Sci-fi meets psychedelia for retro pop promo

The promo for the latest single by electro-pop band Coco Electrik, Fire and Ice, features a quirky mix of 50s sci-fi and psychedelia that draws on the experimental films of Kenneth Anger. It was directed by George Tsioutsias, who also designed it, and Achilleas Gatsopoulos, who also created the visual effects.

Working from HD video taken from a day’s shoot with singer Anne Booty in a pitch-black room, the two edited and compositing the footage with animated elements, before downgrading it to SD for an unusual way of making the video looked ‘aged’.

“We ran it through a VHS deck to pretty much destroy everything we did,” says George. “We’d ran a lot of VHS tests, using different tapes and VCRs, and single and multiple passes, so that we eventually established a formula that would look good (with a little tweaking).”

Before and after VHS 'treatment'.

The planets and mystical orbs were created in After Effects by creating the textures and then using layered comps of the CC Sphere filter. The car, the dice and crystals were created in simple 3D modelling and texturing software.

How the planets were created.

“We wanted all our compositing to be based on simple techniques such as analogue superimposing rather than shooting on greenscreen and keying out properly,” says Achilleas. “We used simple combos of blending modes to achieve the final result, allowing for small imperfections to come through and add to a more authentic lo-fi look.”

Compositing each of the elements together.

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