David Knight - 6th June 2016

When a pair of Converse watch the love of their lives - a pair of red high heels – move out with their owner to the other side of the US, they decide to go on an epic journey to win them back.

NORTON's video for St. Lucia's Help Me Run Away revives an idea that he first worked on a few years back, and using a variety of SFX techniques, weaves an entertaining tale with more than a hint of old-school fable about it. Having benefitted from the kindness of strangers, the Right and Left shoes become estranged, display different temperaments, and lose their way. They only prosper once they team up again...

NORTON:

"My very first music video Killer Shoes was made for a competition and it involved a pair of shoes coming to life. This time around, St. Lucia approached me about doing a similar concept for the track Help Me Run Away. The song is so epic that we all felt the video needed to reflect that. So when Converse hopped on board to finance a big chunk of the budget, we were able to take the whole thing up a notch.

"To achieve the visuals, we used a combination of techniques. The first was having a person wear the shoes and a green suit and perform the actions. This allowed the VFX team at Stratostorm to key out and rotoscope around the shoes and replace the background. I wanted an exciting pace to the piece and to give it a sense of freedom, so 95% of the video was shot handheld. That's extra hard for the VFX artists, because they have to 3D track and project clean areas from a plate back into a surface where a green man used to be.

"The second technique we used was basic puppeteering. Our talented production designer Ethan Feldbau had experience with puppets and devised some great rigs for the shoes and the shoe laces. The end shots of the shoes climbing the hill, for instance, was all puppeteering and rig removal in post.

"The third technique we used was CG to build and animate the shoe laces for actions where puppeteering would've been impossible. A great example is the shot of the shoes waving their "arms" in the wind while riding the pick-up truck.

"I really wanted to tell a story that reflected the running away "from these voices in my head" in the lyrics. Having the shoes lose focus of their journey and part ways was important to convey that. Much like in the end scene of Truffaut's 400 Blows that I pay homage to, the shoes feel lost when they reach the water at the beach. That leads to trying to silence the voices through booze and strip clubs.

"I also wanted the shoes to have opposite personalities - one safer and the other more reckless. When they're apart, they can only hop around. When they're working together, they even each other out and walk properly, in sync. So that's a little extra meaning that I hoped would come across, even if after a second or third viewing."
 

Credits

DirectorNORTON
ProducerJoaquin Poblete
Production CompanyMore Media
Executive ProducerStephen Buchanan
1st ADVinnie Van Hunte
Director of PhotographyMartim Vian
Focus PullerAlex Grossfeld, Samahra Little, Evan Walsh
2nd ACAlejandro Benito
GafferChris Ernst
Art DirectorEthan Feldbau
WardrobeEleanor Wells
HairAriana Rivera
Make-upAriana Rivera
EditorNORTON
Post ProducerHelena Hilario
VFXStratostorm
Lead actorJade Lorna Sullivan, Melvin James Payne Jr., Alex Francouer, Brooks Morrison, Tony Ketcham
Director's RepresentationLark
CommissionerSaul Levitz
LabelColumbia Records
Other creditsSound Designer: Joanna Katcher

David Knight - 6th June 2016

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