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Navos X Galantis ft YOU 'What It Feels Like' by Ben Newbury

Promonews - 9th June 2022

Ben Newbury helms a scintillating and breathless POV journey of a rocket-powered space woman as she flies across the globe, Iron Man-style, for Navos and Galantis's uplifting dance anthem What It Feels Like.

Newbury has harnessed the latest in both drone and greenscreen technology to create this action-packed extravaganza, to make it feel like a woman really can fly - speeding through some glorious landscapes, both natural and urban - until she makes a truly spectacular crash-landing.

"You know you’re on to a basic concept that will probably make a good video when each time you talk it through everyone keeps having more and more ideas for it - that totally happened with this," says Ben Newbury. "I have to give props to the commissioner John Hassay. He was looking for a video that: a young audience would watch to the end; a video that captured euphoria (the feeling not the TV show). Challenge accepted.

Having a wild visual idea is one thing but you’re only going to hook the audience if they connect to it.

"So the pitch was this… we experience the explosive, psychedelic journey of a spacewoman as she re-enters the atmosphere and hurtles round the surface of the earth - all from a POV inside her helmet. This hyper-colour, over-saturated, warp speed journey takes us from the edge of space, through epic mountains, forests, cities and deserts, flying through impossibly small spaces and trippy VFX wormholes, to match the euphoric feeling of the track. Before she smashes into the ground. Easy peezy.

"The flight itself was created with FPV drones, filmed around the world, frame matching different takes to create one sequence. Adding in the initial fall from space and trippy wormholes in VFX. Once our VFX wizards had the edit stitched together, and we had all enjoyed another Covid test, we headed to the XR stage in Garden Studios. After some careful testing, Olly Nice our cinematographer extraordinaire rigged the camera inside a space helmet, created by our fabulous art director Katie South, ready for the XR screens to play back the journey.

"The XR screen array enabled us to perfectly match the lighting in the reflections inside the helmet and on her hands and arms, allowing our space woman to appear to look around and throw her arms out in time with the flight (as well as becoming the desert backdrop and lighting for our final shot). Our wonderful actress Poppy Christie positioned herself underneath the camera, while our SFX team (the whole rest of crew) held all manor of wind machines, spritzers, leaf blowers and smoke machines ready for launch. This made the final video pretty much a one-taker, with everyone firing smokers and squirting water at the camera.

"One goal I kept coming back to throughout pre-production was to make sure the video was about the emotional experience the space woman was having on her journey down to earth. Having a wild visual idea is one thing but you’re only going to hook the audience if they connect to it. If they care. It needed a human element to create that sense of jeopardy. So our solution was to shoot a plate shot of Poppy performing the flight facing the XR screen without the helmet, then composite that as a reflection into the visor in a final round of post, to allow the audience to see her performance.

"Pulling all this off would not have been possible without the brilliant Ramy Dance and Alessia Lendrum from Common People Films. Alessia harnessed the true purpose of the internet, organising FPV drone pilots all around the world, who shot in deserts, mountains, jungles and cities to create the amazing footage that makes up the flight.

"Big shout out to Tom Bailey and Greg Ayala at FNDM who designed the artwork that kicked off the thought process. I also want to thank our head leaf blower op and PA - Ynez Myers, AC - Mark James, HMU - Eliza Clarke, the Drone Pilots - Luca Morandini, Fabrizio Botto, Smirnov Dmitrii Olegovich, Zakir Mohammad & Jerry Chan. Then on Edit - Matthew Blacklock, Grade - Kathryn Dymmock, Sound Design - James Hall and our VFX brains - James Taylor, Darri Thorsteinsson and Shivam Solanki. As well as Andy Roberts, Amy Collins and Mariama Camara. And finally Navos and Galantis for making such a massive banger."

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Promonews - 9th June 2022


  • Director's notes
  • Narrative
  • VFX
  • Dance
  • Spacewoman
  • FPV Drone
  • XR Screen
  • POV

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Ben Newbury
Alessia Lendrum
Production Company
Executive Producer
Ramy Dance
Production Manager
Ynez Myers


Director of Photography
Olly Nice
Focus Puller
Mark James


Art Director
Katie South


Eliza Clarke


Lead actor
Poppy Christie


Matthew Blacklock
Ben Newbury


Katie Dymmock
Colour grade company


Director's Representation


John Hassay
Island Records
Amy Collins & Mariama.Camara

Promonews - 9th June 2022

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