Dress it up with bling, scantily clad ladies or hydraulic bouncing cars, but when it comes to hip-hop as an art form, it's hard to beat the visceral pleasure of watching a skilled rapper staring into the lens, spitting rhymes. That is unless you could seamlessly condense multiple deliveries into a single kinetic performance as directing duo Kijek / Adamski do in their motion controlled promo for Pezet track Slang 2. Get caught up in the flow after the break.
Be warned, there are a few 'blink and you'll miss it' NSFW frames in this.
Having worked with Pezet last year on the Vimeo Staff Pick promo Nie Musze Wracac, the Warsaw-based Katarzyna Kijek and Przemysław Adamski teamed up with the MC once again for his new track. Bringing their preference for simplicity to the table, they chose to reflect Slang 2's theme of a different take on reality through the visual mechanics of the piece:
In its basic form it's a day to night, white to black game, but in many scenes it's not as straight forward as that. We were looking for multi-dimensional contexts to most of the scenes.
Despite the apparent improvised nature of Pezet's to camera delivery, the majority of the promo's cuts were pre-planed before shooting to frame level accuracy, which made both the edit and on location shoot move smoothly:
From a technical point of view, the whole piece is a simple edit of thirty-two identical, motion controlled camera runs. We intended to make many more takes, but we had to limit the script due to a tough budget and lack of time for all the scenes. For the same reasons we had to do partial runs in few scenes. Yet, most of the takes are full-song-length, some of them in reverse mode. The whole piece was filmed over the course of 14 hours, 6 of which was mounting and calibrating the motion control. We still consider that a success as the camera trajectory was very long and elaborate.
We used a customized Milo motion control and a Red Epic with Angenieux lens. We edited everything in Adobe After Effects due to many masking issues for multiplying Pezet. It felt more natural to just use one app for everything, particularly as we mostly use AE for everything we do.
As evident in Kijek / Adamski's body of work, the pair have a knack for taking a simple concept -- a locked off shoot through a chain link fence in Nie Musze Wracac or the multi-take motion controlled performance of Slang 2 -- and pushing it creatively into films that not only hold interest, but have you kicking yourself for not doing it first.
What did you think of the oscillating motion controlled cuts of Slang 2? Are there other good examples of motion control promos we should take a look at?