Watch: There Are No VFX in This One-Shot Video, Created Entirely In-Camera on a Massive Set
Bonobo's 'No Reason' video may look like CGI, but it's all in-camera effects.
To shoot the music video for Bonobo's "No Reason," director Oscar Hudson decided not to use CGI. Instead, he shot with a very small camera on a very big set.
"Doing this film with CGI would have been a thousand times easier," Hudson said in a statement, "but for me, its physicality and imperfections are what makes it different, and I hope better."
In the video, a single tracking shot moves through what appears to be the same room, over and over, as it becomes smaller and increasingly claustrophobic. According to Hudson, the video illustrates the Japanese concept of Hikikomori, an agoraphobic phenomenon in which young people who are overwhelmed with the outside world lock themselves in their apartments.
To create the in-camera illusion, Hudson and his team built a 100-foot set comprised of 18 different rooms, each smaller than the next. Hudson and DP Ruben Woodin-Dechamps "had to design an entirely new way of moving our miniature camera to get it to fit through the tiny doorways and travel smoothly for such a long distance," the director told Promo News. "We had to duplicate and shrink every single prop that features in the set…which is obviously was a ton of work!"
"Part of the appeal of doing the video was to push the boundaries beyond what you think is possible," Hudson explains in the below behind-the-scenes video, which details his process.
Hudson described his technique in further detail to Promo News:
We basically rigged our little camera to a flat base plate of wood, covered the under side of this in downward-facing carpet, and laid a very smooth lino to drag it across. To keep it in a straight line and to hide the tow wire we cut a 1 mm-wide groove into the floor all the way down the middle of the set and had two nails coming out the base of our camera unit to keep it sliding in the groove. The wire was then attached to the front nail and the camera could then be mechanically wound in from underground, whilst the wire could remain hidden."