David Knight - 9th Apr 2009

Prodigy are the dance outfit who were making great videos before all the other dance outfits were making great videos. That was a good while ago, of course - but now they've rediscovered their fire.

Corin makes cigarette packet people come alive, in what looks like a stop motion film that's taken almost as long to make as Butterfly. But then they dance with real fire... Looks more impressive each time you watch it.

This remarkable achievement is a worthy addition to all those classic Prodge vids back in the day. And twisted Firestarters are back.

Corin Hardy on making the video for The Prodigy's Warriors Dance

"I've been making cigarette packet people since I was about 14. I've never smoked, I just used to do it as something to fidget with when my mates were all puffing away and to try to impress the smoking girls with my art skills. I've long wanted to make a video using these creatures and when the track came in, it seemed to fit perfectly.

"When I originally thought of the idea, I had always imagined it would be 100% stop frame but then we got Dark Vast involved, otherwise known as Johnny and Will - I swear these guys are the new Hensons - and I decided to combine the techniques of puppetry and stop motion.

"For me the big challenge was to combine them in a seamless way, and also to use as much live action as we could. I particularly wanted the fire shots to be in camera as they are never really convincing otherwise.

"We shot on a location in Hackney in a pub and built a false bar top which we could then use in the green screen shoot for both puppets and animation. We created a library of green screen of puppets dancing so we could layer them up for the big wide shots and have them all doing different dance moves. We did think about using CG but I wanted to have an organic feel throughout and in the end there is only one element which is CG - and that's the peanut.

"I've always loved the Grimm fairy tales and there is little of elves and shoemakers in this idea for me, as well as Gremlins - one of my favourite films when I was an adolescent and still magic to me.

"Working with Prodigy was fantastic. They got into the idea straight away and stayed with us through the long process and never flinched away from a piece that would be a really difficult one to get shown on TV due to the cigarettes that are in it.

"I owe them and Rob at Cooking Vinyl a big thanks as well as all the brilliant team who worked so hard for me: Stu Bentley (camera), Laura Johnston (art dept), Dark Vast (puppetry), David Payne (FX), Amanda and Arri at Final Cut for a really tricky multi-layered offline, young Gary for the animation, Luti, Amar, Lee and John from Soho Post (amazing late night action from these guys), and of course all the rest of the gang not least all of my friends at Academy."

http://www.youtube.com/watchv=voBNpdXkLnU[/youtube]

David Knight - 9th Apr 2009

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