David Knight - 20th Mar 2013

First there was the Insane Office Escape – the video for Russian punk outfit Biting Elbows’ The Stampede, released 18 months ago, by director Ilya Naishuller – also the band’s frontman. It’s a gripping action-adventure, made in the style of a first-person video game shoot ‘em up, and a very respectable YouTube hit with two and half million views.

And now comes Insane Office Escape 2, for Biting Elbows' Bad Motherfucker, Ilya's sequel, which has overtaken its predecessor's views on Youtube in less than 48 hours - and that after being banned by Youtube for content violation hours after the official release, and then reinstated after inevitably popping up elsewhere.

And here's why. The Bad Motherfucker video continues the premise of The Stampede, and ramps everything up about fivefold: relentless action and ultra-violence (possibly setting a bodycount record in a music video), a tiny bit of sex (the thumbnail is utterly misleading), and most importantly, absolutely jawdropping stunt work, from the first person perspective - and as one or two reflection shots reveal, achieved by GoPro cameras being strapped to the head of the main stunt performer. Its awesome throughout - although dog-lovers might want to avoid the first thirty seconds - and a couple of the extreme parkour sequences beggar belief...

With Ilya Naishuller working closely with cameraman Sergey Valyaev, this was shot on Go Pro cameras over 9 days with a crew of 5 professional stuntmen and 40 friends of the band. The majority of the film was shot in a huge factory city in Moscow, with additional shooting in the French Alps. It also happens to be a very bold piece of branded content for the Russian vodka company Neft. The oil drum shaped product makes an appearance at the very beginning of the film, and its logo also pops up in the unlikeliest of locations later on in the film too.

Ilya says: "The idea was very simple. To shoot a very fun, exciting and relentless five minutes of action that can be enjoyed, with tongue firmly in cheek, for all its guilty excess and irreverence. Nothing more. Nothing less. I hope we have succeeded in our mission."

He also adds that no animals were harmed in the making of the video. The dog stunt at the beginning being achieved with "a stuffed toy loaded with 12 kilos of bricks." Which is more than can be said for the crew. "We got hurt quite a bit, even though we had several professional stuntmen on board. Even my ear got a bit messed up when I forgot to wear earplugs whilst getting shot at by an AK47 loaded with blank rounds from only two meters away."

And here's a short sequence from the shoot. Outstanding.

Credits

DirectorIlya Naishuller
Director of PhotographySergey Valyaev
ProducerEkaterina Kononenko
Production ManagerIgor Polishuk
Sound designRostislav Kaptur, Dmityr Evgrafov
Production CompanyGreat Guns

David Knight - 20th Mar 2013

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