Midnight Madness is the latest music video from the Chemical Brothers, and like almost all of the DJ duo's promos, it's a corker. Pushing a digital download-only single in the run up to the release of the best-of album Brotherhood, the video for Midnight Madness matches previous work for the act by mixing a great idea and execution with subtle use of visual effects.
A QuickTime of the director's cut of the video can be downloaded from here.
The concept -- a impish Mortiis look-a-like in a spangly leotard dancing acrobatically around the back streets of Soho -- perfectly matches the ravey flavour of the song. But where the video really takes off is when the gremlin's dance moves flit across the boundary of what's possible, assisted by some invisible VFX work by Framestore. A digital double was used for the most over-the-top shots , but the work's so realistic it even made Kanye West ask "how did they do that?"
Adding seamless VFX to the streets round the back of its offices isn't new for the team at Framestore, they created more obviously CGI but no less realistic car-plant robots for the mental breakdown of Believe. This is Framestore's third video for the Chemical Brothers, with the cute, funny fish of The Salmon Dance picking up a gaggle of awards, including this year's Escape Award for CG in Music. Like many music videos for the dance act, Midnight Madness was directed by Dom and Nic.
While the Chemical Brothers' promos are well known for the creative use of VFX for dancing skeletons or to merge Michel Gondry's real-world optical illusions together, the best has no VFX at all. It's just a train journey. Or that's how it seems...