D&AD Annual Review | Kanye West’s ‘Heaven and Hell’ director Arnaud Bresson and our Parisian artists Guillaume Ho and Mathias Barday give us insight on realising his vision

After winning a Yellow Pencil at the D&AD Awards for the visual effects in a music video, our artists Guillaume Ho Tsong Fang and Mathias Barday from The Mill Paris alongside director Arnaud Bresson (Division), reveal some insights on their respective work on 'Heaven and Hell' for Kanye West.
Press October 4, 2022

The music video for Kanye West’s ‘Heaven and Hell’ is comprised of two distinct parts. The first half of the video is shot in Paris by night and features a dystopian city where the people are all dressed in black. In the second part, the video transforms into CGI, revealing West performing in the clouds surrounded by a swirling formation of heavenly bodies. Director Arnaud Bresson and VFX artists Guillaume Ho and Mathias Barday describe the West collaboration as creatively rewarding, saying that “good enough” is not an option and the artist “won’t wrap until everyone is happy”

Building dystopian worlds

The somber black and white world in the first part of the video is shot with a 35mm lens and predominantly on a dolly. Arnaud Bresson, a director at DIVISION, explains how the static shots contribute to the intense, claustrophobic atmosphere and play with notions of heaven and hell in an urban environment.

Visual reference

VFX Result

Reimaging historic art with VFX

The second part of the video dramatically changes to show a CGI sky full of celestial bodies followed by a series of static etchings. The imagery in this section is drawn from historic art including paintings by Gustave Doré and John Martin. As CG Supervisors at The Mill, Guillaume Ho and Mathias Barday, explain, the remarkable task for VFX was to integrate these pieces with the 3D cosmos in West’s vision.

Working with an artist’s vision

Bresson describes the Kanye West collaboration as creatively rewarding, saying that “good enough” is not an option and the artist “won’t wrap until everyone is happy”. Bresson and West communicated directly and without intermediaries in order to maintain a fast pace and allow for the seamless back and forth of ideas and references.

Discover the article on the D&AD Annual review page. 

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Director: Arnaud Bresson
VFX Supervisor: Guillaume Ho Tsong Fang
CG Supervisor: Mathias Barday