Rob Ulitski - 23rd June 2020

Dan French creates a space-centric video for Yola Recoba's cover of the Chris Izaak classic Wicked Game. 

Without the ability to shoot new footage due to the confining impact of Covid-19, French has interweaved vintage NASA stock footage with smartly designed animation - courtesy of Jossie Malis at Zumbacamera - to create an enjoyable trip into our wildest cosmic fantasies. 

Stock footage and animation do not always make easy bedfellows, but his edit seamlessly blends the two formats together, creating a visual that is as charming as it is engrossing, as astronauts seek to make contact with Planet Yola Recoba...


It was such a fulfilling process working backwards almost, seeing what stock was available and crafting the narrative from there.

"At first, it was fairly daunting to approach a music video without any ability to shoot. As a director, it's a bit of a weird feeling and so instead of being sat listening to the track with my eyes closed and trying to visualise how the video would look, I spent the pitch time scrolling through stock footage sites trying to get some kind of idea.

"Stumbling across the space footage was basically an accident but I immediately knew that was where I wanted to take it, developing a narrative around this footage. Stock only has so much flexibility however and I knew that eventually, we'd somehow need to take control in another way, this is where the idea for animation came along.

"The animation would allow for the creation of the world they're travelling to as this was where the stock tended to dry up. The camera footage from inside the rocket as you can imagine wasn't great back in the 60s, so having the freedom of the animation was solving this issue too.

"I've never done any kind of animation before so this was a real learning curve but an enjoyable one. I worked with Jossie [Malis] to storyboard ideas and develop the concept before finalising the designs then animating. It was such a fulfilling process working backwards almost, by seeing what stock was available and then crafting the narrative from there. Then the animation was the polar opposite, no limits apart from time and so it was really interesting working within these limits.

"Hopefully, in a time where we all feel a little trapped, this video can provide a little escape into another reality for a moment."

PRO Credits


DirectorDan French
ProducerPilar Muro
Production CompanyPapaya Films
Executive ProducerPilar Muro
EditorDan French
ColouristAdam Clarke
Post production companyAbsolute Post
Post ProducerJenna Le Noury
AnimatorJossie Malis @ Zumbacamera
Sound designJoe Marsden
Director's RepresentationMarisa Garner Associates

Rob Ulitski - 23rd June 2020

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