Live-action production company Unheard/Of and director Dan Brown joined forces with postproduction/visual effects specialists World Famous to craft the music video for “Line of Sight,” the latest single from electronic duo Odesza.
With its vivid juxtaposition of sci-fi elements strewn amidst a tropical paradise, the “Line of Sight” video seamlessly aligns with Odesza’s epic, infectious electro-pop tune as the story of an unlikely bond between a boy and a robot on a lonely island unfolds.
According to Brown, the young protagonist’s ingenuity and sense of survival in the most isolated of sanctuaries provides an ideal foundation for the video’s narrative. “The track is so big and open, it just felt like it was tailor-made for putting a story under it,” he says. “I focused on trying to convey something that was serious with a little melancholy but would ultimately be about hope and the human spirit to adapt and survive. In many ways I like to think of it like a parable with a science fiction twist, but at the core it’s an adventure story: a kid lost in the jungle trying to live another day, where he gets help from a robot instead of a pack of wolves.”
Shot over the course of three long, hard days on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, “Line of Sight” marks the second collaboration between Brown and Odesza, following the equally captivating “It’s Only” music video. “We were really blown away by Dan’s work for ‘It’s Only’ a few years ago,” says Clay Knight and Harrison Mills of the band Odesza. “When it came time to find a director for ‘Line of Sight,’ we wanted someone who could represent the subtle sadness of the track, yet pair it with feelings of hope and wonder. We loved Dan’s sense of imagination and the idea of telling a story about friendship through a sci-fi lens.”
Brown adds, “They are great collaborators. They have strong ideas and really get behind the ideas they like, so they’re great to have on your side. It’s always better to have that level of passion on the other end.”
While the “Line of Sight” shoot itself had to be completed in matter of days, the postproduction process to create the sci-fi components and characters within presented its own set of challenges. “Along with the challenges you’d expect from shooting in the Hawaiian tropical rainforest with a small crew, the VFX required a complex, multidisciplinary approach and a whole lot of planning,” World Famous head of production Casey Steele recalls. “Still, all challenges were handled by a robust and talented post team. Thankfully, we had the resources at the ready to really play and explore the art of it all.”
Despite the tight delivery schedule (merely a few weeks) and the VFX/post efforts involved to bring “Line of Sight” to life, the resulting music video serves as a moving testament to the solid, longstanding working relationship between Unheard/Of, director Brown and World Famous. “It was a divide and conquer approach with everyone wearing [multiple] hats,” adds Unheard/Of executive producer Matt Ackerman. “Like most visual effects projects, there is always more to do and never enough time, but the team did amazing work within the timeframe.”