How our VFX teams crafted a stunning underwater sequence in Depeche Mode’s newest music video for “Wagging Tongues”

Work May 25, 2023

Depeche Mode has shared the video for “Wagging Tongue,” a track off the band’s new album, Memento Mori. The stunning black and white film takes place in a society where “rules governing interpersonal communication are strict and surreal.”

Working alongside director duo The Sacred Egg, Riff Raff films and Depeche Mode, our artists crafted VFX and a colour grade (grade by Philip Hambi) for the music video. Leading The Mill’s VFX artists was VFX Supervisor & Shoot Supervisor Andy Steele who describes the stunning underwater sequence below.

“Spitting bullets was the general idea for this sequence, we looked at underwater footage of firearms at 20000 fps to give us ideas of how to visualize the effect. We decided on a hybrid approach by combining live-action high-speed elements augmented with 3D FX in Houdini.

The underwater shots were shot in a tank using a Phantom 4K camera at 2000 fps, it was incredibly important to shoot as many plates as possible. The phantom camera is an incredible piece of engineering. To see nature’s forces at such a high frame rate is always great fun to watch and gives you unexpected results.

The high-speed plate elements when the director, The Sacred Egg, came to edit were incredibly useful to give the FX team a solid framework for timings and layout. Having great material on hand during the editing stage was fantastic for communication across the teams.”
-Andy Steele, VFX Supervisor & Shoot Supervisor

Check out the full credits list for “Wagging Tongues” here.

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