Get the Promonews daily round up

User Accounts

Get the Promonews daily round up

Woodkid 'Reactor' by Saad Moosajee

Rob Ulitski - 24th Nov 2022

Saad Moosajee directs an awe-inspiring promo for the unmistakeable Woodkid - the musical alter-ego of Yoann Lemoine. 

Playing out like a duet between organic forces and burgeoning machinery, the video for Reactor is set many years in the future inside a volcanic megastructure.

The film took over a year to create and combines Unreal Engine live choreography recorded with motion capture technology and keyframe animation. The team consisted of only three full-time production artists - including lead animator Daniel Callaby and technical director James Bartolozzi, who developed a suite of bespoke production tools that made it possible for a small team of artists to do all of the visual effects work.

Breathtaking textures amalgamate in an otherworldly, haunting atmosphere, and the video as a whole is a tour de force of innovative creativity, with the nature and operatic scale of the imagery is very much a continuation of the world of Woodkid.

“Our vision for the film was to have an environment that felt alive - so much so that it became a character in the film," explains Moosajee - who has previously created brilliant painterly animations for the likes of Thom Yorke and Mitsky. "To achieve this, we created over 100 unique lava and smoke simulations using tools by Thomas Marque and James Bartolozzi.

“We approached the VFX for this music video through the lens of an animated feature film workflow, developing custom production tools and software to visualize such a unique story and landscape."

This song was inspired by the films made in the golden age of 80s and 90’s Japanese animation – Akira and Ghost in The Shell - as Woodkid explains.

"I wrote Reactor for the Suginami Junior Chorus (Japan), and we recorded the piece in 2020 in Tokyo. It is an homage to repetitionist and minimalist music and an homage to the Japanese anime that was part of my culture when I was younger.”

He adds that he contacted Moosajee when his album S16 was released two years ago. “I was already a big fan of his work. We share the same passion for animation and motion design, and for dance.

"When he asked me to do a video for one of the songs off the record, I immediately accepted and gave him the time to produce this beautiful film that gives a new dimension to the song. It’s a perfect gift to the fans for the two years of S16.”

Moosajee adds: “Our intention was to create something deeply personal that could communicate the feeling of being swallowed by the world around you. About trying to breathe in a place where no one and nothing can breathe anymore.”

Featured sponsors

Rob Ulitski - 24th Nov 2022


  • Animation
  • CGI
  • Choreography
  • Director's notes
  • Pick of the Day
  • Alternative
  • Unreal Engine
  • Volcano
  • Motion capture

Popular content


Problem with this page? Let us know



Saad Moosajee
Reef Oldberg
Production Company
Executive Producer
Helene Segol
Executive Producer
Melodie Saba


Storyboard Artists
Ming Wang, Bihan Liao


Maya Man


Animation Director
Daniel Callaby
Paul Lavau


Lead Designer
Saad Moosajee
Technical Director
James Bartolozzi
Rigging TD
Lee Wolland
Chanyu Chen, Zuheng Yin
3D Modeller
Mike Altman
Asset Modeller
JD Garner
Substance Painter
Pierre Judge
Supporting Dancer
Zhoutong Qi
Houdini Development 
Thomas Marque
Motion Capture


Animation supervisor
James Bartolozzi
Line Producer
Clementine Tatin

Rob Ulitski - 24th Nov 2022

Related Content

Industry News

Promonews logo

Music video creativity everyday.
Submit your video