Raoul Paulet's video for London-based Italian duo MwS is an intriguing take on the idea of restoring one's individuality.
Hugo & The Prismatics ‘Le Mystère’ by Raoul Paulet
This is a brilliantly imaginative feast for the jazzy-dance music of Hugo & The Prismatics’ Le Mystère, directed by designer and director Raoul Paulet, in which a woman embarks on a journey of self-discovery through a strange world composed of shape-shifting objects and manipulative shadow people – all created in live action on a tight, tight budget…
Raoul is a highly experienced motion graphics artist who has taken elements of Japanese black theatre (Kuroko) surrealism and optical illusions, and performance art to bring his graphic vision into live action, in collaboration with talented people such as art directors Terrible Twins, costume desingers Sara Arnold and Sabina Bryntesson, and lead performer Tiffany Tonel.
All jazz music videos should probably be like this…
Raoul Paulet on making the video for Hugo & The Prismatics’ Le Mystère
“The main creative challenge was to merge performing arts with design, animation and VFX, without relying just on CGI techniques. I wanted to create a world, where geometries could mix together, while 2D and 3D spaces were blended into one dimension to create an optical illusion, a distortion of the reality.
“I also wanted to explore more the idea of the japanese Kuroko technique, by turning it into something more contemporary, and with a strong link to the design and animation field. For example, I have asked performers to animate objects and move things with a constant eye at the dynamic of those ‘manual animations’. But their roles weren’t just about this, they have also been active presences on the stage by interpreting all the black shadows the actress could see, feel, or was trying to escape from. My intention here was to give the Kuroko black masks people the space they deserve on stage as actors.
“My focus was on creating beautiful and very aesthetical analog and ‘in camera’ effects. I have approached the stage as it was a Photoshop/After Effects canvas. I wanted to work within a living layout.
“One of the main technical challenges was to create the set: the main scene we built to represent this surreal world. The approach we used to build the set was to give the viewer the feeling that it was already retouched on Photoshop (the analog effect, again!) Another big technical challenge was to design and animate dynamic scenes in camera, i.e. the scene of the mirrors.
“In this scene, we see the lead actress falling over a mirror, impact and break it into a lot of smaller bits. We had to, 1-use multiple cameras to record the action from multiple angles (because of the unique moment), 2- find a way to visualise the mirror and break it into pieces (we attached little pieces over three performers in a particular way so that the central performer ‘was wearing’ the biggest pieces and the two lateral performers ‘were wearing’ the little fragments. Of course, we also had to use very light materials, and also fake mirrors to be able to easily manage the dynamic of the action). Then, we had to reproduce the right dynamic between all the different elements to create the illusion of something smashing and breaking up.
“A big plus of this project has been the collaboration with performers and dancers who already know how to deal with space, and can reproduce the same dynamics of a slow motion/accelerated action.
“Each scene has been retouched and added with CG animation, vector shapes, or just color correction to give a bit of extra magic and emphasize this surreal world. But with the aim of always keeping it as much real as possible, and trying to always feel the stage of a theatre, rather than a digital green screen studio.
“Software used: traditional production software, from FCP for the editing, to Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects CS6 for the design, and animation and post-production in general.”
|Director of Photography||Danilla Luppino|
|Director of Photography||Tomas Juskaitis|
|2nd unit director||Frankie Caradonna|
|1st AD||Vittorio Giampietro|
|Hair & Make-up||Percy Ota|
|Lead actor||Thea Anderson|
|Other credits||Performers : Fabiana Berna, Alexandra Maricich, Linas Justice General Assistence : Simona Sakalauskaite Backstage Photos By : Claudia Mozzillo Thanks To: Red Gallery, Pitch&Folks, Goodvibe Records Special thanks To: Giuseppe Percuoco, Yarda Krampol, Terrible Twins, Elisa Cecilli, Vittorio Giampietro, Mario Vaglio, Judy Redfeam, CSM London|
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