Director Rok Predin at Trunk has animated “Alive” the second track from Steve Mason’s third solo album ‘Meet the Humans’, released to rave reviews this spring. The video is a homage to 1990’s video gaming, and rather than the iconic platform style as seen in Trunk’s recent work for Blur’s track ‘Ong Ong’, Rok adopted the isometric look of early 16-bit video games such as Street Fighter and Sim City. The clunky pseudo 3D graphic look of those games was lovingly and skillfully recreated by Rok and the team using Cinema 4D and After Effects.
The song’s theme drove the context of the video. In the game each character is held in a sort of stasis by a virus that hovers over them. To break free, the characters first need to understand what is keeping them captive, before classically having a big all out scrap! This is cleverly brought about, with a heavy and knowing nod to John Carpenter’s classic sci-fi movie “They Live”, by donning a pair of glasses that reveal the viruses.
Rok says, “Alive was a really inspiring song to work to. Once we honed in on the visual language of the story that Steve wanted to tell everything else came pretty naturally. The idea that we’re all just participating in a sort of game, a power-play of forces beyond our control, is very Orwellian and something that everyone can relate to. Nonetheless, our story does have an optimistic twist. What we are saying is that insight into the ways in which the power structures operate and influence our opinions and everyday decisions is all you need in order to free yourself from being PLAYED.”
Trunk’s producer Richard Barnett notes, “To create a well-known classic look, such as a 90’s console game, and to do it with an amount of believability, is always tricky. We used a number of rules and techniques to help us, such as an aged colour palette, balanced pixilation, and we were always very conscious of the audiences point of view when playing those games. We recreated that feel by using a lot of aerial shots that moved through the city and side on fixed shots that we all remember well from playing the games endlessly as kids.”
Richard continues, “as always it was a pleasure to collaborate with Steve and work with the team at Domino, they have to be one of the best Record Companies out there for supporting their artists and the creative community at large. Creative freedom seems to be rare or costly these days, and allowing passion and artistic ideals to flourish is often ironically the first thing to be stamped out on a project, but not this time! We wish the album all the success it deserves, and hope everyone enjoys the vid!
Director: Rok Predin
Animation: Rok Predin, Caroline Tarrago, Layla Atkinson, Lesley Dart.
Sound Design: Barnaby Templer @ Fonic
Producer: Richard Barnett
Production Company: Trunk Animation
Commissioner: Jonathan Bradshaw
Record Co: Domino