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Hak Baker 'Telephones 4 Eyes' by Hugh Mulhern

Rob Ulitski - 21st Feb 2023

Hugh Mulhern directs a visual assault on the senses for Hak Baker's fierce anti-tech anthem Telephones 4 Eyes. 

Mulhern's video is a mesmerising clash of live action, animation, stock footage and VFX, smashed together in a frantic, hypnotic fashion - with a little help from AI. 

In the song, Baker is lamenting the state of the society we live in today, and the video matches the lyrical content of the aggrieved track, and the deluge of visual iconography matches the neverending stream of content we consume on a day-to-day basis.

And in a real change from his excellent back catalogue of music videos, the most you see of Hak Baker is his mouth appearing from a tear in a man's stomach. You won't not be looking at men's torsos in the same way in the near future. 

Taking advantage of trends whilst completely flipping them on their heads, Mulhern has created something singular and visionary, which not only brilliantly reflects the times we are living in, but also a project that is impossible to tear you eyes away from.

 

"If I told you I had an initial rationale for everything in the video and it was all carefully figured out, I’d be lying," admits Mulhern. "In truth it was one of those ideas that came together almost instantaneously. I think that’s to do with how clear Hak’s ideas are in the song. Tetsuo the Iron Man was a key image, and I also think the inside of [the song’s producer] Dan Carey’s studio played a part in inspiring our phone thief’s lab. HR Giger meets Abe’s Odyssey circa this weird stop motion cartoon called Mr Bumpy.

"We spent hours figuring out what found footage felt right and was obscure enough to feed the sensation of over stimulation. We intentionally wanted to steer away from doing anything that felt too political or pointed when the song was carrying that message so effectively.

"Things went off the deep end in the final few days of the video. We sent some stuff over to Dom (infinite.vibes) to create AI sequences stylistically informed by the stop motion animation and what he sent back far exceeded my expectations. It’s my favourite thing I’ve made to date and all I wanna do now is expand on the techniques we experimented with.”

 

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Rob Ulitski - 21st Feb 2023

Tags

  • Alternative
  • Indie
  • AI
  • VFX
  • Iconography
  • Content
  • society
  • Absurd

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Hugh Mulhern
Producer
Alexander Handschuh
Production Company
Executive Producer
Laura Clayton

Camera

Director of Photography
Eoin McLoughlin
Focus Puller
James Wicks

Lighting/Grip

Gaffer
Jorge Higgins
Key Grip
Wolf Wasserman

Art

Production designer
Rory Mullen
Prosthetics Yaz Exall

Casting

Lead actor
Jack Rolf

Animation

AI Animator Tom Harwood Stop Motion Animator Ben Cresswell

Editorial

Editor
Joseph Taylor
Editing company
The Assembly Rooms

Grading

Colourist
Peter Opporsdorff
Colour grade company
The Mill

Agent

Director's Representation

Commission

Commissioner
Lisa Foo
Label
Awal Recordings
Creative Director Nadine Persaud

Misc

Creative Director
Nadine Persaud

Rob Ulitski - 21st Feb 2023

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