David Knight - 14th Dec 2017

Alex Karpovsky (from Girls) is a bad magician in the new MGMT video, hated by his meagre audience for his terrible tricks. And he's stuck in a Groundhog Day-style loop. Maybe he's dreaming - or dying? Because then the world changes, with new hidden, and frankly horrible depths, as he falls onto the operating table surrounded by surgeons.

Mike Burakoff and Hallie Cooper-Novack's video for When You Die employs custom-built software Glooby to create the hallucinogenic, nightmarish transformations of the real world into something infinitely varied. A world made of flowers, or the blue Cheerios he eats for breakfast, or a Grand Canyon composed of leering faces, and then skulls. It's a version of 'style transfer', a technique created in the AI community to apply textures and tones from one image to another, and went overground this year, with a Facebook app.

Tech site The Verge says style transfer is now a little bit passé, but this video makes it "look fresh once more." For the rest of us, who have no idea what style transfer is, it's amazing, weird, and just a bit creepy. Perfect for MGMT.


DirectorMike Burakoff
DirectorHallie Cooper-Novack
ProducerLucia Pier
ProducerJamie Dutcher
Production CompanyKing Drippa
Production CompanyDaughter & Sons
Executive ProducerAdam Kurland
Executive ProducerMatt Wyatt
Director of PhotographySteven Breckon
VFX SupervisorJamie Dutcher
EditorMax Goldblatt
TitlesBenjy Brooke
Lead actorAlex Karpovsky

David Knight - 14th Dec 2017

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