After learning that I would be going to Austin, Texas for SXSW with the then newly formed Phantom and after hearing Scars from a lousy laptop speaker, I decided we could make a music video for them using a Microsoft Kinect. I called Janne and explained to him the outlines of what I thought might work for this project. Just a few evenings (and I assume many energy drinks) later, Janne had something that he felt might fit the bill. It turned out to be much more than I ever hoped for.
We filmed Scars in about four hours at our company recording studio in Helsinki, Finland on a snowy evening in February 2012. The band had no clue what to expect: Hanna had high fever and zero make-up on while Tommi came in jeans and a hoodie. All we had was a single sensor, a laptop, a totally experimental piece of real-time graphics producing software, some carnival masks I'd brought from Venice many years earlier and a vague idea of what we'd set out do. Trying all kinds of crazy moves in front of the screen and Kinect, we recorded a total of about 50 minutes of screen captured video synched to the music, which was then delivered to Hannu for editing and post FX. Just a few evenings and iterations later (with Hannu running 11 parallel tracks of footage) we had Scars.
We must have spent a mere 60 hours in all on this project. Everything just clicked. An experiment that paid off at least a hundred thousand times (Youtube video view count: youtube.com/watch?v=HFpou6izBQg). Although the majority of the video's success is undoubtedly based on the awesome song, a special mention should go to The xx, who a month after its release posted the video on their blog and went on to promote it in some TV shows they hosted around the world (XOXO Romy, if you ever happen to read this). To be honest I always felt we might manage to create something cool, but I think we might have actually (and accidentally) dabbled together an actual piece of art. What do you think?
- London Independent Film Festival, 11th to the 22nd of April 2013
- Berlin Independent Film Festival, 9th to the 17th of February 2013
Also spotted on:
- YLE Finland / TV news
- The Rage / TV show, ABC Australia ("The xx special")
- GoTV Europe / rotation
Produced by Delicode (delicode.com) in collaboration with Studio Lumikuu (lumikuu.com)
You can listen to more Phantom at wearephantom.com
PS. The software that was used to make this film has since been developed much further. I still actively VJ for Phantom on their gigs. We expect to release the software (now officially named Z Vector or Depth Vector) during Summer 2013. It will be aimed at VJ's and experimental film makers.