When independent Brazilian electronic music trio Lumen Craft approached my studio to create a music video for their single Colors Fade, I’ve embraced the project imagining a sci-fi road trip in a derelict world full of easter eggs, references from pop culture and recent world political spectrum.
Why not shoot it at on digital landscapes? Creating all the landscapes in 3D was an option but then again, it was too much time and money consuming. And then I had the idea of shooting it inside a videogame. The GTA V game was perfect to tell the story, it has all kinds of landscapes, urban, desert, forests, beaches and also an Editor feature that with some community mods could be used to get all the base scenes to be later edited with some post effects and 3D models.
After all, it was a statement, how to create the best video with this technology (the original GTA V game was launched in 2013!)? How to make it relevant and tell the story I wanted?
The production process took 4 months, lots of research on the possibilities of the game engine and art direction. Its an experiment at New Cinema. Telling stories through game engines (machinima) is here since the beginning of the videogame industry but we wanted to go one step ahead, crossing the boundaries of what is to know a place or to recognize a landscape while also talking about our recent political events, technology, and its influence, and also create some iconic scenes that tell the story of this 3 guys going down the road. The 3 main characters of the game are in the video performing as the virtual electronic trio.
We realized that millions of gamers that played this game has a sense of real space about those landscapes as if they really had been there. Something like when you’ve watched all NYC based Woody Allen movies and go to the Big Apple for the first time.
The final steps were editing and doing a lot of post effects: image tracking, insertion of our customized 3D models, and finally a lot of color correction so all the scenes have this unique purplish palette.
This music video was inspired by the work of my all-time favorite sci-fi references such as Moebius, Simon Stalenhag, Ralph McQuarrie, Katsuhiro Otomo, Masamune Shirow, and others. Its also my personal homage to this storytelling masterpiece, the videogame GTA V.
Olavo Ekman is a partner at Bijari, a Brazilian based Art, Design and Architecture studio which started as an Art Collective in 1997 and since then is creating art, design and creative work for worldwide companies and institutions.