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Porter Robinson 'Cheerleader' by Hugh Mulhern

Rob Ulitski - 25th Mar 2024

Hugh Mulhern directs a feverish hyper-pop fantasy for the return of Porter Robinson with his big new track Cheerleader, exploring the intense and unusual bond between the artist and his fans in a wonderfully off-kilter multi-media blockbuster. 

As with Mulhern's acclaimed videos for Hak Baker last year for Telephones 4 Eyes and Doolally, this is a captivating combination of formats - live action, AI animation, CGI and stop motion - in the telling of a supercharged narrative involving Porter's engagement with excitable superfans who take many different forms, but all share the same anime-style features of Porter's 'cheerleader'. 

From the moment of Porter's apparent creation of the song in a studio environment, to appearing on a TV screen, to that becoming the basis of a karaoke session, Mulhern esablishes a constant, breahtless intperly webether the artist and his cheerleaders - particularly the one masked girl who may be Potter's ultimate puppetmaster.

Or maybe its the other way around? Porter becomes a Kong-like monster who destroys other versions of his greatest fan - including the cute stop motion puppet - as the action accelerates ever faster as it hops through different forms of animation, losing all basis in reality. 

"I wanted to make something that looked at extreme fandom and narcissism," explains Mulhern. "As we fall through different layers of reality I wanted the viewer to ask 'are we in the fantasies of the fans or in Porter’s own interpretation of their fantasies?'

"While it’s specific to Porter’s experience as an artist it is as much about contemporary society's relationship with extreme individualism. If everyone is having their 15 minutes of fame does that
mean everyone has also become a super fan?"

It's a masterclass in maximalism and also closely follows the subject of the song - effectively that symbiotic relationship between artist and fan. Mulhern has tapped into the hyperactive aesthetic of the subgenre, and created something that feels polished, elevated and unforgettable.

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Rob Ulitski - 25th Mar 2024

Tags

  • CGI
  • Director's notes
  • Pick of the Day
  • VFX
  • Dance
  • Pop
  • Feverish
  • Animation
  • Stop motion
  • Superfan
  • Maximalism
  • Performance
  • AI

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Credits

Production/Creative

Director
Hugh Mulhern
Producer
Precious Mahaga
Production Company
Service Company
Solent Films
Executive Producer
Precious Mahaga
1st AD
Antony Tanev

Camera

Director of Photography
Nikita Popkov
Focus Puller
Vladislav Mateev
Drone Operator
Nikolay Georgiev-Tanera

Lighting/Grip

Gaffer
Alexander Trenev
Key Grip
Tsvetan Kostov

Art

Production designer
Elena Isolini
Art Director
Momchil Tasev. Aleksandar Yanev

Wardrobe

Stylist
Veir
Hair
Yesol Choi

Choreography

Choreographer
Kosta Karakashyan

Casting

Casting director
Veselina Georgieva

Animation

AI Animation
Infinite Vibes
UI Animation
Nick Lane
CGI
Alex (chippy) Futtersak

Editorial

Editor
Joseph Taylor
Editor
Anders Mills
Editing company

VFX

Post production company
The Mill
Post production company
Gabha Studios
Post Producer
Saskia Delius
Post Producer
Daniel Morris
Post Producer
Dafydd Upsdell

Agent

Director's Representation

Rob Ulitski - 25th Mar 2024

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