Post-production boutique Hooligan recently collaborated with New York-based design studio karlssonwilker to create the anamorphic music video for “Mexico,” the title track from GusGus’s ninth studio album.
Experimenting with various 3D technology, including video game engines, karlssonwilker transformed live-action footage of GusGus into spellbinding animations. The resulting abstractions hypnotically visualize the Icelandic quintet’s anthemic dance track.
“I’ve seen work like this as an effect, but not as the primary medium for an entire music video,” says Hooligan editor Shane DeBlasio. “The final renders are beautiful and look as though they weren’t even captured on camera.”
Looking to expand on the video with an editorial eye, karlssonwilker brought Hooligan into the fold after creating the renders and producing a rough cut in Adobe Premiere.
“It was exciting to edit such a kinetic, VFX-driven piece,” says DeBlasio. “The caliber of design and the range of experimentation that karlssonwilker brought to mapping out all of these 3D points in 2D space took the footage to captivating heights. Editorially speaking, the collaboration allowed me to go beyond the norm, both creatively and technically. It’s amazing how the technology-hacking trend continues to open artists and filmmakers up to seemingly infinite new perspectives creating within their medium.”
Exploring which song would best suit the visual concept for the video, GusGus and karlssonwilker ultimately decided that “Mexico,” the album’s only instrumental track, was the unequivocal match.
“While lyrics often inform the visual narrative and mood of music videos, ‘Mexico’ offers a refreshing twist on the genre,” DeBlasio says. “Musically, it had the right dynamics to compliment the medium with which we were working. Creating the final cut, my goal was to simply find a through-line to make the eclectic sequence of shots as fluid and seamless as possible.”
Embarking on the project with volumes of data-heavy footage, DeBlasio says he had to clear the project’s biggest hurdles early on. Converting the footage to Hooligan’s system using Final Cut Pro allowed him to generate QuickTime movies, rather than deal with problematic individual source frames.
“It was a challenge getting a handle of the footage without the computer freaking it out, but once we made sense of everything, it was awesome to edit,” concludes DeBlasio. “While karlssonwilker had a clear vision for the creative whole, they were exceptionally trusting of our ideas and solutions. It was a wonderful collaboration in the truest sense of the word.”