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Bullion Signs Disruptive Director RAWTAPE with New Video for Kasabian

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Director RAWTAPE joins the Bullion fold for Commercial and Music Video Representation

Bullion Signs Disruptive Director RAWTAPE with New Video for Kasabian

Director RAWTAPE (Rory A Wood) made his first forays into moving image documenting the illegal rave, Graffiti and MC scene of Glasgow culminating in the release of his first video ‘Samhain: a Glasgow youth culture documentary’. Since this release RAWTAPE began honing his craft, developing a bold aesthetic style that balances a gritty edge with new disruptive technologies. RAWTAPE creates visually captivating stories that explore the cultural history of that which inspires them from new, unexplored perspectives.

To mark his signing to Bullion, RAWTAPE has directed an enigmatic promo for Kasabian’s new track ‘SCRIPTVRE’. The band have undergone a rebrand in recent times. The relaunch and new album signify an updated style and a new sound. Bringing his inimitable style to the project, RAWTAPE created a film to signify this change.

Rory discusses the new Kasabian video below, detailing how he implements disruptive technologies to aid his creative process and inform his directing.

‘For the video for Kasabian’s ‘SCRIPTVRE’ we wanted to examine the postmodern penchant for pastiche, pitching the band against infinite AI (artificial intelligence) interpretations of their own performance in a battle against singularity for originality.

To achieve this, I worked with four AI artists, Maximilllian Kreig, Kieran Cook, Y7 and Bel Docherty. Each brought their own unique way of utilising the latest developments of Generated adversarial networks (GANs) to create different machine learnt interpretations of the bands performance that I subsequently edited over the original footage.

Firstly, working with Max (the bedrock of this project, both for handling the most computationally heavy aspects of the process and his expansive knowledge of GANs) we broke the original footage down into image sequences and fed these into StyleGAN 3. The model was able to then use these images as a dataset to interpret and create an infinite number of its own images of the band’s performance. These images however were completely random, and it was the work of Max to sequence these images in a ‘latent walk’ that somewhat resembled the natural human movement of the band that allowed me to then overlay this with the original footage and foreground the eerie uncanniness between the two versions. Connoting the precipice of AI we currently find ourselves on as deep fakes and AI voice generators call our very identity into question.

An admirer of Kieran’s amazing work with VQGAN in his own Stills photography we developed a workflow to bring this to life in moving image animations that allowed us to lean into the surreality of AI. Referencing the surreal visual styles of Francis Bacon and H.R.Giger, Kieran was able to use multiple iterations of VQGAN generated imagery from the source footage and intricately stitch them together to create hyper detailed individual frames that could then be sequenced. Our aim here was to reference the daunting dystopian potential of AI through the visual language of science fiction established by the likes of Ridley Scott and Chris Cunningham.

Y7’s amazing work on this project cannot be understated. Responsible for the most complex of the AI generated imagery, the AI interpretations of the snorricam (body rig) footage found on the latter of the video. Working with Y7 we developed on the workflow we had previously established for the latent walks, creating a dataset from the image sequence of the body rig footage, but then utilising a projection model to train StyleGAN2-ADA to attempt to imitate a target frame from the original sequence allowing us to overcome the randomness aspect of the generated imagery and create (frame by frame) an AI interpretation of the Band’s performance that was still recognisable.

Y7 was also responsible for the very final (and my personal favourite) shot of the video generated using ‘Next Frame prediction’. Here the final 10 seconds of the video were fed into an AI model that attempted to then predict the subsequent three seconds of video, resulting in the appearance of Serge to melt into a cloud of smoke floating back into the inner workings of the computer, a completely random and uncontrollable stroke of luck.

Bel docherty was essential to the development of this project from the start allowing me to intricately test ideas, workflow and concepts for how we would be able to utilise the numerous different AI models available today as well as assisting in the comping of the generated imagery with the original footage in the editing phase.’

A daring director who is constantly evolving what it means to exist in the commercial space, Bullion are excited to welcome RAWTAPE to its roster of talented directors. 

https://www.bullionproductions.com/directors/rawtape

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Director & Editor: Rawtape

Prod Company: Bullion Productions

Exec Producer: Joel Spencer

Producer: Theo Hue Williams

AI Artist: Maximilian Kreig

AI Artist: Declan Colquitt

AI Artist: Kieran Cook

AI Artist: Belle Docherty

AD: Afzal Robbiani

Runner: Richard Leimon

Runner: Esme Drummond

Runner: Yustyna Libicka

PA: Kathryn Chorley

DOP: Fraser Rigg

AC: Ondrej Rybar

2AC: Aida Garcia Vega

Camera trainee: Lou Alvarez

Key Grip: Tom North

Grip Assist: Anne Deacon

Gaffer: Nathan Rubins

Spark: Leo Olesker

Spark: Daniel Matthieu

Spark: Daniel Svilenov

Art Director: Alan Scott

Art Assist: Nycollas Abreau

Art Runner: Ashen Page

Stylist: Chris Henderson

Stylist Assist: Josh Barber Cruz

Hair/MUA: Jackie Tyson

BTS Photographer: Neil Bedford

BTS videographer: Arran Ashan

Editor: Rory A. Wood

Colourist: Darren Rae

Colour House: Cinelab Film & Digital

Lab Dailies Producer: Aarti Mahtani

Special Thanks: Joshua Callis-Smith at Cinelab

Commissioner: Lea Ogunlami

Band Management: John Coyne

Categories: Music video, Short Films and Music Videos

Bullion Productions, Fri, 06 May 2022 14:18:23 GMT