Click 3x created an animated rock poster populated by the
Living Things as well as many other curious creatures in providing
visual effects and animation services for Bom Bom Bom, the band's first video from its debut release Ahead of the Lions on Jive Records. Visual effects artist Mark Szumski collaborated with director Floria Sigismondi in designing and executing the video's over the top visuals, reminiscent of the colorful rock artwork of the 1970s.
In the video, heavily textured and colorized images of the band are
layered over psychedelic background graphics and animated circus
imagery, including elephants, camels and marching bands. Many of the
visuals have a hallucinatory feel as a semi-nude woman looms over the
skyline of a city with lions lounging on rooftops. "I wanted the video
to have a psychedelic, storybook kind of feel," explained Sigismondi,
"extremely colorful yet touching on some dark and serious issues."
Szumski pieced it all together from live action performance elements
shot by Sigismondi and stock material gleaned from the Web and other
sources. "Floria also provided us with some incredible graphic elements created by the British illustrator Steve Wilson," noted Szumski. Wilson's work, featured on Neiman-Marcus shopping bags, MTV and elsewhere, itself draws on rock artwork and circus imagery and was one of the inspirations for the video, Szumski added.
For Szumski, the biggest challenge lay in choreographing the profusion
of imagery in a coherent and meaningful way, and devising clever
transitions between scenes. "We wanted to take it beyond the idea of a
simple two-dimensional rock poster aesthetic, which would have been
rather limiting," he said. "Instead, we layered things in three
dimensional space which both made the look more interesting and opened
up possibilities for more effects."
Working in three dimensions allowed Szumski to create some astonishing
effects. In one instance, ink bubbles into the frame, forming buildings that completely remake the environment around the band. "Mark used many techniques to add texture and make it look organic and alive, like a fairytale book coming to life," said Sigismondi. "His talents really shine in his use of color, compositing the multiple layers and integrating them so they felt part of one and experimentation that led to really great backgrounds. He was also resourceful in finding the stock elements we needed to make this exceptional."
In the video's wild finale, the band appears on a stage with Living
Things frontman Lillian Berlin in stilts. Acrobats twirl overhead;
horses, camels and zebras dance on stage; fireworks explode and confetti falls from above. "I have never worked so hard on a project in my life," said Szumski, "but I've also never had so much fun."
The results, said Sigismondi, by far exceeded her expectations. "Mark
worked beyond the hours and dedication I expected and it really shows," she said. "He is fast, but cares about the details."
Production Company: Revolver Film Company
Director: Floria Sigismondi
Executive Producers: Jannie McInnes, Kelly Norris Sarno
Producer: Merrie Wasson
DP: Tico Poulakakis
Art Director: Sue Tebbutt
Editor: Jaron Albertin
Illustrator: Steven Wilson (Pearce Stoner Associates)
Visual Effects: Click 3x
FX/Animation: Mark Szumski
Exec. Producer/Partner: Jason Mayo
Add'l Animation: Tronic Studio
Online: Fini Films