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Hiro Murai Splits FKA Twigs in Two for Spectacular Martial Arts Video

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The 'Sad Day' video from Doomsday Entertainment and MPC follows a choreographed sequence of epic sword fighting

Hiro Murai Splits FKA Twigs in Two for Spectacular Martial Arts Video

Beginning in a café late at night, the video follows FKA Twigs as she encounters an unidentified man and they start to sword-fight, breaking out of the café and into the streets. Directed by Doomsday Entertainment’s Hiro Murai, the visually unique video is based on the sensual movements of Wushu martial arts, which is used to depict the complex relationship between the two characters. 

MPC worked in close collaboration with Murai throughout, helping to create the choreographed fight sequence across buildings, epic smashes through shop windows, and a dramatic final scene where FKA Twigs is sliced in half with a samurai sword. Digital matte painting was also used throughout to build out and enhance the gritty backdrops.

The VFX team, led by MPC’s creative director Michael Gregory, VFX supervisor Toya Drechsler and CG supervisor Corinne DeOrsay, helped define the epic final sequence, including the look of the FKA Twig’s anatomy ‘post-slice’. Michael commented: “We carried out a test shoot beforehand to determine how the split would work and how to practically shoot it. We then modelled her in 3D and split her in two from her waist up. We re-projected the live action over the split model, creating a hollow shell for the CG to go on top.”

He added: “It was important that the sequence was not bloody or gory; instead it needed to look beautiful and otherworldly. For her new inner body, we concepted in 2D based on some key images from Hiro, and we then moved into 3D look development, with Hiro’s original vision organically morphing into something that we were all happy with.”

The end result is an ethereal yet warm and inviting material, incorporating the qualities of blooming flowers and glistening elements.

The beautifully shot film was shot by DP Larkin Seiple and graded by MPC’s Ricky Gausis, enhancing the final piece and looking at each sequence independently. “As the video moves through the different set ups, Hiro, Larkin and I were given the opportunity to give each one its own identity, in some respects,” Ricky commented. Referring to the diner scene, he added, “The warm and sweaty diner plays well against the street-fighting sequence where we were liking the more cyan/green tones. This in turn offset really nicely against the warm apartment which was more intimate and inviting when compared to the gritty warmth we see earlier in the diner.”

This marks a continued collaboration between Gausis and Murai, who have a long-standing relationship, previously teaming up on the renowned ‘This is America’ music video by Childish Gambino, multiple commercials, FX’s Atlanta series and Childish Gambino’s film Guava Island.

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Production Company: Doomsday Entertainment

Production Service Company (UK): FRIEND

Director: Hiro Murai

DoP: Larkin Seiple

Producers: Jason Cole, Danielle Hinde, Brad Weston, Anita Gou, Hiro Murai, Nate Matteson, Michael Stirton, FKA twigs



Editor: Luke Lynch


Sound Design/Mix: Trevor Gates

VFX and Post Production 

VFX & Grade: MPC

Creative Director: Michael Gregory

Executive Producer: Elexis Stearn

Senior VFX Producer: Nicole Saccardi 

VFX Coordinator: John Edson

Production Manager: Sanchit Soi

Production Coordinator: Sririthika Iyer

VFX Supervisor: Toya Drechsler

CG Supervisor: Corinne DeOrsay

VFX Set Supervisors:  Zdravko “Zee” Stoitchkov, Jim Radford

Bangalore Head of 2D: Siju Murugan

Prep Lead:  Ragesh Ramachandran

Roto Lead: Mahendranatha Reddy

Tracking Lead: Siva Priyan Seetharaman

FX Artist: Jinguang Huang

Lighter: Mason Dash

Modeler: Christian Sanchez

Compositors:  Andy Roberts, Navid Sanati, Hector Cabrera, Luis Artigas, Peter Ulukpo, Balakrishnan Ramadoss, George Gijo Peter, Nanda Kumar Perumal Pillai, Stevenson G

Prep Team:  Alex J., Arulanandhan P, Jaswan Vishnu Prasath Balla Mohan Rao, Jayakumar R, Padmapriya K, Veerapandiyan Devendhiran

Rigging: Gretchen Asmar

Roto: Ravisankar S, Suvojit Ghosh

Tracking:  Ankit Dheraj Toppo, Gayathri Sakthivel, Muruganantham T, Muthyalakrishnaiah Doddi, Nithin T K, Sathya Narayanan, Shridhar Bhat, Sreenivasa Aditya, Tejashwini N, Vishal Bhaskar Darkunde

Colourist: Ricky Gausis

Executive Producer, Colour: Meghan Lang Bice

Colour Producer: Sasha Pace

Colour Assistant: Sam Ziaie

Genres: Choreography, Music & Sound Design, People, Storytelling

Categories: Music video, Short Films and Music Videos

MPC LA, Fri, 28 Aug 2020 15:42:02 GMT