How mind-bending visuals can begin with pen, paper, brooms and oranges.
Since the ’90s, Michel Gondry‘s music videos have been blowing minds and inspiring new work from new artists. Yet for all the technical wizardry of his final works, it’s helpful to revisit his process and discover just how much of it begins by hand (and, of course, with a brain that works like his).
The final music video for The Chemical Brothers ‘Star Guitar‘ (2009) – a seamless patchwork of photography, live action video, compositing and, one suspects, at least a little CGI:
Gondry’s planning process: from pen and paper, to handmade model, the director creates music notation (on grid paper, no less). Gondry effectively reverse-engineers the composition, and translating the information into visual language, which becomes the blueprint – first for his own model, then ultimately for his compositors to generate the final visual.
Here’s a composite of process and product (via dolphintree):
‘Star Guitar’ is by no means a one-off – not even close. I’ve Been Twelve Forever (2004) is a full-length documentary about the director and his mind-bending music video work: