User Accounts

Ed Sheeran ft Chance The Rapper 'Cross Me' by Ryan Staake

Ned Botwood - 30th June 2019

A motion-capture performer strays too far from the axis of reality, in this visceral mind-bender for Ed Sheehan by Ryan Staake.

Dancer Courtney Scarr treats us to a show-stopping routine in a MoCap studio, and on screen, her movements carry through to a shimmering, shifting CG universe. Travelling between these fantasies and the reality of the studio, Scarr assumes different identities - including 3D avatars of Ed Sheeran and Chance the Rapper. But when it’s time for her to hang up her bodysuit and call it a day, she finds it hard to leave this oscillating fantasy behind…

The video is a remarkable achievement for Moving Picture Company, who were tasked with turning round the entire project in just three and a half weeks. MPC is obviously a global leader in VFX, but this required all kinds of ingenious improvisation to make it happen. For example, when Sheeran was not available for a photogrammetry, Dominic Alderson created his 3D avatar from his Madame Tussauds waxwork. More of this iintricate process is revealed in a Behind the Scenes video. 

While this is a masterclass in visual effects, a mention should go to Scarr and her choreographer Erin Murray. The confident swagger of their dance routine anchors this video in reality, and holds the audience's hand through the rapid shifts and glitches of this digital fantasia.


This was one of those ideas you *think* will work on paper, but can’t be 100% sure will actually succeed.

“I’ve been interested in shooting a motion capture centric project for some time. To me, the austere cinematic minimalism and data centric nature of a motion capture stage make for a fascinating location. (I’m not the first to think this by any stretch, Holy Motors featured an incredible motion capture stage sequence). What I wanted to play with inside a motion capture based film was the idea that we could oscillate between reality and alternate reality, ultimately resulting in an ending in which we may not know what’s real and what’s synthetic.

"When the Ed brief came along, I saw an interesting connection between the lyrics “cross me cross her” and this idea of crossing between a realistic portrayal of someone and many alternative portrayals of this person. From there I worked with our incredibly talented choreographer Erin Murray, our dancer Courtney Scarr, and our DP Kristian Zuniga to concoct an elaborate dance that would explore these concepts while subtly (and not so subtly) connecting to the lyrical content.

"After we wrapped photography, I worked with an incredible team assembled at MPC London to weave together a range of surreal worlds into a single timeline. For me, it was an incredibly challenging, fun and rewarding project - definitely one of those ideas you *think* will work on paper, but can’t be 100% sure will actually succeed.”

Featured sponsors

Ned Botwood - 30th June 2019


  • After Effects
  • Choreography
  • Director's notes
  • Motion graphics
  • VFX
  • Hip-Hop
  • Indie, singer-songwriter

Popular content


Problem with this page? Let us know



Ryan Staake
Tom Knight
Production Company
Executive Producer
Natalie Arnett


Director of Photography
Kristian Zuniga
Michael Klein


Erin S Murray


Lead actor
Courtney Scarr


Sam Bould
Editing company


Duncan Russell
Colour grade company


Post production company


Dan Curwin
Atlantic Records

Other credits

CG Supervisor

Dominic Alderson


Sandra Eklund

Head Of Production

Luke Raffety


Jonathan Davies

NYC Production Company


NYC Production

Kevin Staake, Ryen Bartlett, Andrew Chennisi

Motion Capture

Silver Spoon Animation

3D Scanning

Peter Puskas

Ned Botwood - 30th June 2019

Related Content

Industry News