Colonel Blimp’s Peter Serafinowicz gives ‘the beautiful game’ a whole new meaning
It’s been a rather bizarre week for football. Premiership clubs are dumping managers like they’re Overly Attached Girlfriend and English midfielder Joey Barton has taken to delivering press conferences in a French accent. But all of that pales in comparison with Peter Serafinowicz’s latest Hot Chip video. Having previously warped our feeble minds with ‘I Feel Better’ and ‘Night and Day’, his latest work on ‘Don't Deny Your Heart’ doesn't disappoint. Motion capture techniques have been deployed to turn a 1990s-style FIFA game into a trans-dimensional orgy. Confused? Thought so. We spoke to Peter to get him to elaborate a little more.
LBB> The film takes us straight back to Christmas 1996, when we first played FIFA on the PlayStation One. What was the inspiration behind the retro computer game approach? Did you consider any other game genres before settling on football?
PS> I actually hate football and football video games. However, we all thought it was a funny idea and the whole thing encapsulates what I think about the sport.
LBB> There are a lot of details that will inevitably strike a chord with fans of early FIFA games – such as the odd bits of repetitive commentary – how much FIFA did you have to play in the interests of research?!
PS> My brother James and friend actor Benedict Wong are keen FIFA nuts so they gave me some valuable insights. One of the reasons I hate football is that I'm awful at it – my lack of skill translates perfectly to the digital version so playing it is a thoroughly depressing experience!
LBB> The two teams go from being fierce sporting rivals, to having a West Side Story dance off in the ‘Dimension of Dance’ – a nice antidote to the usual on-pitch (and on-Twitter) shenanigans of the Premiere League. Was this something you were consciously trying to achieve?
LBB> One thing that particularly tickled us was the fact that the two teams are sponsored by ‘Nasal Airways’ and ‘Discount Sushi Warehouse’. Why are little details like that important to the overall feel of the music video?
PS> I don't know. I suppose I try and pack it with as much detail as possible to reward the repeat viewer.
LBB> This is the third Hot Chip video you have directed (after ‘I Feel Better’ and ‘Night and Day’). They seem like they’re a lot of fun to work with – how has your relationship with the band developed? And why do you think you guys work so well together?
PS> I'm a big fan of the Hotties. I’ve been very lucky that they give me a huge amount of creative control over their videos. I'd be happy directing all of their videos. I love them.
LBB> You worked with a motion capture studio on the shoot. Why did you decide to go down the motion capture route? Was that your first experience working with motion capture or are you already quite familiar with it?
PS> I'd actually done a bit of 'performance capture' with Robert Zemeckis, on his since cancelled Yellkow Submarine remake. I was playing Paul McCartney and we shot a couple of days out in LA. It was very exciting – and disappointing that it didn't go any further.
LBB> What was the experience of directing using motion capture like and what challenges did it present?
PS> The team that we worked with are such a great bunch of enthusiastic, talented people. They are at the forefront of this new technology/technique so it was incredibly exciting to work with them, and see all the mind-blowing things they have in the pipeline!
LBB> You worked with fellow Blink/Colonel Blimp-ers Weirdcore. What was their role in the project and what did they bring to the final project?
PS> Their role can best be described as 'everything'. Eno [Nicky Smith] and Jonnie [Pound] were pushed beyond their limits with this job and I'm proud I got to work with them. They did an incredible job. It was a real privilege.
Director: Peter Serafinowicz
Prod co: Colonel Blimp
Producer: Tamsin Glasson
Production manager: Ellie Britton
Directors Representation: Nathan James Tettey
1st AD: Ben Lumsden
Choreographer: Adrian Gas
Edit & Post Production: Weirdcore & Jonnie Pound
SFX: Andy Humphreys at 750mph
SFX producer: Mary-Ann D’Cruz at 750mph
Cast: Ben Bishop, Rufus Wright, Peter Sandy-Clarke, Rob Heanley