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FKA Twigs 'Sad Day' by Hiro Murai

David Knight - 31st Aug 2020

After making the era-defining This Is America, Hiro Murai's next music video project was always going to be a big deal. And this does not disappoint. Murai's collaboration with FKA Twigs is an action-packed epic affair, embracing Chinese martial arts. It is a brilliant, and beautiful - and brutal - showcase for the artist's unique talents.

In characteristic Murai style, and with the help of regular collaborators like DoP Larkin Sieple and colourist Ricky Gausis, the grittily mundane is transformed into something breathtaking. As with so many of his music videos, this is shot entirely at night and again Murai shows his mastery of the specific atmosphere that night creates in the quieter parts of a cityscape. And in this case, the city is London.

In a late night café, Twigs encounters a male alter-ego (played by Teake), and their assignation quickly becomes violent. A terrifying swordfight begins within the cafe, with Twigs' and her rival's athleticism taking them headlong through its shopfront window. Then their fight moves across quiet suburban streets, via the swooping, sensual movements of Wushu martial arts - so the conflict begins to hint at a complex backstory to their relationship/rivalry. But within the café again, at close quarters it gets brutal again and there is an extraordinary outcome - arguably not for the fainthearted. 

This climactic moment, where Twigs is divided by a samurai sword, is the most obvious contribution of VFX in a piece which, as with much of Murai's work, employs extensive VFX without drawing huge attention to itself. He worked in close collaboration with a team at MPC in Los Angeles to create those crucial sequences. Not only the choreographed fight sequence across buildings, epic smashes through shop windows, and that dramatic final scene, but digital matte painting was also used throughout to enhance the gritty backdrops.  

The result is a majestic piece of work, a reminder of Murai's phenomenal body of work in the medium. The same applies to Twigs. It is further evidence that she is a great action hero(ine) in the making.

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David Knight - 31st Aug 2020

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Hiro Murai
Producer
Jason Cole
Producer
Danielle Hinde
Producer
Brad Weston
Producer
Anita Gou
Producer
Hiro Murai
Producer
Nate Matteson
Producer
Michael Stirton
Producer
FKA Twigs
Production Company

Camera

Director of Photography
Larkin Seiple

Editorial

Editor
Luke Lynch
Editing company
Parallax Editing

Grading

Colourist
Ricky Gausis
Colour grade company
MPC

VFX

VFX Company
MPC

Misc

Production Services
VFX Director
Michael Gregory
Service Co Exec Producer
UK Producer
Nicole Powell

Other credits

Sound Design/Mix

Trevor Gates

MPC VFX team:

Executive Producer

Elexis Stearn

Senior VFX Producer

Nicole Saccardi

VFX Coordinator

John Edson

Production Manager

Sanchit Soi

Production Coordinator

Sririthika Iyer

VFX Supervisor

Toya Drechsler

CG Supervisor

Corinne DeOrsay

VFX Set Supervisors

Zdravko “Zee” Stoitchkov, Jim Radford

Bangalore Head of 2D

Siju Murugan

Prep Lead

Ragesh Ramachandran

Roto Lead

Mahendranatha Reddy

Tracking Lead

Siva Priyan Seetharaman

FX Artist

Jinguang Huang

Lighter

Mason Dash

Modeler

Christian Sanchez

Compositors

Andy Roberts, Navid Sanati, Hector Cabrera, Luis Artigas, Peter Ulukpo, Balakrishnan Ramadoss, George Gijo Peter, Nanda Kumar Perumal Pillai, Stevenson G

Prep Team

Alex J., Arulanandhan P, Jaswan Vishnu Prasath Balla Mohan Rao, Jayakumar R, Padmapriya K, Veerapandiyan Devendhiran

Rigging

Gretchen Asmar

Roto

Ravisankar S, Suvojit Ghosh

Tracking

Ankit Dheraj Toppo, Gayathri Sakthivel, Muruganantham T, Muthyalakrishnaiah Doddi, Nithin T K, Sathya Narayanan, Shridhar Bhat, Sreenivasa Aditya, Tejashwini N, Vishal Bhaskar Darkunde

Executive Producer, Colour

Meghan Lang Bice

Colour Producer

Sasha Pace

Colour Assistant

Sam Ziaie

David Knight - 31st Aug 2020

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