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Sam Mason Builds Beautiful Post-Apocalyptic CG World for 'For Sure' Video

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Hornet director Sam worked with indie electronic group Future Islands for the music video
Sam Mason Builds Beautiful Post-Apocalyptic CG World for 'For Sure' Video

Indulge Hornet for a moment, as it dives into a project from director Sam Mason with so many complementary layers baked in, it would make an English Trifle cake blush.

And what’s the thematic thread of this particular project? The Future.

The ingredients: 

  • A music group called Future Islands
  • A music video set in a futuristic utopia
  • An innovative—incredibly realistic-looking—style of 3D digital filmmaking that might just signal a new way of doing things moving forward, especially through times of isolation

Now, let’s back up to the past for a second to see how Hornet got to, well, now... the present.

Back in the spring, the music group, Future Islands - an indie electronic group - contacted Hornet director Sam Mason to make a music video for their song ‘For Sure.’ Sam, no stranger to music video filmmaking, having recently been shortlisted for a D&AD Pencil Award for his music video ‘Sinking Ship’, happily jumped at the opportunity.

The film’s storyline follows two autonomous cars courting one another in a choreographed love dance as they drive across various landscapes pockmarked with relics of longgone human civilisations. Eventually, the two cars run out of gas and end up next to each other. It’s a love song and a simple love story told in the most futuristic form: CG digital filmmaking.

In terms of concept development, Sam was inspired by the almost meditative calm that had settled over the world in the immediate fallout of coronavirus lockdown. “I felt like the song called for something reacting to our time and what we’ve been going through. And my first instincts were to play off a post-apocalyptic thing, where nature had rather beautifully taken back over. I imagined this beautiful, calm world where nature came back and quickly forgot about people. But not in a dystopian way. More like an optimistic Garden of Eden.”

After the concept came the tricky part: execution. The inherent challenge was figuring out something that would be doable while in complete isolation. Thankfully, Sam is a director who loves to tweak and prod and push technical boundaries. In this case, he opted for a world built totally in CG. “I wanted to build a world that felt photo-realistic, yet maintained a certain artful, painterly quality. Using a program to animate the cars by driving them almost like a video game controller, and then cutting it cinematically using real types of camera sequences, there’s a traditional live action feel to it. But it’s all digital.”

It’s a style of virtual filmmaking that Sam suspects will be used for many remote projects to come. “I thought of it as a futuristic way to make a film in isolation. And I think it was conceptually interesting to make something that felt like a live action film using all these hacked together digital ways of working. Looking forward, I think more work can be done this way.”


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Director: Sam Mason

Rendering: GarageFarm

Special Thanks: Anna, Jemima, Mike, Willy, Saad, Eric, Arsen, and Hornet

Genres: Storytelling

Categories: Music video, Short Films and Music Videos

Hornet, Fri, 24 Jul 2020 08:47:43 GMT