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Skrillex, Starrah, Four Tet 'Butterflies' by Ben Strebel

David Knight - 29th June 2021

Ben Strebel makes a stunning return to music videos with his wonderful video for Skrillex, Starrah and Four Tet’s new track Butterflies - an impressionistic portrait on the impact of a year of Covid crisis upon a generation, which builds to a simply transcendent climax.

With some hugely talented collaborators, including choreographer Holly Blakey, DoP Ben Todd, and the VFX team at Electric Theatre Collective, Strebel channels the frustrations of a generation of youth, whose relationships and opportunies have all been curtailed by the successive lockdowns, into a very contemporary work of visual art.

On a London estate, an edgy teenager is a ball of energy as they sit in their room, and when a group of youths gather, the group immediately combine to performing Blakey's intricate, physically demanding choreography. Sheets float in the air, at the Chinese takeaway the youths also play ghosts, covered in sheets - and then the path from gritty reality to heightened sensibility spins into outright fantasy, all within the same concrete world.

The climax of the video is wonderful - and that is partly because you do not see it coming. The kids have now become real ghosts, soaring into the air above the concrete, freed to cavort to the strains of this epic electronic collaboration between Sonny John Moore (aka Skrillex), Keiran Hebden (Four Tet), and Brittany Talia Hazzard (Starrah). This is a brilliantly conceived ballet - created with an ingenious execution of VFX work and camera movement.  

Strebel has created a wonderful visual for Butterflies, the result of not only his own skill and vision, but the ambition and support of Skrillex. The artist and director had been talking for a long time about working together, and Skrillex took a hands-on approach throughout the process, sanctioning the lengthy period in post production required to make it happen.

It was well worth the wait.  

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David Knight - 29th June 2021

Tags

  • Choreography
  • Narrative
  • Pick of the Day
  • VFX
  • Electronica
  • Dance
  • Alternative
  • Post-lockdown
  • Ghosts

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Ben Strebel
Producer
Adam Farley
Head Of Production
Samantha Chitty
Production Company
Executive Producer
Andrew Law
Executive Producer
Rupert Reynolds-MacLean
Production Manager
Roma Nesi Pio
1st AD
Ed Bellamy

Camera

Director of Photography
Ben Todd
Focus Puller
Sean Lomax
2nd AC
Dan Jenner
Steadicam
Simon Wood

Lighting/Grip

Gaffer
Ben Manwaring
Key Grip
Wolf Wasserman

Art

Production designer
Oliver Hogan

Wardrobe

Hair & Make-up
Anna Wild
Costume designer
Kate Forbes

Choreography

Choreographer
Holly Blakey

Casting

Casting director
Kharmel Cochrane

Editorial

Editor
Matt Nee
Editing company
Metal House Edit
Edit Producer
Hannah Clark @ Metal Edit

Grading

Colourist
Luke Morrison

VFX

Post production company
Post Producer
Antonia Vlasto

Misc

2nd AD
Christopher Mears
Location Manager
Titus Penate
VFX Director
James Sindle

Other credits

Director’s Assistant

James Murray

Casting Assistant

Virgina Kerr

Cast

Ben Todd-Jones, Holly Brennan, Tyrese McKenzie, Maddie Miller, Devonte Sackitey, Zirihi Zadi, Aden Dzuda, Jamie Bell, Lauryn Bryan

Production Runner

Dalia Saeed

Runners

Kwesi Mcloed, Sonny McMillan

Drone

Stem Studios

Camera Car

Box Van

DIT

Ashley Hicks

Rigger

Pat Daley

Video Playback

John Joe O’Driscoll

Boom Op

Patrick Calvert

Electrician

Jamie Chatz, Dimitris Mavrogianns, Jazz Balla

Art Department Assistant

James Early, Tom Gullum

Props Transport

Leo Topalov

Wardrobe Assistant

John Revell

HMU Assistant

Ruthie Mannion-Palmer

Medic

John Greenwood, Dave Ogden

Covid Supervisor

Stephen McLaughin

Mini Bus

Lee Righleato, Dean Levy

Security

Wayne Green, Darren Rosiore, Steve Smith

Facilities

Robert Sheldrake

Camera Equipment

Panavision

Lighting Equipment

Panalux

Locations Equipment

Get Set Hire

Location Catering

Honey & Thyme, Luluz Catering

3D Lead

Tobin Brett

2D Lead

James Belch

3D Artists

Luis Fos, Tom Di Stasio, Nikolai Maderthoner, Julien Fradin, Gareth Bell, Robert Kolbeins, Robert Reinschedl, Jack Powell, James Waterhouse, Jordan Dunstall

2D Artists

Sarah Crux, Alberto Pizzocherro

David Knight - 29th June 2021

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