David Knight - 26th Aug 2009

One big song from The Big Pink gets a sumptuous treatment from Tim Saccenti, who appears to have taken the naked girls from the band's cover artwork, rebuilt them in ice - and then blown them to bits, sensibly capturing the action at 1000fps. Take that, ice maidens!

Tim has been busy, as ever. His first solo art show, The Garden of Unearthly Delights, just opened at the Diesel Gallery in Tokyo. And his Playface commercials for the pan-Asia launch of the new PS3 console have just landed - a brilliantly orchestrated fusion of gameplay faces and sound design.


Timothy Saccenti on making the video for The Big Pink's Dominos

"The track has mountains of ambience to it, it's quite bombastic, so I felt having a considerable amount of atmosphere would be appropriate, in this case snow, ice, fog, flares and coloured gels. Oh, and slow-motion... Yes it's definitely a music video. In addition this, being a new band, was meant to introduce them as a live presence, so it needed to be a performance video in some aspect.

"Once we designed the lighting, which was quite flarey with lights pointed directly into the camera - light stands were removed in post by Mark Szumski, flame artist - Mark Holmes, the stylist, picked out some amazing outfits that worked really well, texture wise, with the side and back lighting as well as colour.

"I also had the idea that, to match the tracks bombast, we should blow something up. Not having worked with pyro before, it was an intense learning experience. The track being about relationships and their ice and fire emotions, I thought that ice sculptures of beautiful women would be a poetic take and work well visually.

"During pre-pro Caroline Celis, who art directs many of our projects, helped choose poses for the ice sculptures, and she did on-set decorating - including hand painting the drum kit - to match the feel of the piece. The sculptures melted quickly under the lighting we had but became more and beautiful as they did, looking at times like 3D renderings of Henry Moore sculptures.

"During the course of the shoot we found different ways to exploding them, placing detonators at particular places [neck, back, crotch] for different effects - my favourite being the neck-explosion-head-tumble sequence. An interesting phenomena was that, even at 1000fps, there was only one frame between when the sculpture was clear and glassy to when it turned pure white from the detonation and began shattering. It looked like a jump cut.

"Performance-wise Ivan shot with a masterzoom on the red camera which allowed for some lovely depth of field and to get much coverage without having to move the dolly very often, which saved us an enormous amount of time. It was a very challenging shoot - ice, explosions, snow, on a tight budget and tighter timeline - but our producer Brian Graf did a fantastic job pulling it all together."

PRO Credits


Production CompanyPartizan Darkroom
DirectorTimothy Saccenti
Director of PhotographyIvan Abel
Production designerJeff Sheperd
StylistMark Holmes
EditorRyan Mckenna
FlameMark Szumski
ColouristDamien Van Der Cruyssen
CommissionerJason White

David Knight - 26th Aug 2009

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