The Latest Video for the Singer's Biosphere Album Fuses Laser Projections, 2D Animation and Stop-Motion
In his latest work of frame-by-frame, psychedelic whimsy, director Michel Gondry has collaborated with Peter Sluszka, an animation director, and the Icelandic singer Bjà¶rk to create a a new music video for her upcoming iPad album, Biophelia, due on September 27. New York’s Hornet Workshop, in collaboration with Partizan, produced the video and fabricated the sci-fi sets and lighting rigs that generate the effects that pulse in time to the video’s electronica track.
Shot during “one intense month” on a hand-cranked 16mm Bolex camera, the video features the singer appearing and disappearing in a series of laser-projections above a fabricated lunar surface. Ice crystals, animated sand patterns, hammered drums inside craters and a variety of lighting effects encircle Bjà¶rk’s projected image. Animated, glow-in-the-dark versions of Gondry’s own abstract 2D drawings form the connective tissue between the singer’s lyrics and the simulated realm of deep space.
While not the first Bjà¶rk video directed by Gondry, it may be the most complex, especially in the way it uses lighting effects. Gondry told Billboard that he and Bj ¨rk had “multiple conversations…that were going in many directions.” Together, they arrived at the concept of using a beam of light to make new objects and effects appear and move. Hornet and Partizan built custom servo-controlled LED rigs to give Gondry and Sluszka optimal control over the beams throughout the shoot. Gondry ramped up the effects in camera by backwinding or capping the lens to capture multiple passes on a single frame.
Gondry recorded Bjà¶rk’s performance with several cameras against a black screen and projected the footage into the set against a spinning disc suspended above the fabricated moonscape. The holographic quality to her flickering image resulted from Gondry moving his camera around the disc while three projectors, synced on an arc at 30 degree intervals, continued to project the original footage.