David Knight - 24th Sept 2012

Reuben Sutherland first demonstrated his hugely distinctive 3D animating skills to the world with a brilliant video for Phoenix Foundation's Hitchcock. Now, after numerous highly successful videos and commercials, Reuben returns to work with his fellow Kiwis - and his new Phoenix Foundation vid, for Pot, is another very characteristic retro-fantasy.

Instead of Hitchcock's 'Petrol Police Cars', entertainingly ridding the world of gas-guzzling 4 x 4s, we follow a train leaving a gloomy, flooded London rail station, and travelling through a drowned world. Has climate change done its work, twenty or thirty years previously Reuben explains below:

What was the original idea In a flooded deserted London railway station, a clock is tied to a rope and the other end of the rope is tied to a power switch. The power switch is connected to the power supply that feeds a system of trains. Its as if a long time ago some person tied this rope to the clock and the switch, as they were leaving this doomed city. The rope has been winding up over the last 20 years and now that it has finally become tight, it has set a pre-determind train in motion, like a giant train set that no person will ever see or play with. The train slowly speeds up and takes us through the city on a ride that becomes more abstract as it becomes faster and faster.

How did you go about making it I bought a Hornby toy train loco and National Rail carriage and rode around London taking photos of it and comped it all together in Photoshop. Then I animated it in After FX and graded the living shit out of it to cover up the cheap 3D!

Where was it shot London: Waterloo, Hackney, Bank, Temple, as well as Berlin and Frankfurt.

The VFX work is great, how did you and the team do it It was a lot of fun and I simply started at the beginning of the video and went through it shot
by shot, listening to the song all the time.

Watch 'Phoenix Foundation 'Pot' by Reuben Sutherland' here


DirectorReuben Sutherland
Director of PhotographyReuben Sutherland

David Knight - 24th Sept 2012

Related Content


Röyksopp’s Happy Up Here by Reuben Sutherland

The new Röyksopp video is a wonderful thing: Space Invaders meets Mars Attacks meets Transformers... But above all else, it's all about Reuben Sutherland, New Zealand-born master of CGI.

David Knight - 12th Mar 2009

Latest News