Concrete posts Big Arm's Sunrays

Concrete has directed and created 2D and 3D effects for a new music video for Manchester band Big Arm.

The promo itself is about a man who wants to escape the grey, dull, monotonous boring lifestyle he felt imprisoned in. He packs his suitcase and decides to venture to sunnier climes where we follow him on his journey.

Listed in the Top 75 singles at HMV already, Big Arm's lead singer, Paul Ryder, brother of Sean Ryder, is known for his success with the band Happy Mondays and his more recent collaboration with Ian Brown from the Stone Roses. The video also commemorates the life of talented music mogul Tony Wilson, who died in August. Wilson part owned Manchester's Factory Records which signed bands including The Happy Mondays.

Concrete's Creative Director Chris Jennings along with his graphics team worked tirelessly to achieve the desired results and create 2D and 3D elements within a tight time frame. Graphic designer Abi Tomasiewicz also took the director's chair, filmed the band live and shot the stop frame elements on a stills camera, piecing the scenes together seamlessly whilst incorporating 2D and 3D effects where necessary for full effect. Concrete was involved from conception through to finish within the whole process of making the video with Chris overseeing the entire project throughout.

Tomasiewicz explains: "Graphic artist Matt Rowley and I listened to the song a few times and started thinking of a style we thought would work. We knew we had little time on our hands, so we came up with some imaginative ideas of utilising abstract art-work with textured backgrounds to avoid the time involved in finding locations for the shoots. I felt that graphics mixed with live action would be the way to go."

The team had already been experimenting with stop motion techniques on other projects and Abi suggested that this was not only cost effective but also a stylish way forward as an introduction to the video. A mood board was then compiled, with rough frames presented to the client.

Consequently, a story board was drawn up where Abi conceptualised the main theme of a man leading an uneventful life, searching for a sunnier, happier existence. Abi directed the main character to use physical expressions and body language in order to link and synchronise onscreen emotion with the lyrics of the song.

In the bright and colourful rocket-lolly scene, Abi made the actor sit up on a filing cabinet as if mounted on a horse which he then later created and composited a rocket shaped lollipop in 3D to replace the filing cabinet, to give a fantasy escapist effect as if the man was flying on a lollipop rocket.

"The use of the lolly stemmed from the fact that it was on the band's CD cover and we picked up the idea from there as inspiration to propel their brand forward as well as it served as a fantastic rocket lolly to get him to Jamaica!" adds Chris Jennings. The lolly ride was enhanced with strong colours to add to the surreal effect.

Abi also made the actor wear various striking T-shirts in a number of scenes with appropriate slogans and messages for the viewer to add to the fun and funky feel of the video. Abi used the plug-in, Keylight, to save him from complex rotoscoping and blue screen chroma- key issues. He also used 3D camera in After Effects.

Photoshop was used to construct the backgrounds and AfterEffects helped them to animate the colour grade and apply the special effects. Aleksandar Stiglic, Senior 3D Artist at Concrete created various 3D effects including the final scene where we see the earth from space zoom into view. Matt Hall cut the shots in AVID and the footage was then composited and finished in Quantel eQ by Litsa Mouka at Concrete.

The music video is due to air shortly on MTV and all major music channels.

Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. This doesn't affect our editorial independence. Learn more.

Read Next...