CGNetworks' Ali Tezel speaks with Chris Harding from Shynola, on the production of the stunning Queens of The Stone Age music video, "Go With The Flow".
Ali Tezel: Can you tell us a bit about Shynola?
Chris Harding: Shynola consists of four guys, me (Chris Harding, Richard "Kenny" Kenworthy, Jason Groves and Gideon Baws). we met at art college, and started working together on self initiated group projects right away, all kinds of things, paintings, films, books, we really had no life! After about 5 years we started to get animation work and formed Shynola. we never thought we would end up making music videos, we just wanted to make animated films, but music videos are the best compromise for film makers to try out new ideas and get paid for it, as opposed to commercials, where the director has next to no control over the content of the work.
Chris Harding: About 8 weeks from it's inception to delivery, I think.
When we finish a job I always seem to blank it out of my mind, because the work rate is so intense.
Chris Harding: There were the four of us at Shynola, that never changes. In addition, my brother Tom did the green screening and compositing and stuff in flame at Clear ltd (a london post production house) and I believe he had one assistant helping him out, plus a few 3D guys. That was the real core team, but there were dozens of other people involved in the live action shoot which took place in LA.
Ali Tezel: How much creative control did Shynola have on this project?
Chris Harding: Once the band had approved our idea, we had absolute creative control. This is normal for music videos, which is why we like doing them. After the project was completed, MTV requested a toned down version for daytime broadcasting, but aside from that, what you see is precisely what we wanted you to see.
A wireframe of the band and the truck. click to view larger version
Ali Tezel: The video has a very distinctive style , What was your inspiration for this music video?
Chris Harding: First and foremost, the inspiration came from the band and the song. They're desert rockers, what with their desert sessions side projects and stuff, and the song is just a really driving, non-compromising blast. It's not too hard to see how we came up with driving through the desert! the look of the piece was initially defined by the album artwork, which is high contrast black and red, which we liked very much. We also took influence from frank miller's Sin City, which is of a very similar visual style, and has a real sense of action and aggression that we wanted though worked well with the song.
Chris Harding: Yes, I've just stopped having nightmares, so I feel ok to talk about it. We shot the the band against green screen on the back of an old 60's chevy pickup which had been painted matte black and white. the whole band had been painted black and white too (which they were not amused about), so that we could easily rotoscope them later. we had a woefully inadequate amount of tracking markers on the floor and walls of the green screen, and Clear had to send some of our shots to REALVIZ, who are now using them to demonstrate how good their software is! the environment was completely built in 3d, and we had digital doubles of the band and trucks for the medium and long shots.
Ali Tezel: Did you use live action footage? If yes, how did it help?
Chris Harding: It is a huge 3D environment full of nurbs cacti, the dancing girls are animated texture sequences on hand placed planes, and the swimming sperm are instanced geometry flowing along curves. The trails of fire and smoke coming from the truck are sprites with animated texture sequences.
|click to view larger version|
click to view larger version
Ali Tezel: What were the most technically challenging aspects of this project?
Ali Tezel: Do you think the usage of 3D VFX in music videos will be more widespread in the future? What do you think about the current state of the music video industry.
From the Creative Editor, Ali "Sheep Factory" Tezel
Ever since its first launch "Go With The Flow" was one of the most requested music vids on music television thanks to the creative minds at Shynola. Also be sure to check out their website to view more of their work. Until our next feature, this is Ali Tezel .
Special thanks to Chris Harding for making this interview possible.
- Sheep Factory -