen acts as a wall, rather than a window to a three-dimensional space.
"Each of the blocks that make up the screen becomes a tile in the makeup of the overall picture, a pixel in the construction of the visual narrative, mirroring both old-school video games as well as '80s video walls."