Promonews - 19th Nov 2021

A drunken night out turns into an unpredictable trippy nightmare for Jake, in a cinematic, VFX-fired thrill-ride by new director Lewis Andrews.

The Manchester-based singer-songwriter's track Drink - a soul-searching reflection on his use of alcohol to escape depression - is the jumping-off point for a visceral tour de force, featuring a tumult of ideas and techniques to reflect the artist's disturbed state of mind - from in-camera setpieces to AI-fired post effects and animation.

Jake finds his sense of reality falling apart when the weird effects of AI Deep Dream FX take hold. Then he's falling into one scene after another: emerging from a burning guitar in a forest; appearing in a Playstation-style Street Fighter game with a screaming NHS doppelganger; an uncomfortable bedroom encounter with a girl; and on it goes.

Andrews's background is in movies, working in the XM2 Pursuit’s aerial camera department on Mission Impossible 7, Fast and Furious 9, Cinderella and No Time To Die. He taught himself VFX skills over the course of a year to perfect his self-produced labour of love.

The result is hugely impressive. Andrews has done a lot here, and its all been executed to a very high standard. 

LEWIS ANDREWS:

I wanted to represent the vivid motion and atmosphere of a dream...

“The video is basically one big trip. Dreams don’t usually have any structure or meaning to them and it’s difficult to pinpoint where they start or how one moment transitions to the next. I wanted to try and represent the vivid motion and atmosphere of a dream whilst abstractly interpreting the song meaning.

"When I was briefed about the song lyrics, Jake told me that he had previously used alcohol to deal with his problems. I started to think of ways to represent a journey through an intoxicated dream that Jake has where he wakes up inside a howling nightmare. The rest didn’t need to make much sense, I just wanted it to look cool.

"The vivid storyline portrays Jake’s depression with a series of nightmarish characters acting against him. I knew the film had to have the colour and feel of an 80’s horror thriller. I was eager to incorporate different styles, such as the 360-degree camera, the AI Deep Dream effect (thanks to computer graphics wiz morn1415), and the pixelated Street Fighter scene.

"I made a visual treatment to base my concept on. I wrote a screenplay and detailed call pages to coordinate the shoot over three days. The video took about two months to coordinate. The preparation also helped me to keep track of my shot list.

"I completely designed the bedroom set for the porn cellar scene, including a SFX spider web spinner using a fan blade, a drill and rubber cement. I managed to source an E Type Jaguar by letter-dropping messages on cool vintage cars I found around Pimlico, London. Inevitably, I was managing almost everything by myself, there was an element of improvisation on the day.

"The post stage of Drink was a ‘fix-it-in-post’ nightmare! I wanted to reach myself new skills to create all of the CG elements in the video. The visual effects shots I had in mind were a superhuman, bullet time throw, a 2D nosebleed element and transitions. The rest I came up with as I went  along.

"When I started Drink, I had no idea how to do visual effects. The video was shot silent with no audio capture, so I had to design the sound from scratch, with the help of a friend, Richard Akam, on some of the sounds. The project took me months to complete spread out over a year."

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorLewis Andrews
ProducerLewis Andrews
Production CompanyWonderfilm Pictures
Executive ProducerWeezy
Editing companyWonderfilm Pictures
Post production companyWonderfilm Pictures
VFXLewis Andrews
Other creditsJack Gallagher Morn1415 Shona Costello Joe Carter Yousef Khalaf

Promonews - 19th Nov 2021

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