It was inevitable, wasn't it? With the emergence of the GoPro and the fact some people have no fear, something crazy was always going to happen. Thankfully Charlie Robins (from the Charlie & Joe directing team) took it upon himself to put a fresh perspective, a birds-eye-view if you will, that has been shot death-defyingly well. Not for those with vertigo but for everyone else this can only be described as sheer entertainment.
The video for Klangkarussell's Netzwerk (Falls Like Rain) is a brilliant showcase for the daredevil antics of the Ukranian human fly known as Mustang Wanted – a young man who is able to hang from cranes, one-handed, hundreds of feet above the ground. And with his homeland in a state of turmoil at the moment, Charlie brought him to Belgrade to shoot the video.
Everyone gets their kicks in different ways, it's definitely enough just watching for us. Quite simply, its amazing.
We thus (from our office chair) took the time to chat to ask Charlie about his first solo project, find out just how crazy Mustang Wanted is in real life, and discover what it was like to look death in the face on set everyday.
LT: Klangkarrussell dominated last summer with their hit Sonnentanz - but how did this collabaration come about?
CR: The track was sent through to me. I had the free climbing idea in my mind for a while, and was looking for the perfect musical accompaniment. The lyrics in the song seemed to fit perfectly with what I was trying to do visually, so I pitched the guys the idea and the project went from there.
With the emergence of these self-shot stuntmen videos going viral, have you wanted to base a music video around one for a while?
I'd seen an incredible documentary a few months back that featured the crazy exploits of Mustang Wanted. He does things so mind-bogglingly dangerous I thought this had to be made into a video somehow. I contacted him and planted the seed. He was well up for collaborating, so we simply waited for the right project to come up. KlangKarrussell came through with Netzwerk (Falls Like Rain) - it was perfect.
What was it like working with Mustang Wanted, is he as crazy as his stunts?
He is very much a free spirit. It was quite difficult to control him. The way he sees buildings/structures is so far removed from the normal way of thinking. There were several hairy moments when he just shot up a building without warning. Needless to say we had to keep our cameras rolling the whole time.
He's 21 but doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs, which came as a great relief to me. The last thing I needed was a boozed up or hungover, excited kid climbing like a nutter. He obviously gets his kicks in other ways.
How dangerous was it shooting this, in terms of getting the footage? Were there any safeguards put in place to prevent him falling?
Mustang works without safety nets, but the crew were safe at all times of course. There were some genuine heart-in-mouth moments for me and the crew on the shoot. For the most part I was looking at the monitor pretending it was just a clip on youtube. My stomach was in knots for two days straight. I also seemed to develop an unhelpful fear of heights halfway up a shoddy ladder on the roof of one of the tallest buildings in Belgrade.
Belgrade looks incredible, how did you choose which city to shoot in?
I originally wanted to shoot the video in Kiev, Ukraine but for obvious reasons that became impossible. I wanted to find a similar looking city with brutal, eastern block architecture. Belgrade was a perfect fit. We found a Serbian production company who worked like troopers to make this all happen in such a short timeframe.
For the aerial shots did you use a drone? Helicopter?
We used a drone for the aerials. Dragan, our drone operator, was amazing. He could fly that thing inches from Mustang’s face and at those height we needed someone precise.
Predominantly working in a pair, Charlie & Joe, what was it like working solo?
This was the first promo I've done without Joe. It was strange not having that person to bounce off but equally as freeing to have one voice on set. Working with a partner is always great and has its obvious benefits but sometimes you just have to get out there on your own and see what you can achieve. He's doing some really exciting solo stuff too.
- Charlie Robins
- Production Company
- Production Services
- Cyber: Few Good Men
- Emory Ruegg
- Sasha Nixon
- Mustang Wanted
- Director of Photography
- Chris Clarke
- Joce Hockings
- Editing company
- Paul Harrison
- Grading company
- Special Thanks
- Andrew Shulyk