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Sean Williamson Takes a Bizarrely Wild Ride in Piero Pirupa's Trippy Animated Video 'Braindead'

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PRETTYBIRD director Yousef crafted the Monty Python-esque video

Sean Williamson Takes a Bizarrely Wild Ride in Piero Pirupa's Trippy Animated Video 'Braindead'

Yousef has directed a hallucinatory promo for Piero Pirupa’s new anti-drugs track ‘Braindead’, visualising the lyrics 'Heroin kills, stay away from pills, if you use Cocaine say goodbye to your Brain' with a surreal performance by actor Shaun Williamson, known for his iconic role in Eastenders. 

PRETTYBIRD UK Director Yousef conceived a tongue in cheek film in the style of a public safety video on acid, with a presenter (played by Williamson) warning of the dangers of various street drugs and pharmaceuticals before his brain takes on a life of its own and escapes from his skull in a Monty Python-esque sequence. The trippy video features clever animation and VFX, which enabled Yousef to feature Lilliputian versions of Williamson, culminating with the actor vomiting up miniature versions of himself before deflating completely in a warning about the dangers of drug abuse. Yousef collaborated with 2D and 3D artists around the world, and a 3D character model of Williamson was created.

As well as being an award-winning director, Yousef is also a designer and art director crafting visuals for major label album and single campaigns for the likes of Michael Kiwanuka, Wretch 32, Dizzee Rascal, Devlin, Yizzy, Gregory Porter and Sway. Italian House and Techno DJ and Producer Piero Pirupa is signed to some of the most respected dance record labels in the world and launched his own label ‘NONSTOP’ in 2015.  

The ‘Braindead’ video was Exec-Produced by Juliette Larthe, co-founder of PRETTYBIRD UK who were the production company on the promo and was produced by Jake River Parker. It has recently been nominated at the Berlin Music Video Awards 2020.  

Yousef said: “We were commissioned back towards the tail end of December 2019 and worked on the video for about three months. We had an extended pre-production timeline whilst the record label Island Records,  the PRETTYBIRD team and I discussed who would be ideal for the lead role and Shaun Williamson seemed like a perfect fit. We had about four weeks’ worth of post-production working with freelance 2D and 3D artists across the globe. We also had Shaun 3D scanned in London and then sent off the data to a team in the US who created a 3D character model of him that could be animated by our post team.  The label team Amy and Lucy were incredible to work with: they really put their trust in us and pushed us to make things wilder.”

PRETTYBIRD UK co-founder Juliette Larthe said: “Delighted to have Yousef’s masterpiece drop during this crisis. A much needed shot of humour and a message to boot. Inspired and entirely grateful for all the hard work Yousef, Jake and the teams put into this.”

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Artist: Piero Pirupa

Track: Braindead

Record label: Island Records 

Director: Yousef


Production Company: PRETTYBIRD UK 

Exec Producer: Juliette Larthe

Music Video Manager: Chris Murdoch

Producer: Jake River Parker 

1st Assistant Director: Sam Roffey

DOP: Guido Cavaciuti

Focus Puller: Nick Crew

Steadicam: James Thomas

Gaffer: Benjamin Law

Spark: George Wright

Spark Trainee: Oscar Whaley

Sound Recordist: Robert Chen

Production Runner: Yssis Mcken

Runner: Callum Murdoch

Art Director: Charlie Stuart – Grumbar

Hair / MUA: Sonika Sunar


Shaun Williamson: Shaun Williamson

Director Character: Alasdair Shanks

Producer Character: Darren Privett

Production Assistant Character: Sabira Stanisavljevic


Editor: Yousef

Lead Compositor: Yousef

3D Scanning: Additive 

3D Character Model: Human-Engine

On set VFX supervisor: Matt Taylor

3D Artists: Dom Spall, Darri Thorsteinsson, Tyrone Doyle, Christian Whiticar, Matt Taylor, Mali Keena

2D Animation: Sven Stoffels

2D Artists: Shivam Solanki, Robin Zerner


Colourist: Connor Coolbear

Colour Producer: Oliver Whitworth at Electric Theatre Collective


Director's Rep: Joceline Gabriel at Hands Ldn

Commissioner: Lucy Rogers


Camera Equipment: Panavision

Lighting Equipment: Lawless Lighting

Thanks to Hackney Studios

Genres: Animation, Comedy, Visual VFX, People

Categories: Music video, Short Films and Music Videos

PRETTYBIRD UK, Fri, 27 Mar 2020 16:49:48 GMT