Once Upon a Dead Man is made up of the three Simpson brothers, Edd, Will and Charlie, alongside long-time friend Simon Britcliffe, who approached The Mill to create a music video for their new track ‘Threads’.
Animation directed by Grant Berry, Raj Davsi and Will Denning, the team produced the six-minute promo video from their debut in just over three weeks. We caught up with them to find out more…
What was the brief and how did you interpret this?
Grant: The brief was open but had to compliment the track and lyrics. The lyrics suggest the track is about challenging and questioning what we consider true reality to be. This is why we made the landscape at first to appear barren and unanswered, with the threads forming over the surfaces, gradually revealing the environment we are in.
Once Upon a Dead Man ‘Threads’ early concept sketches
How did the team bring this idea to life?
Grant: The idea was to play off light and dark as the threads form, becoming stronger, reflecting the lyrics and pace of the track.
We really liked the idea of two hero characters in the piece: the whirlpool and illustrative ‘cat’. Animated in Maya and then imported into C4D, the stylised image of a cat acts as the primary light source with both the particles of light and thread weaves growing stronger during the course of the spot, taking the viewer on journey across vast open landscapes and seemingly continually evolving environments.
Tell us a bit about the more technical elements involved in the project?
Will: We used a combination of C4D and Xparticles to achieve an illustrated look and for some shots we used the particle painter tool which gave us excellent control over the look and feel of the landscapes. The use of Xparticles also allowed us to create complex simulations in a short amount of time.
Raj: The fast and controllable depth of field settings in rendering tool Vray meant we were able to achieve great depth and ensured we were able to bring to life some of the more macro and abstract shots in the piece.
Watch the music promo below and learn more about 'Threads' here.