Production Stills:



Title: Battlestar (feat. Phat Kat and Elzhi) Remix

Album: When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence

Artist: Harmonic 313

Label: Warp. Single Release Page.

Duration: 3:10

The Beginning

Harmonic 313 (aka Mark Pritchard aka Troubleman aka Reload aka 1/2 of Global Communications aka 1/2 of the The Jedi knights...) came to Sixty40 for his first ever film clip. Despite releasing seminal records since the 90's and being on Warp Records since 1994 and being the poster child for super-technical, superbly-crafted, bass heavy, crazy-ass electronica there'd never been anything to translate his floor-filling tracks on TV. Crazy. Sixty40 had to pioneer a variety of new techniques to take an entirely open brief into a eye-popping warning of extra-terrestrial doom.

The Idea

"Battlestar" is the story of a deceivingly sized binocular spaceship coming to earth and decimating an unsuspecting b-boy in order to conquer the universe.

The Dream

Having long-loved animated .gifs made from old stereoscope photos (like this), we wanted to take this technique and translate it to moving footage. We knew Andy Uprock from the Sugartime Burlesque tour we did in 2007 (see the blog) and as he is the most avant-garde b-boy we know, he seemed like the perfect fit for this flick-tastic performance based clip.

Scientific Background

a. The human head uses 2 eyes to it's advantage in a number of ways. Apart from giving you a spare in case one gets plucked out, it also uses it's binocular vision to feed 3 dimensional information to the brain to help it out with judging distances, locations and speeds. In video, if you can trick the brain into sensing this "binocular fusion" aka stereopsois by blending 2 views into one moment in time.

b. The parasitic Horsehair worm aka Nematomorpha aka the Spinochordodes tellinii lives in it's grasshopper host and, once the worm is ready to reproduce, makes it's host thirsty by some chemical trickery. The host dutifully goes to the waters edge, at which point the parasite spring forth from it's body into the stream to find a mate, leaving the grasshopper dead. So too does our b-boy head to the roof of a tall building to send off new parasitic ships.

c. when space ships finally attack earth, we will not notice them until it's too late.

The Technique

Shot stereoscopically (i.e. on 2 identical cameras separated in space to mimic 2 eyes) the clip uses a flicking technique that was inspired by 2 frame animations of 3D photos.

In this technique, a sense of depth is provided to the footage by changing between the left and right eye views between each frame. In moving footage, not only does it add a sense of depth but also a definite intensity and alternative reality to each scene. For different people, it can create a curious mental floatiness in some shots.

As a side note, this curious technique comes at a time when big production companies are clamouring to make 3D Stereoscopic movies and nimbly flips the idea on it's ass.


Production Co: Sixty40

Director and Brainman: Mark Simpson

Cinematographer: Trent O'Donnell

B-Boy: Andy Uprock

Gaffer: Matt Taylor

3D: Nick Paroz

Compositing: Dan Fitzgerald

Timing Expert: Cheryl Warbrook

Assisting + Eye-Aligning: James Nau

with thanks to: Andre Dubel

Tags: 3d | live action | music video | stereoscopic | Warp Records

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