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landau / beelzebub

Ivan Landau‘s latest music video for the band “Beats Antique”, featuring Les Claypool, is on the exciting forefront of film blended with live music performance. The piece nicely recalls classic sci-fi horror and also music videos from the early days of MTV, back when the revolution was still being televised. Landau’s film is being projected using digital mapping, and is being produced, by Obscura Digital, pioneers in radical large scale projection. It plays behind the band and also onto stage set components at their live shows for a wildly immersive design experience. “The Thousand Faces Tour” is on the west coast of the U.S. now, so, be sure to check the mindblow-mix-media-masterpiece if you live near one of its points. Read on as accomplished animator Webster Colcord, also with an impressive resume in visual fx, gives us a peek at the technical underbelly of this fantastic-phantasmic production.

Animator Webster Colcord:

    Numerous visual artists, under the direction of Ivan Landau, contributed work to Beats Antique’s concert production, which involves projection mapping during the live performance.  Each piece of music has its own unique visual motif that follows a loose storyline over the entire concert, sort of a “rock opera”.  So in addition to being a standalone music video, “Beezlebub” is projected during the band’s live concert onto a screen behind the musicians.  There are also geometrical pieces in the foreground on which an additional clay element is projected, so the band is immersed in clay for the duration of the song.  

    Because of the nature of the presentation, it was decided to try to give the impression that the clay animation was done in one continuous take. Most of the time the set was mounted on a geared head and animated to give the impression of camera movement.  Most of the animation is on 2’s and camera moves are on 1’s, any resulting strobing was treated as a desirable side effect.

    The scale of the puppets was usually very small and the depth of field was intentionally kept extremely shallow.  The design of the characters and animation were intended to evoke the look and feel of clay animation from the late 80’s – early 90’s.  Lighting changes were hand-animated using dimmers and three color schemes are used during the course of the animation.  

    Nearly all of the VFX were done in-camera and very little rig removal was done in post.  The laser beam coming from the robot was a laser pointer aimed at a raking angle on a thread, shot with a long exposure.

Thank you so much for your time, Webster. Hell of a good project! -Dragonframe

Beats of a Thousand Faces…..making the tour:

The overall performance:


Director | Ivan Landau
Animator | Webster Colcord

Assistant Sculptors | Rich Zimmerman, Edgar Humberto Alvarez
Set Assistant | Dave Waddle

Filmed in Hollywood at Shadow Machine

Special Thanks | Erin Colcord, Maya Noonan, Obscura Digital (http://www.obscuradigital.com)

This film follows the director’s previous computer animated / live action video for the band “Revival”

Blog written by Vera Long

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